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Kentucky beats Vols in Pearl's return

Feb 9, 2011 - 4:46 AM Lexington, KY (Sports Network) - DeAndre Liggins finished with a game-high 19 points, as No. 18 Kentucky spoiled Bruce Pearl's return to SEC play, topping Tennessee, 73-61, at Rupp Arena.

The Volunteers head coach was suspended for the team's first eight conference games for misleading NCAA investigators.

Josh Harrellson added 16 points and six boards, and Brandon Knight scored 12 for Kentucky (17-6, 5-4 SEC), which ended a two-game conference skid. Terrence Jones added 10 points and a game-high 11 rebounds in the win.

Melvin Goins led the Vols (15-9, 5-4) with 16 points and five boards. Josh Bone added 13, while Scotty Hopson and Tobias Harris had 11 and 10 points, respectively, for Tennessee.

The game remained close in the opening minutes, and a Doron Lamb jumper at 16:07 tied the game at 5-5. Lamb's jumper also started a 7-0 to give the Wildcats control. Knight connected on a long three-pointer at 15:19 to continue the spurt, and Jones ended it with a pair from the line at 14:45.

Kentucky widened its advantage to as high as 19, 33-14, on Harrellson's tip- in at 5:51, but the Vols ended the half on a 14-2 run to trim their deficit to 35-28 entering the locker room.

The Wildcats shot 48 percent from the field, including 5-of-9 from long range, in the first half, and Liggins paced Kentucky with 11 early points.

Goins opened the second-half scoring with a jumper at 19:12, however, Liggins made 1-of-2 from the line on the Wildcats next possession to begin a 13-0 run which put the game away.

Harrellson ended the burst with a layup at the 16-minute mark to put Kentucky up 48-30, and the Wildcats' lead never fell below 10 down the stretch.

Game Notes

Kentucky leads the all-time series 145-66...Lamb finished with nine points for the Wildcats...Kentucky shot 81.5 percent from the line, but committed 16 turnovers...Brian Williams added eight points and nine rebounds for Tennessee.