KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT.) -- The win was Tennessee's second in its last three trips to Lexington and made Rick Barnes the first Tennessee coach ever to win multiple games at Rupp Arena.
The Vols (17-13, 9-8 SEC) trailed by as many as 17 points, marking the second time this season UT has come back to win when trailing by 15 or more. Tennessee's 51 second-half points were the most the Vols have scored in a half this season.
Prior to Tuesday night, the last time Kentucky blew a lead of 17 or more points was when Barnes' Vols erased a 21-point deficit to post an 84-77 triumph in Knoxville on Feb. 2, 2016.
Fulkerson's 27 points Tuesday came on a career-high-tying 10 made field goals and a perfect 7-of-7 effort from the foul line. His scoring output marked his fourth 20-point performance in UT's last nine games and enhanced his standing as an All-SEC candidate.
"I just think what we've been talking about is doing whatever it takes to win," Fulkerson said. "And Jordan Bone once said, 'We never want to walk off the court and say that the other team wanted it more than us.' So, every time we leave the court, we want to want it more than them. We never want to have regret or say they wanted it more. That's something that we pride ourselves on, just playing hard and doing what it takes to win and just wanting it," said Barnes.
The fifth-year head coach took the time to send his thoughts and prayers to the Tennesseeans affected by Tuesday morning's tornadoes.
"It’s so sad what happened there. This is a game, but that's real-life. I’m just really sad for those people. I know we have to keep them in our prayers," said Barnes.
The Vols return home to close the regular season in a Saturday matchup with No. 17 Auburn. Tipoff between the Vols and the Tigers is set for noon ET. Seniors Jordan Bowden and Lamonte Turner will be honored prior to the game.