TAMPA, Fla. — No. 5 Kentucky lost in the semifinals of the SEC Tournament to the Tennessee Volunteers on Saturday 69-62. The Cats fell to 26-7 on the season and now wait to find out their NCAA Tournament seeding.
The first half was low scoring and both teams struggled to make baskets. Tennessee's Josiah-Jordan James caught fire and scored eight straight points to give the Vols a 10-4 lead. UT finished a 13-2 run over the course of four minutes with a Kennedy Chandler three to take an 18-8 lead. UK went one of its last seven during that stretch.
UK then put together a run with Keion Brooks scoring eight of the Wildcats next nine points to cut the deficit to 18-14. However, Oscar Tshiebwe picked up his second foul and sat the rest of the half. The real difference was three point shooting. Tennessee was 5-11 behind the arc while UK was 0-8.
Kentucky started the second half strong with Oscar quickly getting involved He scored three baskets inside the paint and Brooks added four more points. The Wildcats cut the Tennessee lead to 39-33.
Kentucky got the deficit back down to single digits later in the half with Washington and Wheeler hitting free throws and then TyTy coming up with a steal and lay-up. 51-43 Tennessee was in front.
Oscar Tshiebwe fouled out of the game with Tennessee up double digits and with Lance Ware on the floor Kentucky cut the deficit down to 65-62 on a couple of TyTy Washington free throws but Tennessee made its down the stretch and went on to win it 69-62