''Where they got us was in transition,'' Vol head man Buzz Peterson said on his post-game show. ''We didn't get back quick enough, and they were able to get the ball inside against our zone. They kind of stuck the ball down our throats early.''
Kentucky dominated the backboards, outrebounding the taller Vols 40-27. Oddly, UK won going away, despite getting almost nothing from star guard Gerald Fitch, who played just a few first-half minutes off the bench because of a sore knee.
Erik Daniels hit a layup, Kelenna Azubuike scored off a steal and Antwain Barbour nailed a 3 as Kentucky took the lead at 7-5. A dunk by Asumnu stopped the bleeding momentarily, tying the score at 7-7, but Kentucky was just getting started. Daniels hit a layup, then Barbour tacked on a three-point play off a steal and a 3-pointer as the gap widened to 15-5. Chuck Hayes capped the spurt with a layup, and UK led 17-7. The first-half lead topped out at 18 (42-24), and the Cats went to the break leading 44-29.
Kentucky padded the lead to 20 (66-46) eight minutes into the second half. Tennessee staged a mild rally, closing to 69-53, but UK retaliated with a 15-2 spurt that pushed the margin to 84-55. The largest margin of the game was the final margin, secured on a follow shot at the buzzer by 7-foot-3 Shagari Alleyne.
Azubuike scored 17 points for Kentucky, now 20-4 overall and 10-3 in SEC play. Barbour added 16, Cliff Hawkins 15, Hayes 14 and Daniels 12 as all five UK starters hit double figures.
Scooter McFagdon scored 18 to pace Tennessee, which drops to 13-11 and 5-8. Asumnu chipped in a season-high 13 points, despit hitting just 5 of 12 from the foul line. Watson added 11 points and 6 assists.
The Vols are now 0-7 in SEC road games, losing by an average margin of 22.0 points. Tennessee will try to bounce back Saturday, hosting Auburn at 7 p.m.