Kentucky defeated Tennesse to claim the SEC Tournament championship

Highlights

From UK Sports Video

Game notes

From UK Athletics

ATTENDANCE: 18,973

Final Score:  Kentucky 77, #13/12 Tennessee 72

Team Records and Series Notes

  • Kentucky is 24-10 overall. Tennessee is 25-8 overall.
  • UK leads the Tennessee series, 154-71.
  • UK is 12-4 vs. Tennessee in the SEC Tournament, including 5-3 in championship games.
  • Next for Kentucky: After the game, the Wildcats fly home to learn their NCAA Tournament destination. UK will be making its 57th NCAA Tournament appearance, extending the NCAA record for most tournament appearances.

In the SEC Tournament

  • Kentucky won its 31st Southeastern Conference Tournament championship, fourth in a row from 2015-18.

o    This is the third time that UK has won at least four consecutive SEC Tournament championships – UK won seven in a row from 1944-50 and four straight from 1992-95.

  • UK is 32-10 in SEC Tournament finals. (Note: the 1988 championship was later vacated, accounting for the difference between tournament championships and finals victories.)
  • Kentucky has an all-time record of 133-25 in the SEC Tournament, and has won 12 in a row.
  • Coach John Calipari is 22-3 in the SEC Tournament and has been in the finals eight times during his nine years, winning six.

All-Tournament Team

  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Kentucky, Most Valuable Player. In the three games, he averaged 21 points, five rebounds and 6.7 assists.
  • Wenyen Gabriel, Kentucky. He averaged 13.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.7 blocked shots during the three games.
  • Kevin Knox, Kentucky. He averaged 14.7 points and six rebounds during the tournament.
  • Admiral Schofield, Tennessee
  • Collin Sexton, Alabama

In the First Half

  • Kentucky’s starting lineup featured Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Hamidou Diallo, Kevin Knox, PJ Washington and Nick Richards for the 14th time this season. UK is 9-5 with this lineup.
  • Knox hit a 3-pointer on UK’s first possession, extending UK’s streak of 1,047 consecutive games with a 3-pointer.
  • With Tennessee missing eight of its first nine shots, and UK getting eight early points from Gilgeous-Alexander and five from Knox, UK jumped out to a 13-5 lead.
  • Midway through the half, UK tacked on a 7-0 run to make the lead 27-12.
  • UK took its largest lead of the half at 17 points, 33-16, with 4:31 left of the clock.
  • At that point, Tennessee warmed to the task, as 13 points from Admiral Schofield sparked a 15-3 Tennessee run to end the half.
  • UK went to the locker room ahead 36-31. UK is now 17-3 this season when leading at halftime.

o    Gilgeous-Alexander led UK with 14 points in the first half, fourth time in last five games he was in double figures by halftime.

In the Second Half

  • Tennessee stayed hot, scoring on its first five possessions to take a 41-38 lead, forcing a UK timeout at 16:34.  Spanning both halves, Tennessee had a 25-5 run.
  • Kentucky then steadied and regained the lead with a 14-2 run, moving back in front 52-43.
  • Moments later, Tennessee came back with a 9-0 spurt and the Volunteers held a 57-55 lead.
  • Trailing 62-61, Kentucky got a foul shot from Knox, then two huge offensive rebound baskets – a Wenyen Gabriel putback after Knox missed the second free throw, then Sacha Killeya-Jones dunked a missed 3-pointer by Gabriel.  Gilgeous-Alexander hit two foul shots, capping a 7-0 run and 68-62 lead as the Wildcats never trailed again.
  • Clinging to a 68-67 lead, Gilgeous-Alexander hit a jumper at the foul line with 57 seconds left.  After a defensive stop, Quade Green rolled in two foul shots for a 72-67 margin.
  • At 72-69, Gilgeous-Alexander made two foul shots, Washington hit one, and Gilgeous-Alexander added two more as UK won 77-72.

Team Notes

  • Kentucky limited Tennessee to 37.1 percent from the field.

o    UK is now 167-14 under Calipari when keeping the opponent under 40 percent from the field.

  • Kentucky shot 50 percent from the field today. UK is 11-0 this season when the Wildcats make at least half their shots.
  • UK made 7 of 16 on 3-pointers today and hit 24 of 51 for the tournament, 47.1 percent.
  • UK had 10 turnovers today. UK is 13-0 this season when committing 11 or fewer miscues.
  • UK led by as many as 17 points today.  The Wildcats are 231-5 under Calipari when leading by at least 10 points during a game.

Player Notes

  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was the SEC Tournament Most Valuable Player. He poured in 29 points, one shy of his career high, with a career-high-tying seven rebounds, plus three assists.
  • It was his fifth 20-point game of the season.
  • In the three games of the tourney, he averaged 21 points, five rebounds and 6.7 assists.
  • He is averaging 18.4 points and seven assists over the last seven games.
  • Wenyen Gabriel had 12 points and six rebounds today.  It is his first back-to-back double-figure scoring games of the season.

o    He was named to the SEC All-Tournament Team, averaging 13.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.7 blocked shots during the three games.

  • Kevin Knox had 18 points, his 10th straight double-figure performance. He also tied for the team lead with seven rebounds. He averaged 14.7 points and six rebounds during the tournament.
  • Quade Green had an efficient 10 points, making 3-of-5 field goals and all four free throws.

Coach John Calipari

  • Calipari has a 718-203 all-time on-court record.
  • Calipari is now 273-63 at Kentucky.
  • Calipari is 15-9 vs. Tennessee in his career.

Box score 

Season stats

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