LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Cason Wallace and Oscar Tshiebwe each scored 16 points and Kentucky rushed to a big lead and beat No. 10 Tennessee 66-54 on Saturday.
The Volunteers (20-7, 9-5 SEC) trailed by 20 points at halftime and lost in their first game since toppling No. 1 Alabama.
The Wildcats (18-9, 9-5) earned their first regular-season sweep of Tennessee since the 2011-12 season. Kentucky defeated the Volunteers 63-56 on Jan. 14 in Knoxville.
Wallace had totaled nine points in the Wildcats’ previous two games. Chris Livingston added 12 points and Jacob Toppin had 11.
Coming off their 68-59 home win over Alabama on Wednesday, the Volunteers failed to duplicate the same defensive prowess they displayed against the Crimson Tide, especially in the first half.
Tennessee struggled during the first 20 minutes and trailed 39-19. The Volunteers shot 31% in the first half whole going 1 for 13 from 3-point range.
Santiago Vescovi led Tennessee with 17 points, followed by Jahmai Mashack with 16.
Both teams were shorthanded. The Volunteers were minus starter Julian Phillips (hip) and senior reserve Josiah Jordan-James (ankle). Kentucky was missing senior guards Sahvir Wheeler (ankle) and C.J. Fredrick (ribs).
Tennessee: The Volunteers were outrebounded 43-23 in their loss to the Wildcats in Knoxville and didn’t fare much better in the rematch. Kentucky held a 40-32 edge on the glass.
Kentucky: The Wildcats continue to make a late push for an NCAA Tournament berth and notched their second straight Quad 1 victory and third of the year. Kentucky positioned itself for a higher seed in the SEC Tournament with two weeks remaining in the regular season.
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