Quote of the half, from UK sports information Scott Stricklin, delivered deadpan: “See you all, we score more first-half points in this state without Patterson than with him.”
He was joking, but it’s true. The Cats had only 11 in the first half at Vanderbilt. They trail just 34-27 to No. 1 Tennessee on the road.
Here’s the thing about this half — once the Cats figured out what they wanted to do offensively, they outplayed Tennessee, even with Joe Crawford on the bench the last five minutes (it didn’t hurt that Lofton was on the bench for Tennessee, too).
UK outscored UT 22-14 to finish the half, and if the Cats hadn’t missed five free throws, it would be closer.
UK also turned it over nine times (4 by Bradley), leading to 7 Tennessee points.
After the Vols made 6 of their first nine shots in the first 6 1/2 minutes of the half, they made just 6 of 20 the rest of the half.
So it looks like the Cats are stabilizing, but adjustments are coming, and Tennessee is good when it gets going. Let’s remember, Vanderbilt lost here by 20 and Florida lost here by 22. More to come . . .