LEXINGTON, Ky. (WDRB) - 14th-ranked Kentucky (20-6, 10-3 in SEC) exacted a measure of revenge against the last team to beat them and remained undefeated at home by knocking off the Tennessee Volunteers (12-14, 5-8 in SEC) 80-70 Thursday night in Rupp Arena.
"We're defending better. We've defended way better than we did up there. We still broke down some, but we did a better job," said UK head coach John Calipari.
Bullitt East graduate Derek Willis had a career high 25 points despite fighting two sore knees and back spasms.
"When you come down after jumping a little bit on your knees, you don't know if you really want to shoot after that," said Willis, who was 8-12 from the floor and 7-11 from behind the three-point arc. "My knees (are) just crazy hurting, in the game you just to play through it."
Freshman guard Jamal Murray led UK with 28 points and nine rebounds.
"I thought he played an outstanding game. He's trying to defend better. Couple breakdowns defensively, and it's mostly that we're not talking and communicating. But, you know, again, he goes 3 for 6 from the three. That's perfect. Then get your other baskets going to the rim, and ones, make free throws, 9 out of 10, nine rebounds. It's a good game. Two assists, a steal, a block. I mean, he did a little bit of everything," said Calipari.
Center Marcus Lee was sidelined with tightness in his back. Calipari did not have an update on his condition after the game.
Five games now remain for the Wildcats. Three of those are on the road. Kentucky with a quick turnaround as they head to Texas A&M Saturday.
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