Kentucky pulls away from Tennessee, 74-66

Tennessee guard Derek Reese (23), Auburn guard Chris Denson (3) and Tennessee forward Jarnell Stokes (5) reach for a rebound during the second half at the Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014. Tennessee won 78-67. (ADAM LAU/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Lau

Tennessee guard Derek Reese (23), Auburn guard Chris Denson (3) and Tennessee forward Jarnell Stokes (5) reach for a rebound during the second half at the Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014. Tennessee won 78-67. (ADAM LAU/NEWS SENTINEL)

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Despite a dominant performance from Jarnell Stokes, the Tennessee men’s basketball team struggled to get its junior forward much help — especially from the perimeter — and lost to No. 13 Kentucky 74-66 at Rupp Arena on Saturday.

Stokes, who finished with 20 points and 15 rebounds, had a double-double by halftime as he and Kentucky star freshman forward Julius Randle (18 points) went back and forth, carrying their teams. Stokes, despite picking up his second and third fouls early in the second half, churned on while Randle cooled. But it was Kentucky freshman guard Andrew Harrison who stole the show. He scored a career-high 26 points.

The biggest difference maker was the deep ball. The Wildcats (13-4, 3-1), a team that entered the game shooting 30.5 percent from 3-point range (second to last in the SEC), made seven of 16 3-pointers. UT (11-6, 2-2) made two of 13.

That alone overshadowed UT’s dominance on the glass (UT outrebounded UK 39-24) and in the paint (UT outscored UK near the basket 38-26).

The Vols jumped out to an early lead and led by as much as nine with 12:16 to play in the first half. But their hard work was negated as halftime neared. While UT made three of its last 10 shots of the half, Kentucky — fueled by Randle — snapped off a 10-2 run that captured its first lead of the game when UK freshman forward James Young hit a 3-pointer with 54 seconds to play. UT missed its next three shots and failed to break the 34-32 score before the buzzer.

The Vols briefly reclaimed the lead early in the second. They led 39-37 with 17:39 to play when Jordan McRae (17 points on 5 of 14 shooting) finished an and-one. But Kentucky tied the game with a Dakari Johnson jumper and never looked back, outscoring the Vols 40-34 in the second half.

The Wildcats protected their lead late with a stretch of 17 made free throws. After starting the game shooting 12 of 14 from the stripe, the Vols finished 16 of 23.

Ben Frederickson covers UT men’s basketball. Follow him at twitter.com/Ben_Fred

© 2014 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 18

moorevols55#1417579 writes:

Same as it ever was. Inconsistency. Poor free throw shooting down the stretch. Poor defense most of the second half. Can't make open jumpers almost the entire game. This team will lose at least 5 more and will not make the NCAA Tournament. They just aren't mentally tough. They never play an entire game, no heart. Just not winners.

TommyJack writes:

Cut it anyway you like. But this team, as prepared, is not ready to play big-boy basketball.

willphill#241787 writes:

in response to moorevols55#1417579:

Same as it ever was. Inconsistency. Poor free throw shooting down the stretch. Poor defense most of the second half. Can't make open jumpers almost the entire game. This team will lose at least 5 more and will not make the NCAA Tournament. They just aren't mentally tough. They never play an entire game, no heart. Just not winners.

You forgot to mention missed lay-ups. Kentucky adjusted Tennessee didn't. Three wasted years. I just saw future Vol coach Bruce Pearl at halftime on ESPN.

underthehill writes:

A game the Vols could easily have won by shooting outside and foul shots better..Stokes had his best game as a Vol against strong opposition..he dominated Cauley Stein so much Cal had to bench him..Ky, as expected had the edge in officiating..so bad at one point they almost called a foul on Maymon when he did not touch the man..Maymon was saved by the replay camera..on another call it clearly showed a Ky player knock the ball out of bounds..but the ball still went to Ky because the review was to see if they beat the shot clock..on the most obvious missed call..Stokes had a breakaway and got a good pass..Rankin fouled him and it was not called..Rankin took the ball to the other end and a blocking foul was called in error on Maymon ..the announcer said there was no foul on Maymon..these things are expected at Ky ..this is a game the Vols could and probably would have won at home or on a neutral floor..this Ky team is over rated same as last year..if the Vols play like they did today except hit a few out outside shots..they could win the SEC tourney..Compliments to Stokes and Maymon for an excellent effort..Stokes played like an NBA first rounder today..keep it up big guy...

IndianOutlaw writes:

Thank you Mike Hamilton, Jimmy Cheek and Susan Martin you are getting what you want. Another UT sport heading toward irrelevance. I hope you are happy. I still support my boys on the floor. It's sad that they have to live through this. Hopefully it will make them better men.

RoadTrip writes:

Half court coaching with a full court, transition roster that cannot make bunnies. Recipe for the NIT. Sad since there are two starters that could make an NBA roster next year and there are five upper classmen starting.

Time to move on.

Buttcrackhead writes:

Again, pitiful...this coaching staff is wanting. BBB that's all I can say. Can we get a twofor, like Cheek and Martin...Gone...and BBB

tennisvol5 writes:

Just can't seem to hit 3s or free throws.

goobervol writes:

Did you guys and gals notice how CC played the officials? He was in their faces most of the game! On the flip side, our coach looks and acts lackadaizacal (spelling error), uninterested, unresponsive, unmotivated, and ready for the game to be over so he can get the hell out of the gym and take a much needed temporary hiatus from the game of basketball. I so miss Pat Summit and Bruce Pearl for their energizer bunny personalities on the court. Ah, the good old days. We need a high spirited coach who encourages, yells, screams, stares, and demands wins, wins, wins. All Vol forever.

ThirdCreek writes:

Let's reserve judgement on Coach Martin until after the season. KY is one of the top teams in the country and almost unbeatable at home.

Kevin McNeil nearly won the SEC tournament and an automatic NCAA bid despite a bad regular season as the Vols head coach.

threehundredbowler writes:

in response to ThirdCreek:

Let's reserve judgement on Coach Martin until after the season. KY is one of the top teams in the country and almost unbeatable at home.

Kevin McNeil nearly won the SEC tournament and an automatic NCAA bid despite a bad regular season as the Vols head coach.

Kevin who?

vols1002 writes:

in response to willphill#241787:

You forgot to mention missed lay-ups. Kentucky adjusted Tennessee didn't. Three wasted years. I just saw future Vol coach Bruce Pearl at halftime on ESPN.

A-Men we need BRUCE Pearl. 3 years no NCAA Tournament, This team on paper should be in the top 15

jandjhome#228397 writes:

Its motivation which starts with coaching, we have tallent, poor coaching, really sad

frank#220902 writes:

Chalk up another one for the refs

Buttcrackhead writes:

Is it only me or if the game is close coming down the to the end, I have no confidence in this coaching staff to get the job done...But when BP was coaching I had a good feeling we would win. Its like our current coach is Derek Dooley and Buzz Peterson wrapped up into one...If he stays for next year, lord help us, but he really needs to get new assistant coaches because our floor coaching and game planning is really lacking.

twmartin21#209204 writes:

Put this one on Richardson and Barton-they disappeared on offense.Worst I've seen Josh play-the pressure seemed to get to him.

secfan1 writes:

came down to outside shots and FT shooting...both teams shot about the same amount of FTs, difference is UK hit theirs and UT didnt

johnlg00 writes:

I'm sorry to say this to the majority who posted so far, but I really didn't see all this massive failure of coaching that some seem to see. The Vols had virtually a perfect game plan both on offense and defense. The loss was completely within the range of the "Rupp Effect", which as all Vol fans know operates no matter what quality of team backs it up. If both UK and the Vols shot their season averages on 3-pointers and free throws, the Vols would have won, possibly by double digits.

Of course, it still IS a loss, and the lack of resourcefulness to play through tough stretches against tough competition FOR AS LONG AS IT TAKES will quite likely cause them to lose too many to make the tournament AGAIN! Well, I said they needed to go 14-4 in the SEC to make the NCAAs. They can lose two more the rest of the way. It will take good coaching AND good play, but they are almost there with both, IMHO.

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