Kentucky extended its winning streak to three by telling Tennessee to bite the curb, then stomping on their faces for 40 minutes. The Wildcats have now won two straight at Thompson-Boling after defeating Tennessee 70-55, their first win over a top 25 team this season.
Tennessee could do nothing to slow down Kentucky in the first half. Davion Mintz was not shy, pulling up from three in transition without hesitation and hitting the bottom of the net. He hit his first five three-point attempts, while Isaiah Jackson abused the Vols inside. He had 13 points, a pair of blocked shots and a thunderous slam before intermission.
As excellent as the offense was in the first half, Kentucky struggled to make shots after halftime. The easy transition buckets went away as UK made only 4/23 shots by the under-four media timeout, yet still led by 20 points thanks to whistles that put Kentucky on the free throw line. The Wildcats proved they are in fact free, draining 17-of-20 to keep the Vols at bay.
Kentucky’s defense deserves a ton of credit for today’s win. Tennessee had been averaging over 82 points over the last four games. Saturday afternoon the Vols only made 32.1% of their shots, including 6-of-22 from behind the three-point line.
The Big Blue Nation wondered if this team would ever turn a corner. As usual, the Wildcats are hitting their stride just in time for the postseason.