LEXINGTON, Kentucky (UK Athletics) – Chasity Patterson scored 21 points as the 20th-ranked Kentucky women’s basketball team topped No. 16 Tennessee 71-56 on Thursday night at Rupp Arena.
Patterson hit nine of her 16 shots, including three of five from three-point range, on her way to her third game this season with at least 20 points.
Jazmine Massengill, playing against her former team, scored a season-high 11 points for the Cats, including three baskets from behind the arc.
Rhyne Howard had a quiet scoring night with only eight points, but she had seven rebounds, seven steals and six assists for Kentucky.
Kentucky (14-5, 7-4 SEC) hit 28 of 67 (41.8 percent) from the floor, but included in that number was a 10 of 20 effort from behind the arc. Kentucky forced 16 Tennessee turnovers and turned those into 24 points. The Cats also had 18 fast break points, compared to just two for the Lady Vols.
Tennessee (12-4, 6-2) scored first on a Rae Burrell layup, but the Cats tied it at 2-2 on a Patterson driving basket. After UT went up 4-2, Patterson rattled in a three to give UK its first lead, 5-4.
After Tennessee took a 6-5 lead, Kentucky got a corner three from Blair Green to grab an 8-6 advantage. UK would extend the lead to 10-6 on a baseline jumper from Olivia Owens with 3:09 left in the first.
UT would get another basket from Burrell to make it 10-8 before the Cats got a free throw from Dre’una Edwards and a breakaway layup from Robyn Benton to lead 13-8. Tennessee would score the last three points of the period but UK would lead 13-11 after the first 10 minutes.
Kentucky opened the second period on a 7-2 run, comprised of a pair of Patterson layups and a three from Benton, to lead 20-13. Tennessee would score the next five to cut the UK lead to two before Tatyana Wyatt connected on a right-side three to extend the lead to 23-18 with 7:25 left in the half.
Tennessee would get a basket from Tamari Key to cut it to 23-20 but Kentucky would score the next 12 points to grab a 35-20 advantage with 2:24 left in the half. The Lady Vols would score six in a row to cut the UK lead to 35-26, but Kentucky got a basket from Patterson with 44 seconds left in the half to take a 37-26 lead into the break. Patterson led all scorers with 13 points in the first half.
In the third quarter, the Lady Vols hit five of their first eight shots, while Kentucky made just one of its first nine. That led to a 20-2 UT run that gave the Lady Vols a 45-39 lead with 3:54 left in the third period.
Kentucky would respond. The Cats got a three from Massengill and a Wyatt layup to cut the UT lead to 45-44 with 2:02 left in the third period. UT would get a basket from Burrell but the Cats closed the scoring in the period with a Massengill jumper that cut the UT lead to 47-46 with 10 minutes remaining.
In the fourth quarter, the Cats grabbed the lead back on a jumper from Wyatt, then extended the lead on a Rhyne Howard runner and a three from Keke McKinney to lead 53-47 and force a Tennessee timeout.
Tennessee would score consecutive baskets to cut the UK lead to 53-51 before Howard connected on a corner jumper to make it 55-51. After UT’s Burrell cut it to 55-53, Kentucky got a jumper from Patterson and a three from Massengill to lead 60-53 with 4:05 to play.
After a Tennessee free throw, Kentucky got a layup from Edwards and a three from Patterson to lead 65-54 with 2:42 left in the game. Those two baskets were part of an 11-2 run that UK used to finish off the 15-point victory.
In the first meeting between the teams earlier this season, Kentucky lost to Tennessee 70-53 in Knoxville on Jan. 24.
Kentucky returns to action on Monday, visiting Florida in Gainesville. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. ET and the game can be seen on the SEC Network.