The Kentucky Wildcats knocked off the Tennessee Volunteers in Lexington on Saturday afternoon by a score of 66-54.
It was a sloppy, slow game to start as Kentucky led 4-2 at the first media timeout. After that point, it was all Cats in the first half as Kentucky turned on the gas and dominated the Vols on their way to a 39-19 lead at the break.
To start the second half, Kentucky has gotten into a bad habit of simply looking like they forgot how to play basketball. I’m not sure what happens in that locker room at the break, but they have to figure it out going forward. Tennessee started the half on a 7-0 run before a back-and-forth affair ensued.
The lead was diminished to single digits late in the second half for the first time since early in the first half. However, the Cats were able to hold on for a massive win and a season sweep of the Vols.
Next up, the Cats will travel to Gainesville to take on the Colin Castleton-less Florida Gators on Wednesday night.
This was a tough one as multiple players contributed throughout the course of the game and no one simply dominated, but I’ve got to give to Cason Wallace.
Kentucky’s freshman guard had the best all-around performance on the court tonight. He was the Cats’ leading scorer and assist man, while also rebounding very well. He got cooked a bit on the defensive end, making Tennessee’s Santiago Vescovi look like Manu Ginobili in the second half, but he was Kentucky’s best player in this one, nevertheless.
All in all, Wallace finished with 16 points, six assists, and six rebounds, while shooting 6-14 from the floor and 4-5 from the free-throw line. Wallace also had one steal in his 39 minutes of play. He was so important for the Cats with Sahvir Wheeler and CJ Fredrick out and Antonio Reeves dealing with foul trouble.
Chris Livingston was a close second here. He did a lot for Kentucky on both ends. He scored, hit the glass, and defended well, but his uncharacteristically poor free-throw shooting in this one kept him from earning MVP honors. He did finish with a double-double though, so shout-out to Livingston on his solid performance.
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