KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tamari Key scored a career-high 19 points on 8-of-10 shooting, Rennia Davis added 15 points and a career-high 20 rebounds, and No. 25 Tennessee throttled No. 12 Kentucky 70-53 on Sunday.
The Lady Vols took control in the third quarter when Key scored the first six points of the second half to start an 11-1 run for a 38-23 lead. Tennessee scored the last eight points for a 49-31 lead entering the fourth quarter, which started with a 9-1 run for a 26-point lead.
Rae Burrell scored 13 points and grabbed seven rebounds for the Lady Vols (10-3, 4-1 Southeastern Conference) and played sterling defense on Kentucky star Rhyne Howard. Kasiyahna Kushkituah added 11 off the bench on 5 of 7 shooting.
Chasity Patterson led Kentucky (11-4, 4-3) with 15 points and Howard added 14, six below her average, but was 3 of 16 shooting.
Tennessee’s dominating size was the difference. The Lady Vols hounded the Wildcats, who’d won the last three games in the series, into 29% (18 of 63) shooting and dominated the boards 56-25. That dominance included 21 offensive rebounds, 19 second-chance points and a 44-18 difference in points in the paint.
Kentucky had it’s worst shooting and lowest scoring game of the season.
Both teams struggled in the first half with Tennessee taking a 27-22 lead.
The game was a makeup from a Jan. 3 postponement and opened up when Vanderbilt, scheduled to face the Lady Vols, opted out of the rest of the season last Monday. Mississippi is at Tennessee and Alabama at Kentucky on Thursday.