Tennessee was unable to pick up what would have been a huge win Tuesday night, as the Vols fell at Kentucky 83-58.
Tennessee started the game with five straight points from Grant Williams to open a 5-0 lead, but it was pretty much all Kentucky after that.
UK went on an ensuing 28-10 run to gain a double-digit lead, due mainly to its three-point shooting. The Wildcats shot 10-18 from three in the first half, including 4-4 from Derek Willis and 4-7 from Malik Monk.
The Vols struggled from the field in the first half, shooting just 9-29 (31%) and 2-9 (22.2%) from three, unable to answer the triples from Kentucky on the other end. The Wildcats went into the half with a 47-32 lead.
And there was to be no comeback, as the Vols continued to struggle to make shots in the second half. Kentucky came out hitting shots from the outset and Tennessee did not - sometimes, it’s a pretty simple game.
Malik Monk led the Wildcats with 20 points on 7-18 FG. Derek Willis added 16 points on 6-10 shooting.
Admiral Schofield led the Vols off the bench with 17 points on 6-10 FG and Jordan Bone added 15 points on 5-9 FG.
While this was certainly not a must-win game, it was a great opportunity for Tennessee to pick up a fantastic road win to add to its NCAA Tournament resumé. South Carolina is the last opportunity the Vols have to do just that.
While UT still sits on the bubble, it’s going to take more good wins to close out the season and probably some work in Nashville.
Tennessee returns home to take on Missouri Saturday at 1:00 p.m.