FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) – Kevin Knox scored 23 points and Kentucky used a 31-11 run to end the game to win its second straight with an 87-72 victory over Arkansas on Tuesday night.
The win is the sixth straight over the Razorbacks for the Wildcats (19-9, 8-7 Southeastern Conference), who avoided losing five out of six games for the first time since the 2008-09 season.
Knox was one of five players to finish in double figures for Kentucky, which shot 46.3 percent (31 of 67) in the win and overcame an early 11-point deficit. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander added 18 points for the Wildcats, while PJ Washington finished with 13, Quade Green 12 and Jarred Vanderbilt 11.
Daryl Macon scored 26 points to lead the Razorbacks (19-9, 8-7), who led 61-56 midway through the second half. It was the ninth time in the last 10 games Macon has scored 20 or more points.
Anton Beard added 13 points and Jaylen Barford scored 12 for Arkansas.
The Razorbacks entered the game 14-1 in Bud Walton Arena with an average margin of victory of 17.2 points per game. They opened Tuesday night on an 11-0 run, much to the delight of the crowd, but Kentucky recovered from the slow start to end the half tied 43-43 – thanks in large part to a 22-10 halftime edge in points in the paint.
Kentucky: The Wildcats entered the game last in the SEC in made 3-pointers, with only 129 on the season compared to 216 for Arkansas. They had no problems from behind the arc on Tuesday night, finishing 8 of 21 on 3-pointers – including three 3-pointers by Knox. Wenyen Gabriel started the late run with a 3-pointer to bring the Wildcats within 61-59, and Kentucky hit three more 3-pointers during the stretch to close out the win.
Arkansas: The Razorbacks were 26th in the NCAA’s RPI ratings coming into the game, and a victory would have gone a long way toward securing an NCAA Tournament berth for a third time in four seasons for the school. They still have several chances to impress the selection committee to end the regular season, including road games at Alabama and Missouri and a home contest with No. 12 Auburn.
Kentucky hosts Missouri on Saturday.
The Razorbacks are at Alabama on Saturday.