LEXINGTON, Kentucky (Ticker) -- Tennessee's Ron Slay vowed to "discombobulate" Kentucky, but the Volunteers could not slow down the Wildcats' express.
Keith Bogans moved into seventh place on the school's all-time scoring list as No. 2 Kentucky pulled away in the second half for a 80-68 Southeastern Conference victory, extending the nation's longest current winning streak to 17 games.
Bogans scored 15 points for the Wildcats (23-3, 13-0 SEC East), passing Cotton Nash and former teammate Tayshaun Prince. With 1,783 career points, he needs 19 to pass Kevin Grevey.
With five players scoring in double figures, Kentucky remained unbeaten in conference play and clinched a bye in the first round of the SEC tournament.
Bogans said his team is not getting caught up in the winning streak.
"It's not a concern for us," he said. "We just keep focusing on winning games and playing great defense. If we do that and take away the other team's offensive threat, we'll keep winning games."
For awhile, it appeared as though Slay would be a man of his word. He did his part with 22 points, including 13 in the first half, when Tennessee (15-9, 7-6) shot 62.5 percent from the field (15-of-24). Slay also grabbed a career-high 14 rebounds.
Despite the hot shooting, the Volunteers trailed, 39-36, at the intermission, and the Wildcats turned up the defensive pressure in the second half.
"They're a national championship team," Slay said. "They go out there and they're clicking together. Even when they don't do something right, they look like they're doing something right. Even when they make an offensive mistake, they usually make up for it on the defensive end."
Bogans' two free throws capped a 14-2 spurt that gave Kentucky a 57-42 cushion with 12:55 remaining.
The Wildcats went scoreless for more than five minutes as the Volunteers used a 9-0 spurt to close to 57-51 on freshman Stanley Asumnu's 3-pointer with 8:06 remaining.
Jules Camara's three-point play ended the drought, giving the Wildcats a 60-51 lead with 7:14 remaining. Tennessee, which suffered its third straight loss, got no closer than eight thereafter.
"Kentucky's defense is really good," Tennessee coach Buzz Peterson said. "They are very good in transition and they just have so many weapons."
Slay amused the Wildcats with his comments earlier in the week. Camara joked that he did not know what the word "discombobulate" meant.
But Kentucky was not laughing early. The 36 points was the most allowed in the first half this season by the Wildcats, who came in allowing just 58 points per game in SEC play.
"Tennessee came in with a good game plan," Wildcats coach Tubby Smith said. "We couldn't stop them in the first half and we didn't do much better in the second half."
While Tennessee shot nearly under 59 percent overall (27-of-46), the Volunteers had trouble handling Kentucky's pressure. Tennessee committed 18 turnovers that the Wildcats converted into 24 points. The Volunteers had only seven points off nine miscues by Kentucky.
"We're all on the same page and we all know our role," Bogans said. "We're just out there having fun. We don't have just have one guy. We all want to go out and play."
Chuck Hayes and Camara scored 12 points apiece, while Cliff Hawkins and Marquis Estill added 11 and 10, respectively, for Kentucky.
Brandon Crump was the only double-figure scorer for Tennessee with 13 points.
"They scored 24 points off our turnovers, and that really told the story of this game," Peterson said. "We shot almost 59 percent from the floor for the game, but we gave up so many points in transition. That makes it hard to come back."
Kentucky opened a 26-19 lead on Josh Carrier's 3-pointer with 9:38 left in the first half, his only basket of the game. Slay's jumper gave the Volunteers a 34-32 lead with 3:22 left in the first half before Bogans' three-point play put the Wildcats ahead for good.