Kentucky needed a big game from Kyle Wiltjer.
They got a big game from Kyle Wiltjer.
The sophomore scored 17 points, most of them coming from driving to the basket, and answered the call from John Calipari about getting to the free throw line by knocking down 3 of 4 from the stripe.
Nerlens Noel was quiet in the first half, but woke up in the second half, scoring all 12 points and grabbed 9 rebounds, blocked 6 shots, and had 4 steals to have his usual stat stuffer type of game.
Julius Mays hit a couple of big threes down the stretch finishing with 9 points.
The rest of the scoring was as follows: Harrow 12, Poythress 10, Goodwin 8, Cauley-Stein 7.
Tennessee was only down 34-31 at the half as they shot 56% from the field, but couldn’t keep it going in the 2nd half. The Volunteers shot a dismal 37% in the last frame, and couple that with Kentucky shooting 65%, and you have the Wildcats winning by 10.
Tennessee at Kentucky
Men’s Basketball Post-Game Notes
Rupp Arena, Lexington, Ky., January 15, 2013
FINAL SCORE: Kentucky 75, Tennessee 65
Team Records and Series Notes
Kentucky is 11-5 overall, 2-1 in the SEC. Tennessee is 8-7, 0-3 in the league.
Kentucky leads the series 149-66 and has won the last six meetings. Kentucky has played Tennessee more than any other opponent.
Kentucky hits the road for a pair of away games, Saturday at Auburn (9 p.m. EST on ESPNU) and Tuesday at Alabama.
Kentucky started with the lineup of Ryan Harrow, Archie Goodwin, Alex Poythress, Nerlens Noel and Willie Cauley-Stein for the fourth-straight game.
The teams battled evenly in the first half, separated by no more than six points at any time, as Kentucky led 34-31 at intermission.
Tied at 37, Kentucky went on a 8-0 run for a 45-37 lead.
Trailing 47-39, Tennessee bounced back with an 8-0 run to re-tie the game at 47.
Tennessee took its only lead of the half, 54-53 on a 3-pointer by Derek Reese at the 7:19 mark.
Tied at 56 on a pair of Reese foul shots with 6:27 remaining, UK outscored Tennessee 19-9 the remainder of the way.
Harrow got the final spurt started with a layup on a pass from Noel.
Julius Mays followed with a pair of 3-pointers.
Kyle Wiltjer scored the next five points for the Wildcats to stretch the lead to 69-62.
Tennessee got no closer than six the remainder of the way.
The first half continues to tell the tale for the Wildcats. UK is 11-0 this season when leading at halftime, 0-5 when trailing.
Kentucky won the rebounding 34-30. UK is 9-2 this season when outrebounding the opponent.
Willie Cauley-Stein had seven points and five rebounds.
Has made 24 of 34 shots (70.6 percent) over the last seven games.
Ryan Harrow notched 12 points and four assists.
Harrow has scored double figures in seven-straight games and is averaging 15.6 over that stretch.
Julius Mays had nine points, including the pair of crucial 3-pointers with the game hanging in the balance
With one assist and one turnover tonight, he has a 25-7 assist-turnover ratio over the last nine games.
Nerlens Noel had another stat-stuffing line tonight with 12 points, nine rebounds, two assists, four blocked shots and four steals.
Has at least six rebounds in every game this season.
Has blocked at least one shot in every game this season and at least two rejections in eight-straight games.
Has made 37 of 51 shots (72.5 percent) in the last nine games.
Alex Poythress totaled 10 points, including two-of-two 3-pointers, and eight rebounds.
His 11th double-figure scoring game of the season.
Kyle Wiltjer paced the Wildcats with 17 points, the fifth time this season he has led the team in scoring.