Kentucky improves to 15-2, 4-0 SEC, while Tennessee falls to 12-4, 3-1 SEC.
It is the first time in program history that UK has started conference play 4-0.
It is just the second time in program history, and the first time since 1982-83, that UK has defeated three top-10 ranked opponents in one season. Kentucky defeated No. 10 Louisville and No. 6 Duke earlier this season.
Kentucky is 8-48 against Tennessee all-time and 6-21 when the game is played in Lexington.
UK has started a freshman in 120-of-152 games in the Matthew Mitchell era, including 87 straight.
Trailing 2-4, Kentucky went on an 8-2 run to take a 10-6 lead at the 14:26 mark.
Both teams hit a lull midway through the half as neither Kentucky nor Tennessee scored from 10:06 to 4:47, a span of 5:19.
Kentucky held Tennessee scoreless for 9:00, and without a field goal for the final 10:06 of the half.
Kentucky led 25-21 heading into the locker room.
Tennessee’s 21 first-half points are a season low for the Lady Vols.
It was the sixth time this season, and second straight game, that Kentucky held an opponent to 21 points or fewer in the first half.
The Wildcats are 13-0 this season when leading or tied at the half.
Second Half Notes
A jumper by Tennessee forward Glory Johnson at the 19:22 mark in the second half ended a drought of 10:44 without a field goal.
Leading 41-37 at the 11:03 mark, Keyla Snowden hit a 3-pointer, followed by a four-point play by A’dia Mathies who hit a 3-pointer while being fouled. The 7-0 run gave UK a 48-37 lead with 9:23 to go.
UK held its largest lead of the game (12 points) after a pair of free throws by Mathies with 7:46 left in the game.
Tennessee grabbed a lead at the 2:38 mark, its first lead since the 4:47 mark in the first half.
A’dia Mathies hit the game-winning basket, a leaning jumper in the lane, with just over four seconds left to give UK the victory.
Kentucky is 41-28 (.594) in games decided by 10 points or less in five seasons under Coach Mitchell.
Kentucky is 3-1 this season in such games, with a seven-point win over No. 6/5 Duke, a three-point win at Florida, and a nine-point loss to No. 3/3 Notre Dame.
Kentucky forced 20 turnovers in the game.
UK has forced double-digit miscues in 99 consecutive games. The Cats are 72-27 during that span.
Kentucky has forced an SEC-high 518 turnovers this season (30.5 per game).
Kentucky has forced at least 10 turnovers in 30 of 33 halves this season.
Kentucky outscored Tennessee 20-17 in points off turnovers.
Kentucky won the turnover battle 20-16 (+4).
Kentucky shot 34.5 percent from the field, tying a season-low field goal percentage in a victory.
The Wildcats’ defense held Tennessee to just two made 3-point field goals. The Lady Vols entered Thursday’s contest averaging 6.6 3-pointers per game, the second best mark in the conference.
With four made 3-pointers, UK extended its streak of consecutive games with a triple to 274.
Attendance was 7,961.
Thursday’s crowd was the sixth largest in Memorial Coliseum history.
Junior guard A’dia Mathies scored a career-high 34 points, and grabbed nine boards, one shy of tying a career high. Mathies also dished out two assists, blocked two shots and had two steals.
A’dia Mathies’ 34 points are the most points scored by a UK player since Dec. 20, 1987, when Bebe Croley scored 40 points vs. Morehead State.
The last time a UK player scored more than 30 points in a game was Dec. 7, 2010, when Victoria Dunlap scored 30 points vs. Tennessee Tech.
Mathies has recorded three straight games of 20 or more points.
It is the second 30-point game of Mathies’ career.
Mathies has reached double figures in scoring in 14 of 16 games played this season.
Mathies now has 15 20-point games in her career, and seven this season.
Mathies’ 34 points give her 1,200 points for her career and move her up to No. 16 on the UK all-time scoring list. She is 15 points shy of tying Stacy McIntyre at No. 15 on the UK all-time scoring list.
Mathies had two steals, giving her 217 for her career. Mathies is now seven shy of tying Sandy Harding at No. 8 on the all-time steals list.
Senior guard Keyla Snowden scored 11 points and had a career-high four steals.
Freshman guard Bria Goss scored eight points, and grabbed three rebounds.
Goss hit one 3-pointer and has 22 for the season, the ninth most among all UK freshmen in program history.
Senior guard Amber Smith passed out one assist and has 392 for her career.
Smith is eight assists shy of tying Rita Adams for sixth most assists in a UK career. Smith is also eight assists shy of becoming just the seventh player in UK history to register 400 assists in a career.