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Tennessee steamrolls Kentucky 71-52 in Knoxville

© Randy Sartin | USATSI

Well that wasn’t fun.

In their highly-anticipated matchup in Knoxville, the Tennessee Volunteers absolutely clobbered Kentucky by a final score of 71-52.

After jumping out to a 6-0 lead, the wheels fell off for the Cats, as they allowed a 7-0 run for the Vols to take the lead. From that point on, Kentucky held just one more lead the rest of the way (14-13, 12:42 remaining), with Tennessee running away with it.

UT’s lead ballooned to 10 with 2:59 remaining in the first half, which then turned to 13 at intermission.

After the break, the Vols hit three shots in the first 1:57 of the half to spread the lead to 17, which then turned to 20 at the 16:15 mark.

The Cats were able to cut it down to 14 on a few occasions, but could never take that next step to make it a game again, with the Vols finally pulling away to win 71-52.

Kentucky forward PJ Washington led the team with 13 points on 2-6 shooting to go with three rebounds, two assists, one block, and one steal.

In terms of other impact players, Nick Richards had a solid line of eight points, seven rebounds, one assist, and three blocks. Immanuel Quickley was also the only Kentucky player with more than two field goals, finishing the day with eight points on 3-5 shooting and four rebounds.

As a team, Kentucky shot just 31.8 percent from the field and 26.3 percent from three. They also turned the ball over 17 times.

For Tennessee, point guard Jordan Bone lit up the Wildcats for 27 points on 11-15 shooting and 5-5 from three, three rebounds, three assists, and two steals.

Star forward Grant Williams also added 24 points on 7-13 shooting, seven rebounds, two assists, and a steal.

Check out the entire boxscore:

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

81 responses to “Tennessee steamrolls Kentucky 71-52 in Knoxville”

  1. ukwildcat1991

    Please, for the love of god no one say that the refs suck. They tried to help us out with the amount of fouls they called on Tennessee.

    1. ukcamel

      The refs sucked in the first half, we sucked in the second half. The refs only “helped us out” in the second half by calling all the grabs and pushes they let go in the first half. Can’t blame Tennessee for thinking they wouldn’t be called, but there wasn’t one single call that wasn’t clearly a foul.

      In any event, hopefully we learn from this and put one on Ole Miss Tuesday.

    2. UKinIN

      At the half UT had one more fouls than UK. PJ had two in the first half and sat for ten minutes. That’s what mattered.

    3. bluebew

      Not a result of officiating. This was a man’s game, and EJ and Nick are not men. ukwildcat1991 is right – if Tennessee doesn’t miss a boatload of free throws in the middle of the first half, this is a beatdown similar to the Duke debacle. Bad time of the season to get b*tchslapped like this……has to have an impact on the psyche.

    4. Game Changer

      The Loss wasn’t so bad. Its against a top 5 team on their court. What is bad is that Hagans and Keldon’s weaknesses have been camofoulaged by other players for the past month or so and now its showing right before tournament time. Cal is gotta figure out what’s going on with the two of them.

    5. Lip Man 1

      This game was lost because of turnovers, no Travis and poor free throw shooting. UK got in a hole and couldn’t climb out of it, it’s that simple. The refs didn’t help but they weren’t the reason UK got run out of the gym.

    6. Luether

      The refs sucked…

  2. jaw2152

    Terrible all around. Just wipe that one from memory and move on.

  3. njCat

    It’s one game. Hopefully they bounce back Tuesday night.

  4. jaw2152

    Puts to rest the SEC player of the year debate as well.

    1. Game Changer

      The Loss wasn’t so bad. Its against a top 5 team on their court. What is bad is that Hagans and Keldon’s weaknesses have been camofoulaged by other players for the past month or so and now its showing right before tournament time. Cal is gotta figure out what’s going on with the two of them.

    2. makeitstop

      Yea apparently Grant is not scared of PJ

    3. CatfaninCinci

      Grant didn’t face PJ until it was clear Nick and EJ were completely useless against him. He scored 24, yeah, but I bet he doesn’t do that against Reid Travis

  5. BigolBlue

    Worst part is they will beat us for sure in the sec tourney.

    1. ukbradstith

      I’d say we have Travis back by then. Unlikely they can beat us at a neutral site, especially with Travis.

    2. mashburnfan1

      Not really, if we make 45% FG or so and they shoot their normal it should be a heck of a game.

    3. henderblue

      Very unlikely ukbradstith. Very unlikely

    4. eddiesuttonsliver

      Hey can I get the lotto numbers while you’re telling the future?

  6. cats646

    I thought Cal wasn’t gonna let them regress??
    Goddamn pathetic all the way around.
    Worst performance of the year.
    Every single one of our players looked lost!!
    When were on, we’re the better team. Something better change.
    Go cats!!

    1. CatfaninCinci

      It will. We get Reid Travis back and it changes. With Reid, PJ never commits 2 fouls on help side defense after EJ and Nick get smoked in the post. With Reid, EJ and Nick never pick up 3 fouls in the first half. With Reid, they don’t offensively rebound as well as they did (they’re not a good offensive rebounding team). Reid Travis is the entire difference in that game.

    2. Luether

      “Worst performance of the year?” NO the Dook game was worse…

  7. makeitstop

    if Tyler had not had the game of the year Tuesday we would be 0-2 this week. They really miss Reid – he eats space, makes room for PJ, sets great screens. Nick and EJ just don’t have the offense to take the heat off PJ.

    1. wildcatlove4life

      Totally agree

  8. KYCat4EVER

    Very disappointing effort today!

    NO HEART, and absolutely no maturity!

    Still got a LOT OF WORK to do with this team and hoping Coach Cal can get it resolved.


    1. jimmer

      Absolutely NO PRIDE AT THE END OF GAME! What a joke!!! The last 2 possessions were embarrassing. They should have to walk back to Lex. I hate that crap. No class or character. Quitters shouldn’t be allowed to wear UK gear.

  9. CahillsCrossingNT

    It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I predicted 79-53. And neither team is as good as LSU. Ole Miss will certainly beat UK too. Frankly, I think UK is about 4-5 seed material.

    1. ukbradstith

      4-5 seed? Been sipping that bourbon?

    2. CahillsCrossingNT

      Nope. I don’t drink.

    3. mashburnfan1

      Was with you until you said Ole Miss will win, they are terrible. And we are a 2-3 seed type tourney team but because SEC is weak and we got a good record we will be a 1 or 2..

    4. ThankfulCat

      You think wrong

      1 loss doesn’t make this team a 4-5 seed. Good lord

    5. jytruebluefan

      Lol that’s the dumbest take in all of college basketball. Name 15 teams better than Kentucky and I’ll laugh in your face

    6. CahillsCrossingNT

      I’ve watched this sport for 45 years and never learn anything from any commentator or analyst. In fact, I now watch the games with the mute on. I don’t need them. Sorry but UK is only the third best team in the SEC and would be at best the third best in the ACC, third best in the Big 10, third best in the Big East, second best in the AAC, second best in the Big 12, second best in the West Coast Conference, and perhaps even the second best in the Mountain West Conference. I’m guessing you and almost everybody else will have to look up which teams I’m talking about. So go on laughing.

    7. Soylentbeans

      Barely losing to a good lsu team and splitting with a very good ut team doesnt make us the 3rd best in sec. More so it just means those 3 teams are =.

    8. 4everUKblue

      Don’t try to reason with mashburnfool, he’s happy we lost.

  10. CatfaninCinci

    No Reid killed us.

  11. ukbradstith

    I’d say if both uk and ut win out the winner of sec tourney gets a 1 seed. Grant Williams obviously player of the year now

    1. makeitstop

      If they both win out, yes. But we won’t win out or win the tourney unless PJ puts up POY numbers so I woke them write him off yet. Head to head they split rounds, though PJ’s best was better and his worst was worse. Combined w Tuesday? Not a good trend. He needs Reid back most of all.

    2. makeitstop

      That’s “wouldn’t” write him off

  12. CopenhagenCat

    Everyone blames Nick and E.J. . But what the hell did the rest of the team do? They all played scared today. Turnovers were awful. They couldn’t hit nothing. They basically took all of what they learned and throw it out the window today. No heart today. Just pathetic effort by the whole team.

    1. wildcatlove4life

      I agree, Immanuel is the only cat who shot the ball decent but what I can’t understand is this kid played point guard in high school but I can’t remember the last time he beat someone off the dribble???

    2. CatfaninCinci

      Nick and EJ set the tone. They got us in a predicament being completely unable to guard in the post. They couldn’t get a pass in the post because they couldn’t hold position. It got PJ in foul trouble, and it left the offense in the hands of 3 freshmen who score better off the ball being fed from the post.

      Nick and EJ caused the mess

  13. jytruebluefan

    The thing that’s hilarious is people acting like the answered the question if they were scared of PJ. Clearly they still are considering they doubled him the whole game and they can’t do that with Reid in there. That’s why we are made to beat the snot out of them at full strength

    1. jytruebluefan


    2. makeitstop

      Yea they could keep pushing the defense out further bc we had nothing inside and then PJ did get touches further out. Basically we are just ok without Reid.

    3. SkooCats493

      Makeitstop, spot on… thinking that the whole game. I hat to think the RT was the difference between a 17 point win and 19 point loss though.

    4. SkooCats493


    5. CaliCat

      Bad game but it’s just one game. This was the toughest SEC game on the schedule. We will be fine. Still like my team. Go, Cats!

  14. FlySoup

    “Nick Richards had a solid line…” makes me think you didn’t watch the game. He and EJ were liabilities on the court all day

    1. makeitstop

      Nick rebounded but he has no offense. U can just leave him. It’s 4 on 5. Even in a fast break if it’s not at the rim he can’t score so he doesn’t get the ball.

    2. CatfaninCinci

      I thought the same thing. Had a good line? He’s one of the 2 reasons we got ran off the floor.

  15. wildcatlove4life

    Two UT players out scored our whole team. Our youth really showed today.

    1. runningunnin.454

      Anybody see any NBA players in blue today…me neither. Cal needs to tell the League to back off this group…they need a couple of more years.

    2. RealCatsFan

      Runnin, you nailed it. Outside of PJ, NO ONE on this team has any business thinking about the NBA.

  16. dballrb

    Honestly did anyone think the cats would come back after the break?Coming back against an inferior opponent in Rupp is,quite frankly,expected.Not in Knoxville.I like my team, but Cal hit the nail right on the head when he said they would be in trouble if they were down big to a good team.Hopefully the lesson has been learned now and not in later in the month..

    1. CatfaninCinci

      I thought we could out of the gate. But then they didn’t show urgency on defense so it quickly faded.

  17. runningunnin.454

    I don’t know whom came up with the philosophy of sitting your best player with 2 fouls in the first half.
    You just have to talk to him, and trust him to play smart, otherwise it’s like he’s already fouled out.
    Leave your best guy out for 8.5 minutes and a one point lead becomes a 13 point lead; and, how many fouls did PJ end up with? Two.

    1. henderblue

      True rg. I was thinking of they get out to a 10 point lead, you bring him back in regardless

  18. BrassowFan

    It sucks to lose but this is what happens when your shots don’t fall. I give credit to UT’s defense, and acknowledge that having TR out was a huge contributor, but every player on this team missed a ton of shots that have fallen for most of the season.

    My only concerns coming out of this game are 1) How long is Travis out, 2) Why Herro refuses to consistently play defense, and 3) why this team is still playing so sloppy with all of the turnovers.

    Despite today, with Travis in the game we are still one of the top 4 teams in the country, this is just one game and these are all just kids under 20. Today wasn’t much fun but overall this has been a great season. GO CATS!

  19. BigolBlue

    “We needed this loss. It will help them down the road”- moron uk fan after every loss

    1. RealCatsFan

      AUK will never win another tournament- a moron named Big Ol Blue after every UK loss.

  20. VirginiaCat

    Yes, our youth really showed. That’s what happens when you have 5-stars that are not named Zion, or AD. But that’s a moot point since we don’t typically have them for longer than a year. Bring them in, get glimpses of how good then can be, and then send them to the NBA before they realize their college potential. Start anew next year with the same results. A team with championship potential, this late in the year, does not lose the way we lost today. Lucy has jerked the football away at the last possible moment yet again.

    1. BrassowFan

      You’re right, let’s ignore that they were playing a top 5 team on their home court and without a very key player. No hope at all for a title this year, turn off the TV and computer.. it’s over. See you next November!

    2. CatfaninCinci

      This guy clearly became a fan after the 2014 season.

  21. VirginiaCat

    I will add, at the risk of being lambasted, that maybe there is a reason that Cal was no included on the list of potential COY.

    1. makeitstop

      Try playing without ur senior, who makes ur POY forward look like POY forward. It’s not a Cal issue. They couldn’t hit anything, many of them wide open (like FT!) He can’t shoot for them and until this week I was amazed at how far they’ve come.

    2. CatfaninCinci

      Stay in Virginia. Matter of fact. Just go follow VT or UVA.

    3. RealCatsFan

      Let’s see how UT does at Rupp without Scofield or Williams.

    4. runningunnin.454

      Only problem I had with coaching today was leaving PJ on the bench for 8.5 minutes in the first half; but, Cal didn’t come up with that…probably 85% of the coaches do that…I just never have liked it. And, when your man has two fouls in the first half, and he ends the game with two fouls…looks really bad.

  22. motorcitywings

    Are people hitting the panic button because we lost on the road to a great team? Bone played amazing. He’s a 33% 3 point shooter and was light’s out today. A lot of our shots rattled out. It was just their day. We just destroyed this same Tennessee team two weeks ago. Of course, we will bounce back. Is this season teaching our fans nothing? We have all the pieces to get #9. Just didn’t show it today.

    1. makeitstop

      Not panicking but our other losses – apart from that one we won’t discuss – were all one bucket. This was like the Duke game, never in it. What worries me more is the players who came on strong in December and January have not made the next step and seem to hv hit the wall – I do think this is the time of year every year where the tumbler clicks and it makes sense to the better freshman ..

  23. catdaddyd

    It would be nice to see Hagens break a man down off the dribble.

    1. CatfaninCinci

      It would be nice to see Hagans stay in front of his man and not surrender the lane because he gambles on a back tap.

    2. wildcatlove4life

      I agree with you and have been saying that all year!! How can you be a point guard but never beat your man one on one? Immanuel played PG in high school, I can’t remember when he’s beat someone off the dribble.

  24. RealCatsFan

    Hagans, and to a lesser extent Herro, need to just plan on another year in college. Johnson too.

  25. CoachCat

    Reading these comments crack me up. We just lost to a team that was #1 for a month on their home court. It wasn’t anyone’s fault in particular. IT WAS EVERYONE’S FAULT. It was the turnovers, shooting, defense, and missing a player among about a million other things. Worried about seeding? In the SEC tournament lmao. Really? That matters about as much as most of these comments. Relax people. We got beat bad. Just as bad as we beat them. Guess what? Both teams went on to win games. Jesus

  26. Larkin123

    I thought Tenn by 18. Why? Fouls, Travis, and motivation! Now with Travis, we still have a great shot at the ff. Nothing has happened.

    At home, home offense gets aggressive and defense backs off… hello fouls…

    With Travis we lose, but closer… Washington went out down one and most of the final margin was that was then til half 13 points… learn the game freaks!

  27. runningunnin.454

    Anybody watching Puke; Clark Kellog in love with RJ Barrett. Funny thing is the halftime highlight they show, is RJ shoving a guy to the floor to drive to the bucket. Offensive foul wasn’t called; but, they might have picked a better play…hilarious.

  28. CoachCat

    It’s all about Duke, haven’t you heard. They can do no wrong

  29. J. Did

    In 9 months, the TN birth rate will be through the “poop chute” trailer roof.

  30. VirginiaCat

    Good thing this is Cal’s best shooting team ever; otherwise, it could have gotten ugly.

  31. WatchutalkinboutWillis

    Without Reid we also lose the effective PJ. Essentially we were down 1.5 players AT UT…which have a great team this year. They did to us what we did to them and we will probably meet in the SEC as well with Reid back. Let’s reserve judgement until then. Hopefully Herro got a nice taste of humble pie and will worry less about being a bucket and more about helping his team win.