LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kyle Wiltjer scored 17 points and Kentucky avoided back-to-back Southeastern Conference losses by beating Tennessee 75-65 on Tuesday night.
Nerlens Noel and Ryan Harrow each added 12 points and Alex Poythress 10 while Julius Mays contributed consecutive 3-pointers 1:48 apart late in the game to help the Wildcats (11-5, 2-1).
Jordan McRae’s 23 points led Tennessee (8-7), which lost its fourth straight and is 0-3 in the SEC for the first time in 15 years.
The game featured nine ties and 12 lead changes and Tennessee didn’t blink despite trailing twice by eight in the second half. Trailing 47-39, the Volunteers went on a 15-6 run for a 54-53 lead with 7:19 remaining.
Kentucky outscored Tennessee 11-4 over the next 3 minutes, with Mays dropping back-to-back 3-pointers for a 64-58 lead with 4:20 left. Wiltjer scored the next five points to give the Wildcats a 69-62 lead with 1:37 left.
Wiltjer finished in double figures after going scoreless in Saturday’s loss to Texas A&M. He was 6 of 10 from the field, including two 3-pointers, but it was his five points down the stretch that gave Kentucky some breathing room.
After recording 15 points, 11 rebounds, seven blocks, six assists and four steals against the Aggies, Noel followed up with nine rebounds, six blocks and four steals to help Kentucky win a seesaw game.
The Wildcats won it with 13-of-20 shooting in the second half (65 percent) to finish 49 percent (25 of 51) overall. Defensively, Kentucky held Tennessee to 11 of 29 shooting (38 percent) in the second half and 46 percent (25 of 54) overall.
Though the Volunteers didn’t get the jump on the Wildcats they hoped, they got an early edge in a back-and-forth game. McRae helped get Tennessee going inside and outside, lofting one shot over the 6-foot-10 Noel along with a layup while adding a couple of jumpers to provide a 19-17 lead.
That created some anxiety from the Rupp Arena crowd of 24,033, but Wiltjer’s shooting, especially from beyond the arc, helped Kentucky rally for the lead. That was significant after Saturday’s drought against Texas A&M and especially since he came out firing, hitting 4 of 6 from the field, including two from beyond the arc.
Wisconsin 64, No. 2 Indiana 59:In Bloomington, Ind., Ryan Evans had with 13 points and seven rebounds, and Traevon Jackson added 11 points as Wisconsin upset No. 2 Indiana 64-59 on Tuesday night to take sole possession of the Big Ten lead.
The Badgers (13-4, 4-0) have won seven straight and beaten two Top 15 opponents in four days. They now have 11 straight wins over the Hoosiers and five straight in Bloomington.
Cody Zeller scored 18 of his 21 points in the first half to lead Indiana (15-2, 3-1), which had a six-game winning streak and an 18-game home winning streak both end.
The Badgers took control early in the second half with runs of 7-0 and 9-0 and led by as much 51-41 with about 10 minutes to play.
Indiana charged back with a 10-1 run to close to 52-51.
But the Badgers closed it out with a 12-8 run to end the game.
No. 12 Creighton 79, Northern Iowa 68: In Omaha, Neb., Doug McDermott scored 21 of his 31 points in the second half and No. 12 Creighton pulled away from Northern Iowa Tuesday night.
The Bluejays (17-1, 6-0 Missouri Valley Conference) won their 11th straight game and are off to their best start in program history.
Anthony James scored a season-high 25 points and Jake Koch added 19 to lead Northern Iowa (9-9, 2-4).
McDermott had his second straight 30-point game and fifth of the season. He came into the game off a season-best 39-point night against Missouri State last Friday.
St. John’s 67, No. 20 Notre Dame 63: In New York, JaKarr Sampson scored 14 of his 17 points in the first half and St. John’s handed No. 20 Notre Dame its second straight lossat Madison Square Garden.
The Red Storm (10-7, 2-3 Big East), who had lost two straight and four of five, had a 12-point lead midway through the second half and despite giving it all up, they managed to score the game’s final six points for the win, their third straight over the Fighting Irish.
Eric Atkins had a season-high 21 points for Notre Dame (14-3, 2-2), which used an 18-4 run to wipe out the double-digit deficit and take a 61-59 lead with 4:27 to play.