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Golden, Tennessee trounce No. 25 Kentucky 88-58

Kentucky forward Kyle Wiltjer (33) shoots over Tennessee guard Josh Richardson (1) in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013, in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

Kentucky forward Kyle Wiltjer (33) shoots over Tennessee guard Josh Richardson (1) in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013, in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Trae Golden had 24 points and eight assists Saturday as Tennessee rolled to an 88-58 victory over No. 25 Kentucky, giving the Volunteers their most lopsided win in the 216-game history of this series.

Kentucky (17-8, 8-4 Southeastern Conference) was playing its first game without star center Nerlens Noel, who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee Tuesday during a loss to No. 7 Florida. The 6-foot-10 freshman was leading the nation in blocks (4.4), was tied for the SEC lead in rebounds (9.9) and ranked fourth in the conference in steals (2.1).

The Wildcats looked like a completely different team without him.

A Tennessee offense that has struggled for much of the season often scored at will against a Kentucky team that entered the day ranked second in the SEC in field-goal percentage defense (.382). Tennessee shot 58 percent from the field and grabbed a 50-26 halftime lead before breezing through the second half.

Tennessee entered the day ranked 13th out of 14 SEC teams in 3-point percentage (.286), but the Vols made all five of their 3s Saturday.

Jordan McRae scored 15 points and Kenny Hall had 12 points as Tennessee (14-10, 6-6) won its third straight game overall and snapped its six-game losing streak in this series. Jarnell Stokes had nine points and nine rebounds, ending his string of six consecutive double-doubles.

Kyle Wiltjer scored 18 points, Julius Mays had 12 and Jarrod Polson added a career-high 11 for Kentucky. Wiltjer and Polson replaced Alex Poythress and Ryan Harrow in Kentucky’s starting lineup while 7-foot freshman Willie Cauley-Stein took Noel’s place. Cauley-Stein, Poythress and Harrow all fouled out.

Kentucky’s biggest problem Saturday without Noel was expected to be trying to slow down Stokes, who entered the day with six straight double-doubles. Stokes battled foul trouble for much of the day and didn’t make as much of an impact as usual.

Instead, Stokes’ teammates did most of the damage in front of a sellout crowd of 21,678 that included Milwaukee Bucks forward and former Vols star Tobias Harris as well as ex-Tennessee football coach Phillip Fulmer.

Golden, who had been slumping for much of the year, continued his late-season surge and was just one point off his career high in scoring. Hall, who hadn’t even played Thursday in a 58-46 victory at Vanderbilt, also reached double figures. Skylar McBee had been shooting just 31.5 percent from 3-point range this season, but he made all three of his 3s Saturday.

Golden scored four points during a 9-0 run that broke a 7-7 tie and put the Vols ahead for good. After Kentucky’s Julius Mays ended that run with a 3-pointer, Golden scored seven points during a 19-2 spurt that gave the Vols a 35-12 advantage.

Neither team hid its emotions over the stunning results. Kentucky coach John Calipari didn’t hesitate to show his frustration throughout the first half, particularly after assistant coach John Robic was ejected from the game with 11:17 left before halftime.

After Kentucky called a timeout while trailing 33-12 with 9:51 remaining in the half, McBee pumped his fist at midcourt and all his teammates openly celebrated on the floor as well. After receiving a hard foul from Tennessee’s Armani Moore that appeared to include a push with 2:28 left in the game, Kentucky’s Archie Goodwin quickly got up off the floor and shoved Moore in the back.

While Tennessee seemingly could do nothing wrong, Kentucky did little right. The Wildcats had more turnovers (10) than baskets (nine) in the first half.

Tennessee continued pouring it on after halftime. The Vols led by 34 points while Kentucky encountered foul trouble. Poythress fouled out with 9:43 left in the game. Cauley-Stein picked up his fifth foul 22 seconds later. Harrow fouled out with 4:51 remaining and left the game without any points, assists or rebounds.

Rave Report

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  1. UK 24 7

    Maybe people will believe me now. It’s not Harrow’s Poythress’, Goodwin’s or any other player’s fault at this point in the season. You can twist it, turn it or sugar coat it any way you like but it is what it is. CALIPARI IS A HORRIBLE X & O COACH! He’s a great recruiter but that’s it.

    1. Larry Pup

      Hey UK24 7, it’s kind of hard to beat 8 men on the floor with just our five. That game was a bunch of shit from an officiating standpoint. A blind man could see it. Tell me one guy in the nation you would take over Coach. Name him!

      1. Anonymous

        I agree with you Larry. I was able to watch the last 10 minutes of the game. The offensve fouls they call on KY are ridiculus. Then you think they are going to call one on the other team and they call on KY.

    2. Kokamo Joe

      Calipari is a very good coach. He is an outstanding recruiter. Until this year he had great results motivating his players. His Uk record of a great 8, final 4, and national championship is as good as any three years in the great history of UK basketball. He gets and deserves all the credit in the world for those three years.

      There are no excuses for this year. Calipari recruited these players. Calipari established this system. This was the first year without holdovers from the Gillispie era, players who could provide experience and leadership. This year simply did not work. Next year will be better, but for now, Calipari must take responsibility for this team. Having posted that, I say let us not get either in an attacking mood or let us not circle the wagons and try to protect the coach. He and this year’s team may not weather this story, but under his system we get to start all over next year and it looks great. I have learned that in life we cannot always eat ice cream and cookies. Sometimes a little sauerkraut finds it’s way to our plate.

      1. King Ghidora

        So right after you attack Cal you say don’t get in an attacking mode? You’ll never see a better coach at UK than Cal. I got news for you guys. I saw Rupp coach. He was not an “X’s and O’s” type coach either. He was a talent recruiter. He played his game period and dared other teams to beat him at it. Once in a great while if the game was big enough he would turn to Joe B. and ask him for a new strategy. Joe B. was the “best” “X’s and O’s” coach I’ve ever seen. He knew every offense and every defense and he taught it all to his players. Many thought he worked too hard at that and that’s why the 1978 team didn’t gel until they were seniors even though they had tremendous talent. Also the ’75 team basically had to rebel against Hall’s system to start winning. They reverted back to what Rupp taught them and ignored the stuff Joe B. was telling them. When they did that the team went from being a good team to being a great team. Hall expected too much from his players as far as knowing too much about the game. Later, even more talented teams of his, would also flounder under the pressure of trying to learn it all. They had Bowie, Turpin and Walker on the same team along with a whole string of McD AA’s and they still managed to look bad at times. They had guys like Blackmon, Bennett, Master and maybe the best guard I ever saw at UK, Dicky Beal. He could run circles around Rondo or Wall if that tells you anything. Only “the Blur” was faster and he was a “head” case. Beal had it all especially before he got hurt. He was insanely fast.

        Cal coaches his system. Most great coaches do. They rely on superior talent to win. Unfortunately it just hasn’t panned out for the Cats this year. I just hope this doesn’t hurt the recruiting machine at UK. I hope some guys can find out how to step up soon. This game was a real heart breaker for me. The league wants the Cats on a platter and they just might get it. I really think UK needs to go play in the Big East where they might get fair treatment. The SEC is destroying the team that put them on the map in basketball. Yes the Cats have let down but the SEC has their foot on the neck of the Cats pushing hard.

        1. Larry Pup

          At least in the Big East they let em play hard and call it both ways. But UK will never leave the SEC. This is just a rough year. The odds have caught up with Cal’s system. But these SEC teams better enjoy it now because a new Sheriff is coming next year.

  2. Anonymous

    Cal is the biggest BSer in the nation. That’s how he gets good recruits. When they are average players he can’t coach them up. Open your eyes. Take off those rose colored glasses and quit drinking CalAid. IT’S NOT THE PLAYERS!!!

    1. Larry Pup

      U must be a UofL fan or maybe UT Anonymous, or what ever your name is. Elite 8, final 4, national champions in three years. Stick that up your nose know it all. I’ll stick with Cal.

    2. King Ghidora

      Troll. How many titles have you won?

  3. Gene

    Maybe the two genius’ posting above could tell us how, in three seasons at the Lexington school, John Calipari has been able to advance to the Elite Eight (first season) , Final Four (second season), and win the National Championship in his third season. If Cal is not a good “X&O COACH” how did he take three different teams and do what he did? Yeah I know he just rolls the balls out on the floor and tells the kids to play !!
    Some of you people are truly pathetic !!! You deserve the Tubby Smith’ s and the Billy Gillespie’s here at UK. You have absolutely no idea what it takes to take a team of predominantly 18 and 19 year olds and put them together as a team and win as Cal has done the past three years. You’ll p@@s and moan in public when they lose and p@#s and moan to yourselves,in your basements, when they win.
    Go and tell Cal or one of his kids who has played for him in the past three seasons that “Cal is the biggest bs’er in the nation”. Tell either to their faces and if you walk away with all of your teeth still in your mouth consider yourself lucky. Stupid but lucky !!
    By the way which one of you genius’ go es by the screen name “paris10″ in Lexington?

    1. Larry Pup

      You are right on Gene. What a brilliant statement from Mr. Anonymous. People like that amaze me. Open their mouths and remove all doubt or pure ignorance.

    2. Kokamo Joe

      I see no reason to go bananas and run Calipari down. This just is not our year. As you have pointed out Calipari’s first three years were great. This year is different in that this is the first year when the Cats did not have players with experience who could help guide the team. Patterson, Miller, Liggins, Stevenson, Harrison or Vargis all contributed to Calipari’s first three year’s success. The great thing about Calipari’s system is that we get to start over each year. Just as this year’s team is different from last years, next year’s team will be different from this one. You mentioned Smith and Gillispie. Smith’s record was outstanding for most schools, but not Kentucy. Gillispie’s second year he went 19-12 in the regular season . When you consider that Gillispie’s preconference schedule included North Carolina (1), Kansas State, West Virginia, Miami (21) and Indiana and the possibility of additional loses the rest of this year, his record that last year might not be any worse than Calipari’s record this year. THERE IS ONE DIFFERENCE. Calipari has succeed and he has studs lined up next year which will sure erase the smell of this year. Finally, no coach can have high success each and every year. Adolph Rupp had seasons of 19-9, 16-9, 15-10, and 13-13 and he was a rather good coach.

    3. King Ghidora

      I’d like to suggest that we all ignore the trolls here posting from the great city of Loserville no doubt. Or maybe they’re from Bloomingscum. Either way they know nothing except trolling. The way to deal with trolls is to ignore them. It’s insanely stupid to think Cal is a bad coach. It’s not coming from a UK fan you can bet. That leaves trolls from other fan bases. That is a good reason to ignore them.

      1. LindaS

        good idea, King, said the Queen.

  4. LindaS

    UK 24 7 and the idiot that won’t post his name, you don’t mess with the BBN. You got that? I would like to see you take teams to the elite 8, final 4 and win it all in 3 years. What have you been drinking, orange or red kool-aid. If you are a fan, then act like it or get your patooty out of here because we will not take you kind here 24/7/365. Got it? Evidently you are just here to cause some problems, I have a suggestion that will cause you some problems but I doubt if you could get you head out of the back hole of your body.
    Evil Twin Sister

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