UK wins SEC Tournament Championship Beating Tennessee 77-72 - LEX18.com | Continuous News and StormTracker Weather

UK wins SEC Tournament Championship Beating Tennessee 77-72

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AP Photo/Jeff Roberson AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

Kentucky looking for its 31st SEC Tournament Championship and its first win this season against Tennessee.

The Wildcats got it going behind the three point line early as Kevin Knox and Hamidou Diallo connected. After a long two by Knox, Kentucky held an 8-3 advantage after the first media timeout.

Tennessee went on a four minute stretch without a bucket going 0-for-9 from the field. Meantime, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had to take a leaning off-balance three at the shot clock buzzer and hit. Then, after coming in to the roar of the crowd after hitting seven three's on Saturday, Wenyen Gabriel hit the first and a long three against the Vols. UK leading 18-10

UK extended the lead more after a timeout. Knox made it double digits with another three pointer and a pull-up along the baseline. Then, Quade Green dribbled around the defender and hit a floater for a 27-12 UK lead with 8:17 to go in the first half.

UK kept turning up the defense and turning it to offense. Gabriel would get a rebound and putback to give UK a 29-14 lead. Gilgeous-Alexander would hit a baseline jumper and Green added a 15 footer to give the Cats a 33-16 lead.

Tennessee made a comeback behind Admiral Schofield. He hit three straight three pointers and then followed that up with a shot in the lane and two free throws to pull the Volunteers within five at 36-31.

UK was led by the 14 points of Gilgeous-Alexander and Knox added 10. Kentucky shot 47% while holding Tennessee to 28%. 

Tennessee started strong in the second half. A Kevin Knox lay-up gave UK a 38-33 lead. Then, the Vols Kyle Alexander got a rebound and putback before adding a free throw. Jordan Bone got a steal and took it all the way for a lay-in and then Admiral Schofield hit his fourth straight three to put Tennessee up 41-38.

After a Coach Calipari timeout, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander hit a baseline shot then got a steal, lay-up and was fouled. SGA would hit the free throw to give UK a 43-41 lead. They would add to it with Green scoring on a goal tend call, Knox hit a three pointer, Green hit two free throws and then got a steal that led to a Knox lay-up. UK was quickly in front 52-43.

After Tennessee cut it to 52-48, Wenyen Gabriel hit his 9th three in his last 10 tries. UK was back in front 55-48. 

Tennessee would get the lead back as Jordan Bone and Lamonte Turner hit back-to-back three pointers. Volunteers in front 57-55.

P.J. Washington hit four straight free throws to give UK the lead again 59-57. After the game was tied up. Kevin Knox missed a free throw but Gabriel was there for the rebound and putback and a 64-62 lead. Wenyen missed a three and Sacha Killeya-Jones slammed it back for a 66-62 lead. 

Tennessee would pull within one with a little over a minute to play when SGA hit a pull up from 15 feet. The Wildcats would take a 70-67 lead. Green added two free throws to put UK in front 72-67.

The Vols Admiral Schofield got a putback with :21 seconds left to cut the lead to 72-69. 

Kentucky wins it, 77-72 . It's the Cats 31st SEC Tournament Championship and fourth in a row.

The Wildcats were led by Gilgeous-Alexander's 28, Kevin Knox added 18 and the Cats held Tennessee to 37% shooting from the field. 

Now UK awaits word on where it will start the NCAA Tournament. 

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