KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Brandon Knight scored 17 of his 19 points in the second half, and No. 20 Kentucky beat Tennessee 64-58 on Sunday.
The Wildcats (22-8, 10-6 Southeastern Conference) finished second in the SEC East to clinch a first-round bye for the conference tournament and earned only their second SEC road win of the season.
The Volunteers (18-13, 8-8) could have finished second in the East by beating Kentucky but dropped to fifth. This is their first season with eight home losses since 1994-95. Tennessee faces Arkansas in the opening round of the SEC tournament.
Knight, who played all 40 minutes, had been held scoreless in the first half until he took a pass from DeAndre Liggins down the floor to hit a layup just before the halftime buzzer. The basket cut Tennessee's advantage to 29-22 after the Vols opened the game with a 7-0 run and led by as many as 10 points.
Kentucky and Knight came out of halftime hot. The Wildcats scored the first seven points and Knight hit three 3-pointers in the opening 5 minutes of the half, the second of which tied the score at 29-29 with 18:15 to play.
The Cats led by eight points with 11:23 to go after a fast-break layup by Knight, but Tennessee got six free throws in 45 seconds to come back. Kenny Hall hit a jumper to give Tennessee a 52-51 lead with 5:56 left.
Terrence Jones answered with a layup 36 seconds later to retake the lead for Kentucky, which used free throws and Darius Miller's 3 to hold off the Vols.
Jones had 15 points and 12 rebounds, and Miller also scored 15.
Tobias Harris led Tennessee with 18 points. Scotty Hopson, who had averaged 24 points in his last five games against Kentucky, finished with 13.