With its season on the brink of completely crumbling, Kentucky picked up the pieces in an unlikely place Saturday afternoon.
The unranked Wildcats topped No. 5 Tennessee 63-56 at Thompson-Boling Arena, snapping Tennessee’s 25-game home winning streak. The victory is the first Quadrant 1 win for Kentucky’s NCAA Tournament resume.
Kentucky dominated the Volunteers 43-23 on the glass, behind Oscar Tshiebwe’s game-high 13 boards. Additionally, the Cats also connected on 22-25 free throw attempts.
In addition to his 13 rebounds, Tshiebwe totaled 15 points to notch his tenth double-double of the season.
With Sahvir Wheeler out of action and Cason Wallace playing through back spasms, Kentucky turned to CJ Fredrick and Antonio Reeves to lead the charge in the backcourt.
The duo combined to score 31 points (Reeves 18, Fredrick 13).
It’s only one victory but it’s a step in the right direction for a program and team that desperately needed something good to happen.