LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The Kentucky Wildcats were locked in a grind-it-out type game with Tennessee on Tuesday night, before hitting five of eight free throws in the final 1:37 to hold off the Vols, 75-65.
UK coach John Calipari predicted after the game that his team will continue to play close games.
"In the last seven, eight years, I've coached teams that have absolutely womped on people," Calipari said. "This ain't one of them."
Kyle Wiltjer led the Cats with 17 points. Ryan Harrow and Nerlens Noel each added 12.
"We know every game is going to be close," Wiltjer said. "We can use that as motivation, because we want to be a team that can womp down on people."
Calipari says get used to it.
"Every game we're going to be in is going to be a dog fight and instead of going crazy about, just accept it. Right?"
"This was a big step for us," Noel said. "For the last couple of weeks, coach Cal has been going back to something he calls 'gut time.' It's really in the crunch time of a game, we've really got to execute."
"I can't imagine this team being up 20 on anybody. Because you get up 12, 15 someone will try to steal the ball. They'll foul. They'll leave their feet," Cal said.
It's a critical juncture of the season for the Wildcats (11-5, 2-1), because they play four of the next five games on the road.