NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WYMT) – In their third meeting this season, No. 8 Tennessee (29-4) got the best of rival No. 4 Kentucky (27-6) 82-78 to punch their ticket to the SEC Championship game.
The Wildcats led by as many as seven with over four minutes to play, but the Volunteers reclaimed the lead with 1:31 to play thanks to a Grant Williams three.
Lamonte Turner nailed the biggest shot of the day, a three with 30-seconds to play, giving the Vols a two-point lead.
PJ Washington couldn’t convert two shot attempts on the ensuing possession, Kentucky fouled Tennessee with 10 seconds remaining. Jordan Bone nailed two free throws, giving Tennessee a four-point lead.
Ashton Hagans cut the Tennessee lead back to just two after a lay-up with four seconds remaining. UK had to foul again, Bone converted both free-throws again with 2.4 seconds to go, Kentucky fell short.
Admiral Schofield led the assault for Tennessee, knocking down 21 points. Grant Williams had 20 points.
Kentucky had five players score in double figures: PJ Washington (16), Keldon Johnson (15), Reid Travis (11), with Tyler Herro and Ashton Hagans tallying 10.
With the loss, the Vols end Kentucky’s four-year streak of claiming the SEC Tournament title.
UK falls to 42-3 in SEC Tournament semifinal games
The game set the SEC Tournament’s attendance record for the highest attended game in Bridgestone Arena with 20,933 fans watching the game unfold.
The Wildcats now await where they will go for this year’s NCAA Tournament, the bracket will be announced at 6 p.m. Sunday on WYMT.