UK looks to avoid season sweep to Tennessee

Tennessee Volunteer Forward Admiral Schofield grabs a defensive rebound during the first half of the game against the Tennessee Volunteers at Thompson-Boling Arena on Saturday, January 6, 2017 in Knoxville, TN. Photo by Addison Coffey | Staff.

A.J. Harris

On Tuesday at 7 p.m., Kentucky will host the Tennessee Volunteers in their second meeting of the season at Rupp Arena. A win for Tennessee would complete the season sweep over UK for the first time since 1999 and give UK its second consecutive loss.

In the previous matchup, then-ranked No. 17 Tennessee got the best of the then-ranked No. 14 Cats, beating them 76-65.

Junior Admiral Schofield provided a solid 20 points, four assists and four steals in the previous matchup. Alongside him was sophomore Grant Williams, who tallied 18 points, four assists and one block.

Quade Green led the Cats with 14 points while P.J. Washington scored 13 points before leaving early in the second half with leg cramps.

Read: UK loses in Knoxville for third straight season

The Cats come into Tuesday’s game looking to bounce back from a tough loss on the road to Missouri. The Cats will need to play as a team to beat the much-improved Vols, as they only contributed 16 assists in the last two games.

All eyes will be on UK’s freshmen leaders, Kevin Knox and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Knox leads the team with 15.1 points per game while Gilgeous-Alexander follows with 12.7 points.

Read: UK slips in the AP Poll

On the other side, Tennessee is coming off of a big 33-point win against Ole Miss. The Vols are 7-1 since their victory over UK, with their only loss taking place at Missouri.

For the Volunteers, Williams Schofield leads Tennessee and will need to come up big to come out of Rupp Arena with the win. Williams averages a team high 16.2 points per game; right behind him is Schofield, averaging 12.5 points a game.

Williams and Schofield have helped the Vols to be one of the top teams in the SEC this year. In the preseason, the Volunteers were predicted to finish 13th in the SEC, but they’re currently just two games behind first. The Volunteers stand at 17-5 on the season and are ranked in the top 15 in the RPI and Kenpom rankings. 

Overall, this will be a tough test for both teams. Kentucky comes into this game looking to avoid a consecutive loss while the the Vols hopes to continue their five-game win streak and sweep Kentucky in the season series.