No. 13 Kentucky easily handles Tennessee, 83-58
LEXINGTON, Ky. —
Malik Monk had 20 points and a career-high eight rebounds, Derek Willis had 16 points and No. 13 Kentucky made 10 of its 11 3-point attempts in the first half to roll past Tennessee 83-58 on Tuesday night.
Seeking to stay atop the Southeastern Conference, the Wildcats avenged last month's 82-80 road loss to the Volunteers with their best performance in a while. Long-range shooting provided the biggest lift as Kentucky (21-5, 11-2) made 11, its first double-digit effort from behind the arc in a month, as Monk and Willis each made four in the first half alone.
The Wildcats held Tennessee (14-12, 6-7) to 35 percent shooting and led by as many as 28 points in handing the Volunteers their third loss in four games.
De'Aaron Fox had 13 points and six assists and Bam Adebayo grabbed 12 rebounds in Kentucky's third straight win.
Admiral Schofield had 17 points and Jordan Bone 15 for Tennessee, which was outrebounded 33-29.
Tennessee: The Volunteers' recent shooting struggles continued as they lost their 10th straight at Rupp Arena. After making 42 percent in the loss to Georgia, they were just 18 of 52 from the field (35 percent) and committed 13 turnovers, including consecutive miscues leading to baskets early in the second half. More than anything, they couldn't push the tempo and were outscored 18-0 in fast break points.
Kentucky: Good ball movement (17 assists) created good perimeter opportunities for the Wildcats, whose 10 first-half 3s were nearly as many as they had overall against Auburn last month (11). Their transition game also clicked throughout and they controlled the paint 32-18. Defensively, Monk had as many boards in the first half (4) as the past four games combined and kept it up in the second half.
Kentucky took a big step toward trying to return to the Top 10, but needs to follow up at Georgia.
Tennessee: Hosts Missouri on Saturday.
Kentucky: The Wildcats visit Georgia on Saturday, seeking a better performance against the Bulldogs than the overtime win here two weeks ago.