Cats beat Vols 65-62
Tenn. (AP) - Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was angry after he and fellow
freshman Anthony Davis didn't get much help from their Kentucky
teammates in the first half against Tennessee. He made sure the
Wildcats knew it at halftime.
"He was the main one who came into
the locker room mad," Davis said. "(He was) really feisty because we
weren't playing like we were supposed to. That's just how he plays. You
know he's got a will to win, and he brings a lot."
inspired the second-ranked Wildcats, who wore the Volunteers down with
more pressing defense and sharper shooting. Kentucky overcame an
eight-point deficit in the second half for a 65-62 victory Saturday.
win marked Kentucky's second Southeastern Conference road victory of
the season, matching its total for all last season. The Wildcats won in
Knoxville in 2011 and have won four straight against the Vols.
finished with 18 points and had four blocks to pull within one of tying
the school season record of 83. Kidd-Gilchrist added 17 points and 12
rebounds, and Terrence Jones scored 10 points before fouling out with
3:55 to play.
The Wildcats (17-1, 3-0) not only came from behind
in the second half, but also held off a late effort by the Vols, who
had upset then-No. 13 Florida the previous Saturday at Thompson-Boling
Kentucky coach John Calipari wasn't thrilled about having to do either.
we want to be unique and special, we're either going to get tougher and
negate the physical play people are using on us, or we're just going to
be another team out there trying to win as many as we can. That's it,"
he said. "We talk better today, but we still need to execute better."
Davis capped an 8-0 run with a short jumper to give Kentucky a 62-54 lead with 53 seconds left.
McBee hit a 3-pointer for the Vols. After a timeout, Jeronne Maymon
fouled Kentucky's Doron Lamb, who missed the front end of a 1-and-1.
Cameron Tatum hit another 3 to cut the Wildcats' margin to 62-60 with
28 seconds left.
Darius Miller hit two free throws and
Kidd-Gilchrist added another in the final 20 seconds. Tatum attempted
another 3 with 10 seconds left, but the ball bounced off the rim to end
the Vols' hopes for a comeback.
Tatum led the Volunteers (8-9, 1-2) with 16 points, and Maymon had 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Vols also got a boost from Jarnell Stokes, a highly rated prospect who
joined the team Monday after graduating from high school a semester
early. With Stokes joining Maymon and Kenny Hall on the blocks,
Tennessee took its chances by running right at the nation's leading
shot-blocking team and locking down the lane on defense.
thought we were playing defense the way this program will be accustomed
to playing defense: hard, aggressive and physical," said Tennessee
coach Cuonzo Martin, who faced Kentucky for the first time in his
career as a coach or player. "We've still got a ways to go as far as
I'm concerned, but we're making the necessary strides we need to be a
really good defensive program."
Maymon converted a three-point
play with 3:09 in the first half, and he and Tatum hit 3 of 4 from the
free throw line over a 30-second stretch. Stokes drew a charge by
Marquis Teague, which enfuriated Calipari, who was tagged with a
technical foul arguing the call.
Tatum hit one of the free
throws awarded to Tennessee, who retained possession because of the
technical. Stokes, who finished 4 of 5 from the field for nine points,
rebounded a missed shot and hit a layup to give the Vols their 34-28
halftime lead and send the fans into a frenzy.
prepared me for it," Stokes said. "I was just playing for my team and
the state of Tennessee. It was definitely different. There was a lot of
adrenaline going, but that's how I'll continue to play."
Wildcats, who had only trailed at halftime three times this season,
were more patient with their shots in the second half and turned up the
defensive heat to wear down Tennessee. The Vols entered the noon game
on a quick turnaround, having lost 62-58 at No. 20 Mississippi State on
Thursday after a 9 p.m. tipoff.
Kentucky shot 50 percent in the
second half and limited Tennessee to 39.3 percent. The Wildcats also
got their only two 3s of the game in the second half, one by Kyle
Wiltjer and another from Kidd-Gilchrist.
"We have a will to
win," Davis said. "We're a great ball club. You know we never give up.
When we are down like 10 with a couple of minutes left we just kept
fighting. We don't like losing."