Derek Willis notched a career-high 25 points plus boxscore and other game notes

Derek Willis - photo by Walter Cornett

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  • Kentucky is now 20-6 on the season. The Wildcats are 10-3 in Southeastern Conference action and are in sole possession of first place in the league standings for the first time this season.
  • UK’s four-game win streak is the longest since opening the season with seven consecutive wins.
  • Tennessee is 12-14 overall, 5-8 in SEC play.
  • Kentucky leads the all-time series 152-68.
  • Next for the Wildcats: UK plays at Texas A&M on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. EST, televised by ESPN.

In the First Half

  • Kentucky started with the lineup of Tyler Ulis, Isaiah Briscoe, Jamal Murray, Derek Willis and Marcus Lee for the fourth straight game.
  • Kentucky got its first lead, 11-9, when Jamal Murray hit a 3-pointer with 10:20 left on the clock, extending UK’s streak of 965 games with at least one triple.
  • Murray’s 3-pointer was part of a 15-1 Kentucky run which turned a 9-6 deficit into a 21-10 lead. UK held Tennessee more than nine minutes without a field goal as the Volunteers missed 11 shots during that stretch.
  • The teams battled back-and-forth for the remainder of the opening frame and UK took a 36-30 edge into intermission.
  • Kentucky is now 18-3 when owning a halftime advantage.

 In the Second Half

  • Ahead 41-35, Kentucky went on a 13-1 run for a 54-36 lead.
  • UK eventually built the lead to 22 points at 67-45.
  • Tennessee kept battling and got within 12 points at 69-57 but the Wildcats responded with a 7-0 spurt that put the game away.

Team Notes

  • Kentucky extended its 35-game home winning streak, second-longest active streak in the nation.
    • Coach John Calipari has the two longest win streaks in Rupp Arena, 55 games and the current stretch of 35.
    • UK is 117-4 (.967) at home under Calipari.
  • Kentucky has scored at least 76 points in nine straight regular-season SEC games for the first time since the 1995-96 season (12 straight).
  • Kentucky made 11 3-pointers. The Wildcats have made at least 10 3s in each of the last four games, the first time since 1993 and the fifth time in school history.
    • UK is 5-0 this season (also vs. Louisville) when making double-digit 3s.
  • UK held Tennessee to 37.9 percent shooting. UK is 11-0 this season when keeping the opponent under 38 percent from the field.
  • This is the 16th-straight game that a Wildcat has scored at least 20 points.
  • UK has had five different players score at least 25 in a game this season – Skal Labissiere, Jamal Murray, Alex Poythress, Tyler Ulis and now Derek Willis.
  • Calipari has a 655-184 (.781) all-time record, including a 210-44 (.827) mark at Kentucky.

 20-Win Seasons

  • This is Kentucky’s 60th season with 20 or more victories, including the eighth year in a row and 25th time in the last 26 seasons.
  • This is Calipari’s 22nd consecutive 20-win season as a college coach, including seven at Kentucky, nine at Memphis and six at Massachusetts.

 Player Notes

  • Freshman Jamal Murray had 28 points and tied his career high for rebounds with nine boards.
    • It is his 11th game this season with at least 20 points, his fifth game in a row.
    • It is his 24th consecutive double-figure scoring game, the most since Brandon Knight had a 28-game double-figure stretch in 2010-11.
    • He has made at least one 3-point shot in every game this season, the first player in program history to make a triple in each of his first 26 collegiate games.
  • Junior Derek Willis notched a career-high 25 points, 17 of which came in the second half.
    • He swished a career-best seven 3-pointers.
    • It is his 11th consecutive game with at least one triple and fifth-straight game with at least two 3-pointers.
  • Sophomore Tyler Ulis had 11 points and nine assists.
    • He is the first Wildcat in school history with at least four assists in 19 consecutive games (single game assists available since the 1972-73 season).
    • Only in his second season at UK, Ulis has become the 16th player in school history with at least 300 assists. He now has 304.
  • Freshman Isaiah Briscoe had five points and 10 rebounds, the second time this season he has claimed double-figure boards.

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