LEXINGTON, Ky. – Number 5 Kentucky manhandled #1 Tennessee in Rupp Arena. The first Top five match-up in Rupp Arena since Nolan Richardson and Arkansas came to Lexington.
P.J. Washington got it going for the Wildcats by scoring the first seven points. It started with a three pointer, then a jump hook in the lane and finally a floater to put UK up 7-4.
Then Keldon Johnson would catch fire by hitting a floater, a long two and then three, three pointers. UK would take a 23-15 lead.
The bench also contributing as Nick Richards used a spin move for a lay-in to make it 25-18. Then off a Washington blocked shot, Ashton Hagans had a clear path to a lay-up. Kentucky would build a 30-21 lead with 3:56 to go in the first half.
Tennessee would cut the lead to four at 31-27 when Washington hit a couple of hook shots in the lane. And Hagans finished off the half with a lay-up. The Wildcats would take a 37-31 lead into the break.
Washington and Johnson led the way with 13 points a piece and they combined to shoot 11-of-16 from the field.
Kentucky came out of the locker room ready to play by going on a 14-0 run to start the second half. Washington with a hook shot and Herro with a three pointer cause Tennessee to take a quick timeout down 42-31.
Johnson had a tough lay-up to build the lead to 15, Hagans hit a jumper from the free throw line and a Keldon lay-in gave UK a 20 point lead, 51-31.
It only got worse for Tennessee as Washington had a blocked shot, Herro missed on the other end but E.J. Montgomery slammed it for a 58-36 Wildcats lead.
Reid Travis started to take over from the free throw line and in the paint to push UK’s lead to 62-38 over the number one team in the country.
Tennessee would go on a run of its own. Jordan Bone with a 3 pointer, four three throws and an Admiral Schofield 3 pointer and free throws cut the lead to 62-51. It was an 13-0 run for the Volunteers.
P.J. Washington stopped that with a tough lay-up and two free throws and UK was back in front 66-51.
The Wildcats would coast down the stretch, knocking down their free throws and handing Tennessee its first loss in 19 games, 86-69.
Kentucky is back on the road Tuesday at Missouri.