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Kentucky rallies to take down Tennessee

Jan 18, 2014 - 10:22 PM Lexington, KY ( - Andrew Harrison scored a career-high 26 points and Julius Randle added 18, leading 13th-ranked Kentucky to a 74-66 victory over Tennessee at Rupp Arena.

Aaron Harrison chipped in 14 points for Kentucky (13-4, 3-1 SEC), which bounced back nicely after Tuesday's heartbreaking overtime loss at Arkansas.

The Wildcats fell to the Razorbacks on a putback dunk just before the buzzer and needed a slight wakeup call for the early start Saturday after Tennessee led by as many as nine in the first half.

"Coach (John Calipari) always tells us to just play and never worry about the end result, just play the game," said Andrew Harrison. "You just try to get better everyday."

Kentucky, though, took the lead just before the intermission and rallied from an early deficit in the second half to win for the fifth time in its last six games.

Jarnell Stokes scored 20 points and grabbed 15 rebounds for Tennessee (11-6, 2-2), which has dropped two of its last three and fell to 4-35 all-time at Rupp Arena.

"I thought both teams competed, played hard on both ends of the floor," said Tennessee head coach Cuonzo Martin. "Thought it was a physical game."

Jordan McRae added 17 points for the Vols, but made just 1-of-7 attempts from beyond the arc. Tennessee, third in the SEC in 3-point percentage entering the contest, made just 2-of-13 from long distance on Saturday.

The Wildcats were clinging to a 47-44 lead with just under 11 minutes remaining, then opened some breathing room with an 11-4 spurt. The Harrison twins accounted for nine of the points and Aaron scored the final five for a 58-48 advantage with 7:20 to play.

Tennessee cut it to 64-58 on a 3 by Darius Thompson with just over three minutes left and had a chance to trim the deficit further with 1:39 remaining, but McRae missed the front end of a 1-and-1.

Andrew Harrison followed with a floater in the lane to extend the lead back to eight. Stokes missed a pair from the line at the other end and Andrew Harrison canned two at the stripe for a 10-point margin with 43 seconds left.

The Wildcats entered the contest shooting just 65.9 percent from the line, but made their first 17 on Saturday and missed just once in 24 attempts.

Stokes scored the first six points of the game and the Vols opened an 18-9 lead just under eight minutes into the contest. Kentucky began to chip away and pulled within 28-24 on a 3-pointer from Aaron Harrison with just over four minutes to play in the half.

The bucket ignited a 13-4 run that gave the Wildcats a 34-32 edge at the break. Randle scored seven during the burst and a triple by James Young in the final minute capped it for Kentucky's first lead of the day.

Young also started the second half with a shot from beyond the arc, but the Wildcats were unable to pull away. Stokes scored four straight as part of a 7-0 run that gave Tennessee a 39-37 lead and it remained close until midway through the second half.

Game Notes

Andrew Harrison's previous career-best output was 18 against Louisville on Dec. 28 ... Stokes notched his 27th career double-double and 11th of the season ... Tennessee owned a 39-24 advantage on the boards and the winner of the rebounding battle failed to win the matchup for the first time in the last eight meetings ... This was the lone regular-season matchup of the season between the long-time rivals. They won't play twice in a regular season for the first time since 1953 ... Kentucky improved to 150-67 all-time against Tennessee, including 90-16 in Lexington.