KNOXVILLE - Tennessee and second-ranked Kentucky were tied at 54 with seven minutes left Saturday afternoon at Thompson-Boling Arena.
A six-minute drought ended any thoughts the Volunteers had at an upset.
The Wildcats grounded out a tough 65-62 road win in front of a capacity crowd at Thompson-Boling Arena by using an 11-3 run to erase an eight-point second-half deficit and outscoring the hosts 11-8 down the stretch.
UT's afternoon was highlighted by freshman Jarnell Stokes' dazzling debut. The stout, 6-foot-8 forward from Memphis finished with nine points and four rebounds in 17 minutes. Stokes hasn't even practiced for a full week, but he made a hook shot, a jumper and drew an offensive foul in his first appearance.
Kentucky scored eight points in a row as UT failed to score for 6:18 and took a 62-54 lead. Anthony Davis capped the run with a hook shot with about a minute left. After Skylar McBee and Cameron Tatum made 3-pointers, UK's Darius Miller calmly sank two free throws with 19 seconds left to ice the game.
Tatum had 16 points, and Jeronne Maymon added 15 points and 10 rebounds for UT (8-9, 1-2 SEC).
Davis led Kentucky (17-1, 3-0) with 18 points, eight rebounds and four blocks. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist scored 17 points to go along with 12 boards and a key 3-pointer late.
The Vols shot just 40 percent from the field, but they held the Wildcats to 43-percent shooting.
Patrick Brown has been the University of Tennessee beat writer since January 2011. A native of Memphis, Brown graduated from UT in May of 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism/Electronic Media and worked at the Knoxville News Sentinel for two years on the sports editorial staff and as a freelance contributor. If it’s the NBA, the NFL or SEC football and basketball, he’s probably reading about it or watching it on TV. Contact him ...