(KNOXVILLE, TN) — Playing in their first game without Nerlens Noel, No. 25 Kentucky was blown out by rival Tennessee 88-58 on Saturday. The 30 point victory by the Volunteers is its most lopsided win in the 216-game history of the series.
Trae Golden scored 24 points for Tennessee, (14-10, 6-6 SEC) who jumped out to an early lead and never look back. Jordan McRae and and Kenny Hall combined for 27 points to help the Volunteers get the win.
“We’ve gotten better with our offense, the flow and the movement,” Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin said. “I think that all starts with Trae Golden. When he’s playing the way we expect him to play, everything falls in line and it just becomes a fun game to play.”
Noel tore his ACL last week in a loss to Florida and is out for the season, and the Wildcats looked like a completely different team without their best interior defender. Noel was leading the nation in blocks at 4.4 per game and was tied for the SEC lead in rebounds-per-game with 9.9 at the time of his injury.
Kentucky was led in defeat by Kyle Wiltjer, who scored 18 points. They fell to 17-8 and 8-4 in the conference with the loss.
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Jill Martin, CNN