Wildcats Come Up “Short” To Tennessee

In a game dominated by rebounds and turnovers, Tennessee’s stat won out over Kentucky’s. #4 Tennessee (22-2, 10-0 SEC), behind Shekinna Stricklands 20 points and 12 boards, defeated #16 Kentucky (18-5, 7-3 SEC), 73-67.

The night started off perfect for Kentucky as they opened the first half on a 12-4 run to take an early lead, but Tennessee regrouped at halftime, beating the Wildcats up on the board and outscoring them in the paint, 38-32.

Tennessee dominated the rebounds, grabbing 45 while Kentucky could only manage 23. Even with the deficit, the Volunteers only outscored the Wildcats 11-5 on second chance points.

On the other side of the boxscore, Kentucky forced 24 Tennessee turnovers while only giving up 13, but like Tennessee, couldn’t take advantage of the margin, only outscoring the Volunteers 14-12 in points off of turnovers.

The Cats put on their vaunted press throughout the first half, rattling Tennessee at times and gaining a 33-30 lead going into half. Tennessee turned the game around in the second with a 2-3 zone that slowed down Kentucky’s offense, limiting their ability to press.

After shooting 50% during the first half, Tennessee caught on fire in the second, hitting 16-26 for 61.5% from the field and 3-5 for 60% from 3-point range.

Shekinna Strickland carried the Vols, in the second with 18 points and 7 boards while A’dia Mathies led Kentucky’s 2nd half with 12 points and 3 assists.

Although Dunlap led Kentucky with 20 points and 9 boards, Victoria could only manage 4 points in the second half as Tennessee pulled away late for their 10th SEC win in a row.

Up next, UK Hoops will travel south to take on the 13-10 South Carolina Gamecocks this Thursday. Tip time is 7:00 p.m. and will be broadcast on the Big Blue Sports Network radio.

Go Cats!!!

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  • Chip Miller can be contacted via e-mail at ukbigbluenation@live.com.
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