No. 5 Kentucky got the strong start it sought against No. 1 Tennessee and for a moment was blowing out the Volunteers.
Most important was that the Wildcats finished off the Vols on a national stage, just what they needed days after letting one slip away.
PJ Washington scored 23 points, Keldon Johnson added 19 and host Kentucky beat Tennessee 86-69 Saturday night to end the Volunteers’ school-record, 19-game winning streak.
The Wildcats used a 25-7 surge over a little more than seven minutes for a 62-38 lead, providing a cushion that withstood the Volunteers’ 13-0 spurt soon after that cut the advantage in half. Kentucky maintained a double-digit lead to win the highly anticipated matchup of top-five schools.
Kentucky (21-4, 10-2 SEC) also avoided a second consecutive conference loss to stay within reach of co-leader Tennessee (23-2, 11-1), which hadn’t lost since Nov. 23 to No. 2 Kansas.
“It shows everybody that we can still play with great teams in this league and also in the country,” said Washington, who scored Kentucky’s first seven points and finished 9-for-12 from the field for his seventh 20-point effort in eight games.
Tyler Herro had 15 points and 13 rebounds as Kentucky beat Tennessee 39-26 on the glass.
It was a big improvement from Tuesday’s 73-71 home loss to No. 19 LSU, a game decided on a last-second tip-in the Wildcats thought was basket interference. However, Kentucky played a big role with breakdowns and questionable shots that let the Tigers rally and eventually win the game.
The Wildcats rebounded with an effort that was thorough in many phases.
They outscored the Vols 36-20 in the paint and edged them 17-14 in second-chance points. Instead of letting Tennessee expand its one encouraging run, Kentucky did what it had to do to keep a double-digit advantage.
“I hit them right after the game with LSU and said, ‘Hey, that was a tough loss,’” Kentucky coach John Calipari said. “But you know, we needed it. We need to go back to what we were, and sometimes you’ve got to get knocked in the head to know that.”
#2 Duke 94, North Carolina State 78: RJ Barrett had Duke’s first triple-double in 13 years, finishing with 23 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists as the host Blue Devils (23-2, 11-1 ACC) beat the Wolfpack (18-8, 6-7). Zion Williamson scored 32 points on 12-of-16 shooting and Tre Jones added 13 in Duke’s ninth straight win.
#3 Gonzaga 79, San Diego 67: Rui Hachimura scored 16 of his 22 points in the second half and had 10 rebounds and the Bulldogs (25-2, 12-0 WCC) pulled away from the Toreros (16-11, 5-7) in the second half for their 16th straight victory. Zach Norvell Jr. added 18 points, Josh Perkins 15 and Brandon Clarke 14 for Gonzaga, which was held to 30 points in the first half but then scored 31 points in the first 9:59 of the second half to take control.
#4 Virginia 60, Notre Dame 54: Kyle Guy scored 22 points, De’Andre Hunter had 20 with 10 rebounds and the host Cavaliers (22-2, 10-2 ACC) withstood a late push by the Irish (13-12, 3-9). Hunter scored six points during a 9-0 run for Virginia after Notre Dame closed to within 45-44 with 8:12 left.
#6 Michigan 65, #24 Maryland 52: Charles Matthews scored 14 points and Iggy Brazdeikis added 13 to lead the Wolverines (23-3, 12-3 Big Ten) past the visiting Terrapins (19-7, 10-5).
#7 Nevada 82, Wyoming 49: Trey Porter scored 14 points, Jordan Caroline and Caleb Martin added 13 apiece, and the visiting Wolf Pack (24-1, 11-1 Mountain West) beat the Cowboys (6-19, 2-10) for their 10th straight win.
#8 North Carolina 95, Wake Forest 57: Cameron Johnson scored 27 points and the Tar Heels (20-5, 10-2) scored the game’s first 18 points against the Demon Deacons (9-15, 2-10) en route to their biggest-ever margin of victory in an ACC road game.
#12 Purdue 76, Penn State 64: Carsen Edwards scored 15 of his 21 points in the second half and Matt Haarms added a career-high 18 for the host Boilermakers (18-7, 11-3 Big Ten) against the Nittany Lions (9-16, 2-12).
#14 Kansas 78, West Virginia 53: Devon Dotson and K.J. Lawson each scored 15 points, and the Jayhawks (20-6, 9-4 Big 12) on their home court beat the depleted Mountaineers (10-15, 2-10), who started four freshmen.
#15 Texas Tech, Baylor 61: Jarrett Culver scored 18 points and Davide Moretti added 17 as the host Red Raiders (21-5, 9=4 Big 12) cruised past the Bears (16-9, 7-5).
#16 Louisville 56, Clemson 55: Christen Cunningham scored 16 of his 18 points in the second half to rally the Cardinals (18-8, 9-4 ACC), who hung on in the final seconds against the visiting Tigers (15-10, 5-7).
#17 Florida State 69, Georgia Tech 47: Christ Koumadje had 10 points and 12 rebounds as the visiting Seminoles (20-5, 8-4) topped the Yellow Jackets (11-15, 3-10) to tie a school record with their seventh straight ACC win.
#23 Iowa State 78, #18 Kansas State 64: Lindell Wigginton hit five 3-pointers and scored 23 points, Talen Horton-Tucker buried six 3s and had 20, and the Cyclones (19-6, 8-4 Big 12) won on the road against the Wildcats (19-6, 9-3).
#19 LSU, Georgia 79: In Athens, Ga., Tremont Waters scored 20 points, Ja’vonte Smart added 19 and the Tigers (21-4, 11-1 SEC) beat the Bulldogs (10-15, 1-11) for their fourth straight win.
#21 Iowa 71, Rutgers 69: Joe Wieskamp banked in a 3-pointer from the corner with less than a second to play in Piscataway, N.J., as the Hawkeyes (20-5, 9-5 Big Ten) topped the Scarlet Knights (12-13, 5-10) for their fourth straight win.
#22 Virginia Tech 70, Pittsburgh 64: Kerry Blackshear Jr. scored 29 points, Ahmed Hill added 14 and the Hokies (20-5, 9-4 ACC) beat the host Panthers (12-14, 2-11).
Washington 72, Washington State 70: Noah Dickerson tipped in a missed layup with 25 seconds remaining and the visiting Huskies (20-5, 11-1 Pac-12) topped the Beavers (10-15, 3-9).
Arizona State 98, Utah 87: Rob Edwards scored 28 points and Zylan Cheatham added 24 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Sun Devils (17-8, 8-5 Pac-12) past the host Utes (14-11, 8-5).
Oregon State 72, Oregon 57: Stephen Thompson Jr. had 22 points and the host Beavers (16-8, 8-4 Pac-12) beat the Ducks (15-10, 6-6).
#1 Baylor 87, Oklahoma 53: Chloe Jackson scored 24 points and the host Bears (23-1, 13-0) rolled past the Sooners (6-18m 2-11) for their 36th consecutive Big 12 victory.
BYU 66, #13 Gonzaga 64: Shaylee Gonzales scored 19 points and Sara Hamson blocked two shots in the last minute as the visiting Cougars (20-6, 12-3 WCC) ended the Bulldogs’ seven-game winning streak. After Hamson’s final block, which came with four seconds left and led to a shot-clock violation, Paisley Johnson was fouled setting a screen on the inbound play and made both free throws. Zykerea Rice led Gonzaga (23-3, 12-2) with 20 points.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/collegesports/article/Kentucky-knocks-off-top-ranked-Tennessee-13623097.php.