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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Rhyne Howard scored 14 points and Chasity Patterson had 12, but the 12th-ranked Kentucky women’s basketball team fell to No. 25 Tennessee 70-53 on Sunday at Thompson-Boling Arena. 

Kentucky (11-4, 4-3 SEC) struggled shooting the ball for the entire game. The Cats hit just 18 of 63 (28.6 percent) from the floor, including just seven of 24 (29.2 percent) from behind the arc. The taller Lady Vols also controlled the boards, grabbing 56 rebounds compared to just 25 for the Cats. Tennessee had 44 points in the paint, compared to just 18 for Kentucky. 

The Cats did force 17 UT turnovers, but were only able to turn those into 10 points. 

Kentucky took an early 3-1 lead on a right-wing three from KeKe McKinney. But Tennessee would score the next 11 points as the Cats missed seven straight shots. Trailing 12-3, the Cats got a three from Howard to break the streak and get within six. On UK’s next possession, Robyn Benton his a jumper to cut the UT lead to 12-8. 

Tennessee would lead 14-8 before Patterson came up with a steal and a layup to cut the lead to four. After a UT basket, Kentucky’s Olivia Owens made a layup to cut the UT lead to 16-12, but the Lady Vols would end the first period with an 18-12 advantage. 

In the second period, Kentucky got a jumper from Howard and a pair of free throws from Benton to cut the UT lead to 18-16. And when Dre’una Edwards came up with a steal and a layup, the Cats had tied the game at 18 apiece. But UT immediately answered with a three from Rae Burrell to grab the lead back, 21-18, with 5:14 left in the first half. The Vols would add four more, making it a 7-0 run, to lead 25-18. 

Kentucky stopped the run with a layup from Owens. The Cats cut the lead to 25-22 on a jumper by Patterson with 1:09 left in the half. The Lady Vols would score the last basket of the half to take a 27-22 lead into the break. 

Tennessee got six straight points from Tamari Key to open the second half, building its lead to 33-22 and forcing a UK timeout. Kentucky got on the board at the 7:39 mark on a free throw from Howard. The Lady Vols would score the next five, making it an 11-1 run, taking a 38-23 run. 

Kentucky would get within 10, 41-31, on a three by Benton. But the Lady Vols scored the final eight points of the period to take a 49-31 lead into the fourth. 

In the final period, Tennessee built the lead to as many as 26 before settling for a 17-point win. 

Kentucky returns to action on Thursday, hosting Alabama at Rupp Arena. Tipoff is set for 6:30 p.m. ET and the game can be seen on the SEC Network.  

For more information on the Kentucky women’s basketball team, visit or follow @KentuckyWBB on TwitterInstagram and Facebook



No. 25 Tennessee 70, No. 12 Kentucky 53 – FINAL   

Team Records and Series Notes   

  • Kentucky is 11-4, 4-3 in the SEC on the year, while Tennessee is 10-3, 4-1 in the league.    
  • This was the 70th all-time meeting between Kentucky and Tennessee in women’s basketball.    
    • UK trails in the series, 56-14.  
    • The Lady Vols lead the series in games played in Knoxville, 26-4.  
    • Before today, Kentucky had won three in a row over the Lady Vols. 
  • Kyra Elzy is in her first season as head coach at Kentucky and holds an 11-4 record.   
    • Elzy was a four-year letterwinner at Tennessee from 1996-2001, helping guide the Lady Vols to two national championships (1997, 1998). 
  • UK is now 856-552 all-time in its 47th year of varsity women’s basketball.    
  • Kentucky is ranked No. 12 in the latest AP Top 25 and No. 12 in the USA Today/Coaches Top 25.   
  • Tennessee is UK’s seventh ranked opponent this season and the Wildcats are now 3-4 vs. the ranked. 
  • The Wildcats are currently scheduled to face Alabama on Thursday, Jan. 28 in Memorial Coliseum. The game will be televised live on the SEC Network at 6:30 p.m. ET. 

Team Notes   

  • Kentucky used the starting combination of senior guard Chasity Patterson, senior forward KeKe McKinney, junior guard Blair Green, junior guard Rhyne Howard and sophomore forward Olivia Owens.    
    • This was the third time this season that UK has used this starting combination. UK is 1-2 with this starting combination.   
    • Dre’una Edwards was the first sub for Kentucky for the third time this season.     
    • Tennessee won the tip, marking the 12th time this season that UK has lost the opening tip.   
  • Kentucky’s first two baskets were 3-pointers by McKinney and Howard.   
    • UK hit seven 3s in the game.    
    • UK is now 10-2 this season when it hits more than six 3s in a game.    
  • UK shot a season-low 28.6 percent (18 of 63) from the field. The previous low was 36.5 percent vs. Kansas State earlier this season. 
  • The 53 points were a season low.  
  • UK was outrebounded 56-25 and UT outscored the Wildcats 44-18 in points in the paint. 
  • UK had a season-low seven turnovers. 
  • Tennessee started the game hot, jumping out to a 12-3 lead with help from an 11-point scoring spurt. Three-pointers from Howard and McKinney helped the Wildcats get back in the game, but UK found itself trailing 18-12 at the end of the first. 
  • The shooting woes continued for the Wildcats to start the second quarter as they missed five straight shots. The Lady Vols used a 7-0 run to build a 27-22 halftime lead as UK shot just 28 percent (9 of 32) from the field, including just 17 percent from the 3-point line (2 of 12) in the first half. Howard led with five points. 
  • Tennessee opened the third quarter with a 6-0 run, all from Tamari Key, and went on to outscore the Wildcats, 22-9. UK hit just 3 of 14 from the field, led by Robyn Benton with five points. 
  • Another scoring drought plagued the Cats in the fourth quarter as they missed their first three shots. The Lady Vols would go on to build its largest lead of the game, 58-32, with six minutes to go and UK could not recover. Patterson and Howard each had eight points in the final stanza. 

Player Notes   

  • Senior guard Chasity Patterson led the Cats with 15 points, her 11th game of the season with double figures.  
    • She hit a season-high tying three 3-pointers. 
    • The nation’s leader in steals had a game-high five steals today. 
  • Junior guard Rhyne Howard scored 14 points, adding three rebounds, three steals and a block. 
    • She now has 1,390 career points in her three-year career and ranks No. 17 on UK’s all-time scoring list. She needs 43 more to move up to No. 16. 
    • Has scored 10+ points in 63 career games, including 11 games this season. 
    • Had two 3s and now has at least one trey in 63 career games, including 10 games this season. 
  • Junior guard Robyn Benton came off the bench for 11 points in just 22 minutes of action (just one point shy of her season high). 
    • It marked her sixth double-figure game of the year, including the second in a row.

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