Kentucky handles Vols for season sweep over Tennessee

Published 2:28 pm Monday, February 20, 2023

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Kentucky jumped out to a 20-point halftime lead and held off a second-half comeback to beat Tennessee 66-54 on Saturday in Lexington.

Santiago Vescovi scored all of his 17 points after halftime, while Jahmai Mashack finished with career-high totals in points (16) and rebounds (8), scoring nine of his 16 points in the second half for Tennessee (20-7, 9-5 SEC).

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In total, 26 of Tennessee’s 35 second-half points came from Vescovi and Mashack.

Kentucky (18-9, 9-5 SEC) led 39-19 lead at the break. Kentucky freshmen Cason Wallace had 16 points, six rebounds and six assists in the game and Chris Livingston had 12 points and a career-high 10 rebounds, his first career double-double

Tennessee began the first half making just one of its first 11 field-goal attempts, allowing Kentucky to jump out to a 10-2 lead in the opening eight minutes of the game.

The Vols narrowed the Wildcats’ lead down to four after their initial spurt with a quick 6-2 run, but Kentucky went on to outscore Tennessee 24-9 in the final eight minutes of the first half to take a 20-point lead into the halftime break.

Oscar Tshiebwe matched Wallace with 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds, and Jacob Toppin added 11 points for Kentucky.

Tennessee is back on the road Tuesday at Texas A&M.