UK Basketball | Murray, Willis lead Cats over Tennessee

02/18/2016 10:14 PM

Kentucky started the night with a one game lead in the SEC after LSU’s upset loss to Alabama last night. The Wildcats finished the night with their conference lead intact as the 1st place Wildcats (20-6, 10-3) knocked off Tennessee 80-70 at Rupp Arena.

UK got off to a slow start connecting on just 3 of their first 12 baskets but it was their defense that kept things tight until a 15-1 first half run gave the Cats the lead for good.

Freshman Jamal Murray scored 15 of the teams 36 first half points as Kentucky went into the locker room up just 6 points on a Volunteer team that cut a 10 point lead to single digits right before half.

The second half became the Willis and Murray show. The pair combined for 53 of the teams 80 total points as the Kentucky lead swelled to as many as 22 points.

For the game Derek Willis finished with 25 points and 5 rebounds. Including 5 of 6 from behind the arc in the second half. Murray, who played a “…near perfect game.” according to head coach John Calipari, finished with a game high 28 points and 9 rebounds.

Starting forward Marcus Lee started the game but did not play the second half after complaining of tightness in his back. His status is day to day.

Next up for Kentucky is a trip to Texas to face an A&M team that is two games back in conference. Tip off is scheduled for 6pm and will be televised on ESPN.

Trey Eckerle

Trey Eckerle joined cn|2 in June 2013. A graduate of WKU, Trey grew up in Louisville and enjoys having a front row seat as Director to Kentucky sports and politics. He can be reached at 502-792-1106 or


Subscribe to email updates.

Subscribe and get the latest KSTV Sports info delivered to your inbox.