Knoxville, TN (Sports Network) - J.P. Prince scored six of his 20 points down the stretch, as 19th-ranked Tennessee upended No. 2 Kentucky, 74-65, at Thompson-Boling Arena.
The Volunteers (21-7, 9-5 SEC) built a 19-point lead early in the second half, but Kentucky (27-2, 12-2) battled back to tie the game at 65-65 on consecutive dunks by DeMarcus Cousins with about two minutes remaining.
After a Prince layup, Scotty Hopson drained a three-pointer to give Tennessee a five-point edge. Prince cemented the win at the foul line.
Hopson finished with 15 points and four rebounds, while Bobby Maze and Cameron Tatum both logged nine points for the Volunteers, who have won three of four.
"I felt a lot of emotion visiting with the team after the game," said Tennessee head coach Bruce Pearl. "This is a great effort. This was an important win for our program because Kentucky is such a benchmark in the SEC."
John Wall totaled 19 points, six assists and five boards for Kentucky, which had won eight straight since losing at South Carolina on January 26. The Wildcats needed a victory to clinch a share of the conference title.
Tennessee led 54-35 after Tatum buried a trey about six minutes into the second half. The Wildcats, though, responded with an 11-0 burst over the next four minutes, and Darius Miller hit a shot from beyond the arc to pull Kentucky within 59-53 with just under seven minutes to play, setting up a wild finish.
The Wildcats made just 2-of-22 three-point attempts and shot a woeful 35 percent from the field.
After Kentucky scored the first four points of the game, Tatum hit a layup to cap an 18-0 Tennessee surge just over eight minutes into the contest.
The Wildcats managed to trim their deficit to eight, but Melvin Goins completed a three-point play at the foul line to push Tennessee's advantage back to 14 at 39-25. The Volunteers settled for a 40-29 halftime lead.
"It was a great learning experience for our team," said Kentucky head coach John Calipari. "I thought Tennessee played great to start the game. They outhustled us to every ball and then we kind of fought back. In the second half, there was a breakdown again when they got up (by 19 points), and then we do not quit. That is all I can ask of my team."
Cousins tallied 15 points and 14 rebounds...Kentucky held a 40-36 edge on the glass...Wayne Chism had eight points and six boards for Tennessee, which shot 47.5 percent for the game...The Wildcats still own a commanding 143-66 edge in the all-time series.