Date story was published: Sunday, January 11, 1987
KNOXVILLE -- With a lot of help from his friends, Tennessee's White knight created another dark night for Kentucky.
Last night Tony White burned UK for 32 points -- the most given up by an Eddie Sutton-coached Kentucky team -- to lead Tennessee to a 75-68 victory.
The loss prolonged UK's current downturn. Losing a second straight, a span in which UK hasn't led for 72 of the 80 minutes, dropped the Cats to 1-3 in the Southeastern Conference and 7-4 overall.
White didn't score in the first five minutes and had only 10 points at halftime.
The senior guard erupted for 22 in the second half as Tennessee breezed to its eighth victory in 12 games. The Vols are 2-1 in SEC play.
Nursing a 34-33 lead with 18:18 remaining, Tennessee outscored UK 25-10 over the next eight minutes to go ahead 59-43.
White had nine of his points in the breakout that threatened to hand Sutton his worst loss as Kentucky coach (Kansas 83, UK 66 last season).
Ed Davender, who rebounded from a 0-for-7 shooting night against Alabama, did much to prevent that. Davender scored a career-high 29. His previous high was 27 as a freshman.
Three straight Davender baskets steadied Kentucky and sparked one final charge.
Rex Chapman, who was held to five points, hit a three-pointer to get UK within 62-52 with 8:15 left.
Irv Thomas' steal and driving dunk made it 62-54 19 seconds later.
But the rally stalled when Chapman forced a leaning 15-footer.
Chapman's tormentor, Elvin Brown, hit two free throws to push Tennessee's lead back to 64-54.
Then White scored seven straight Tennessee points to almost single- handedly account for a 9-2 run that gave the Vols a 71-56 edge.
Less than four minutes remained. Thereafter White scored just two more points, giving him 201 in Tennessee's last six games.
"They played me real well in the first half," White said. "But I knew there'd be a time when I had to get going. Sometimes I have to feel it. I felt it in the second half and Davender couldn't do anything with me."
Davender's 16 points kept Kentucky in the first half.
Davender accounted for the Wildcats' first nine points and final seven points of the half. His three-pointer at the buzzer allowed UK to leave the floor trailing only 32-27.
After shooting a season low 39.2 percent in losing to Alabama Wednesday, Kentucky abandoned its reliance on perimeter shots.
Instead, Kentucky opened in an offense built around Davender's quickness and smart cuts down the lane.
After a slow start -- neither team scored in the first 3:40 -- the switch paid off.
Davender scored four straight layups in less than two minutes. His layup off a pass from Chapman at 16:20 was the game's first basket. Then a fastbreak layup and foul made it 5-0 at 15:57.
Tennessee seemed to ignore White, the SEC's leading scorer. Instead, the Vols tried to establish sophomore center Doug Roth. Roth scored Tennessee's first basket at 15:38 to make it 5-2.
But two more Davender layups and Richard Madison's basket had Kentucky ahead 11-4 at the 14:17 mark.
Then the bottom fell out. The first warning sign came when Rob Lock hit the floor hard after deflecting a feed to Roth. Lock's deflection led to Madison's basket on early offense.
The UK center went down with 14 minutes left in the half, returned briefly and then was through for the night. Lock didn't play in the second half.
After the game, he was taken to a Knoxville hospital for X-rays of his right knee. Dr. Michael Ray, one of UK's team physicians, said Lock probably sustained a bruised knee and would be available when UK plays at Mississippi State Monday night.
White, who entered the game averaging 24.3 points per game, scored eight points to fuel a 14-1 Tennessee spurt that put Kentucky behind 15-11.
White's outburst came shortly after he requested and got referee Don Rutledge to change balls with 13:14 remaining in the half. Thereafter, White scored 10 first-half points.
Kentucky went scoreless from 14:17, when Madison hit, until Madison made a free throw at 9:50.
UK was guilty of five turnovers during the four-minute drought, part of a 12-turnover half.
When the Cats committed turnovers in four straight possessions and five of six trips downcourt, Sutton called time at 10:23.