LEXINGTON, Kentucky (Ticker) -- Chris Lofton shot for the record books for Tennessee, but Kentucky's Chuck Hayes would not be denied in his final game at Rupp Arena.
Hayes scored all 13 of his points in the second half, including seven during a decisive run, as the third-ranked Wildcats captured their fourth straight win with a 73-61 Southeastern Conference victory over the Volunteers.
Shooting 48 percent (19-of-40) from the arc in his last three games, Lofton kept Tennessee (12-16, 5-9 SEC East) within striking distance of an upset. His fourth 3-pointer of the game cut the deficit to 53-49 with 12:30 to play and his final one tied the score at 55-55 four minutes later.
Hayes, who has been a part of a senior class that accumulated 104 wins and four SEC East Division crowns, responded with a three-point play that ignited a 12-0 burst. The forward scored seven points during the spurt as Kentucky (23-3, 14-1 East) took a 67-55 lead with 2:24 remaining.
"Chuck made the plays down the stretch when we needed clutch scoring - the three-point play there," Kentucky coach Tubby Smith said. "We kept going to him and he kept delivering."
"You're playing the third-ranked team in the country and your turnovers, your missed boxouts...all of that stuff...you've got to be very careful that those are kept very low," Tennessee coach Buzz Peterson said. "We had some plays where we coughed up the ball three out of four times when it was (55-55) for a long time. That just put fuel on the fire for them and they got going."
Lofton, who finished with 19 points and 5-of-13 from the arc, surpassed Allan Houston's school record for most 3-pointers by a freshman with 86. Houston made 83 shots from the arc in 1989-90.
"I think I'm just getting more shots up and I think that's really helping me," Lofton said.
With 21 turnovers, the Vols fell a turnover shy of matching their season high. The Wildcats converted those into 24 points.
Hayes, who was held without a field goal attempt in the first half because of foul trouble, shot 5-of-6 over the final 20 minutes.
"In the second half, I was more aggressive," Hayes said. "But, I knew when to pick my fouls."
Patrick Sparks, who scored 20 of his 26 points in the second half of a 78-71 victory at Alabama on Saturday, had all 14 of his points in the first half for the Wildcats, shooting 4-of-5 from the arc. Kentucky is 16-0 this year when Sparks makes at least two 3-pointers.
Kelenna Azubuike scored 10 points and little-used senior Josh Carrier had a career-high nine on three 3-pointers in his only start in 90 games for the Wildcats, who beat the Vols for the seventh consecutive time.
Andre Patterson scored 10 points and point guard C.J. Watson added seven and seven assists, but committed five turnovers for Tennessee, which fell to 15-80 all time in Lexington.