#10 Tennessee 54, NR Kentucky 66
The breakdown of this game is simple: they’re called “free“ throws for a reason. If you’re only going to make 29% of them, you’re gonna have a bad time.
Fact is, free throws have told the story of both Kentucky victories over Tennessee this season. In Knoxville, the Vols shot 70% from the stripe but couldn’t get to the line enough to make it matter, hitting just 7-10 while UK shot 22-25. Saturday in Lexington, the Cats had similar numbers, converting 23-35. Meanwhile, Tennessee shot a paltry 4-14 from the line. That’s despite getting into the bonus with just under 10 minutes left in the second half.
Between the two games, Kentucky made nearly twice as many free throws (going 45-60, 75%) than UT attempted (just 11-24, 46%). And while it’s tempting to blame the refs for calling an uneven game and sending the Cats to the line a disproportionate amount of times, it wouldn’t matter how many times UT went to the line if they’re not going to make the shots.
And how many front-ends of 1-and-1s did the Vols miss in this game? Disgusting.
On a positive note, is Jahmai Mashack Tennessee’s best player? He seems to be trending that way. He’s certainly been my favorite Vol to watch over the course of the past few games.