Vols stay perfect at home with win over UK
Knoxville, TN (Sports Network) – Chris Lofton scored 23 points and dished
out five assists, as Tennessee remained undefeated at home with an 89-85
victory over No. 20 Kentucky at Thompson-Boling Arena.
Duke Crews netted 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting and Wayne Chism had 16 points
for the Volunteers (18-8, 6-5 SEC), who let a 16-point advantage slip away but
rebounded to secure their third straight win. Tennessee is a perfect 14-0 at
home this season.
Joe Crawford put in a game-high 24 points while Randolph Morris posted a
double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds for Kentucky (18-7, 7-4), which
was coming off a 64-61 loss to top-ranked Florida on Saturday. Ramel Bradley
also scored 14 in defeat.
Tennessee ended the first half with a 13-4 run to turn a one-point lead into a
40-30 advantage at the break. Lofton nailed a pair of three-pointers to
kickstart the surge, and Jordan Howell drained a trey of his own moments later
to push the margin to 36-26.
Crews led all scorers at the break with 10 points, and Lofton chipped in with
That lead was built to 16, 51-35, with under 17 minutes to play in the game
following a JaJuan Smith three-point play. The Wildcats, though, staged a big
comeback in the latter stages of the second half to pull even.
With his team trailing by 13, Crawford scored five straight points to begin a
13-2 run. Crawford also netted the last five points in the charge, including a
three with 6:20 on the clock to cut the deficit to 70-68. Minutes later, Jodie
Meeks hit a pair of free throws to even the contest at 77-77.
The Volunteers made just enough plays down the stretch, however, to capture
Chism broke a tie with a slam with three minutes remaining and Ramar Smith
followed with a layup to give the home team an 83-79 advantage.
Morris countered with a lay-in to make it a two-point game, but Kentucky
turned the ball over on consecutive trips after that and Tennessee made enough
of its free throws down the stretch to pull out the win.
Kentucky crushed Tennessee in a 76-57 final at the end of January, and the
Wildcats hold a 139-64 lead in the all-time series…Meeks finished with 10
points…Bradley had led his club in scoring in Kentucky’s last four games.