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HomeSportsUT Vols Basketball falls at Kentucky Wildcats, 80-70

UT Vols Basketball falls at Kentucky Wildcats, 80-70

UT Athletics Department

Tennessee Volunteers - UT VolsLexington, KY Senior Armani Moore picked up his second double-double against Kentucky this season, but it wasn’t enough as Tennessee fell, 80-70, in Rupp Arena Thursday night.

Moore led the Volunteers (12-14, 5-8 SEC) in scoring (21) and rebounding (11). It was his fourth double-double of the season and the eighth of his career. He also finished with two blocks, which ties him with Steve Hamer for eighth all-time in Tennessee history at 122 career blocks.

The Wildcats (20-6, 10-3 SEC) found success behind the arc in the second half, connecting on seven 3-pointers compared to Tennessee’s three, helping UK score 44 points in the second half.

Tennessee Volunteers guard Kevin Punter (0) dribbles the ball against Kentucky Wildcats guard Isaiah Briscoe (13) in the second half at Rupp Arena. Kentucky defeated Tennessee 80-70. (Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports)
Tennessee Volunteers guard Kevin Punter (0) dribbles the ball against Kentucky Wildcats guard Isaiah Briscoe (13) in the second half at Rupp Arena. Kentucky defeated Tennessee 80-70. (Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports)

Jamal Murray (3) and Derrick Willis (7) completed 10 of Kentucky’s 11 3-pointers made during the game. Murray would finish with a game-high 28 points and nine rebounds to lead the Cats. Wilson finished with a career-high 25 points on the night.

While shots were having a hard time finding the basket for UT, the Vols had another impressive performance from the charity stripe, converting on 21-of-30 free throws during the evening. Coming into the game, Tennessee led the conference in free throw shooting percentage on the season at 73.8 percent.

During the second half, senior Kevin Punter Jr. would make a 3-pointer to give him his 900th career point with the Volunteers. At 905 points for his career, he is just 95 points away from becoming the first two-year Tennessee player to join the 1,000-point club.

Punter would end the night with 19 points, including nine points from the free throw line.

Tennessee will be back in action Saturday, returning to Knoxville to face the LSU Tigers in Thompson-Boling Arena at 5:30pm ET/4:30pm CT on ESPNU.

Kevin Punter Reaches 900-Point Club

During the second half, Kevin Punter Jr. connected from behind the arc for his first 3-pointer of the game, giving him his 900th career point while at Tennessee.

If Punter were to reach the 1,000-point club before the end of the season, he would be the first two-year player in Tennessee history to achieve the feat. In order to reach 1,000 points, Punter would have to average scoring 19 points per game for the remainder of the regular season.

Armani Moore Finds Consistent Success Against Cats

Armani Moore picked up his fourth double-double of the season against the Wildcats, finishing with 21-points and 11 rebounds. He had a double-double against Kentucky in the previous matchup between the two teams this season. In that showing, he scored 18 while grabbing 13 boards.

Up Next

Tennessee will return to Knoxville for a matchup against the LSU Tigers on February 20th. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:30pm ET/4:30pm CT.

The Volunteers are currently 63-44 all-time against LSU, winning seven of the last eight meetings in the series. UT is 29-17 all-time when facing the Tigers in Knoxville.

Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes 1-3 for his career against LSU.

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