NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee got hot at the right time and rallied from 8 points down with three minutes left to stun Kentucky 82-78.
It was a fast and furious start as both teams connected on their first five attempts. Ashton Hagans started it with a three pointer. Keldon Johnson scored six of eight points for the Wildcats in an early stretch to help give UK an 11-8 lead.
Reid Travis was inserted back into the starting line-up and he had a great move to add two more and push the lead to 13-8. The teams then traded baskets and the lead until Tyler Herro hit a three pointer and followed it with a driving lay-up to push the advantage to 20-16.
Nick Richards gave UK some quick minutes of play with a couple of free throws and then followed up an E.J. Montgomery miss to give the Wildcats a 24-21 lead.
Tennessee would go on a 9-0 scoring run as Admiral Schofield hit a three pointer and a shot in the lane and then Jordan Bowden hit a three to push Tennessee in front 29-24.
Hagans found E.J. Montgomery twice. The first a reverse lay-up, the second for a dunk. But, Tennessee got a jumper from Jordan Bone and then he hit a three pointer. Reid Travis finished the scoring with a three at the buzzer.
UK trailing at the half 36-34. Travis leading the way with 8 points while Johnson chipped in 6.
The second half started with a flurry of scoring too. Off a steal, Tyler Herro would get a lay-in and P.J. Washington had a nice post move for a slam to tie the game at 40.
UK got some big scoring from the bench as E.J. Montgomery hit a shot as he was fouled. He missed the free throw but it tied the game at 45. He then hit a baseline jumper to once again give UK the lead, 47-45. Then, Nick Richards hit a long two pointer. to push the Wildcats lead to 49-46.
Tennessee would get the lead again on a Grant Williams reverse. Then, a technical was called on the UK bench which resulted in Jordan Bone free throws. The Volunteers would take a 54-51 lead.
After Reid Travis free throws, Hagans would alley-oop to P.J. Washington for a huge slam. Then, after a steal Keldon Johnson had a thunderous one-hand slam to put UK in front 57-54.
Kentucky led by 8 with just over three minutes to go, but then Tennessee got hot at the right time. Lamonte Turner hit the go-ahead three with under a minute left and Jordan Bone sunk four free throws in the final ten seconds to clinch the win.
P.J. Washington led Kentucky with 16 points despite sitting the majority of the first half with two quick fouls.
Next up for Kentucky, they await their fate in the NCAA tournament.