LEXINGTON, Ky. -- No. 13 Kentucky, which had dropped three of six games after starting the season 17-2, avenged one of those losses on Tuesday night.
The Wildcats routed the Vols 83-58 at Rupp Arena to improve to 21-5 overall and stay in a first-place tie at an 11-2 record in the Southeastern Conference.
Tennessee upset Kentucky 82-80 in the teams' first meeting on Jan. 24 in Knoxville, Tenn.
"It was good," Kentucky coach John Calipari said of the win. "That was a team that beat us and beat us good last time. They did whatever they wanted.
"I think you see us different defensively. I think you see us different in transition defense. I think you see the difference offensively. Some of the rebooting you're seeing. And that's part of the what we did.
"That's what we have been working on. We were playing that way early, we got away from it, so it makes us look like a different team."
Freshman guard Malik Monk paced Kentucky with 20 points. Senior forward Derek Willis came off the bench to score 16 points, freshman guard De'Aaron Fox had 13, sophomore guard Isaiah Briscoe added 12 points (all in the second half) and senior guard Dominique Hawkins had 10 points off the bench.
"It's kind of growing up. It's being a man," Calipari said. "It's all the stuff that we've got to teach. But this is only the beginning of what we started 10 days ago. So we're going to keep working and we got to get better at our zone defense and offense."
Tennessee (14-12, 6-7) got 17 points from sophomore Admiral Schofield. Freshman guard Jordan Bone added 15.
Kentucky shot 46.4 percent from the field, including 44 from 3-point range. Tennessee shot 35.3 percent, finishing 20 percent from 3-point range.
"We were just gosh awful, the worst we've played this year," Tennessee coach Rick Barnes said. "Kentucky got everything done they wanted to get done."
Leading 47-32 at halftime, Kentucky pushed out to a lead of 19 points at 59-40 with 14:52 left in the second half. Fox and Briscoe had four points each and Kentucky's defense forced four Tennessee turnovers in less than five minutes.
Kentucky's largest lead was 28 points at 77-49 with 5:04 to play.
"This is still a work in progress," Calipari said. "I'm going to say it again, it took us three weeks to get to where we were. If you look at our stats the last five games, we were atrocious. I think now it gave me an idea of what I needed to do with them."
Kentucky fell behind 5-0 to open the game before blowing out to a 31-15 lead with 8:09 left in the first half. Willis led the 31-10 run by coming off the bench for nine points on three 3-pointers.
Monk ended the rally with two more 3-pointers. When Tennessee was forced to call timeout, Kentucky had made 8 of 14 from long range.
Kentucky led by as many as 17 points before settling for a 47-32 advantage at halftime.
Monk paced the Wildcats with 16 points. Willis added 12. Between the duo, they made eight 3-pointers. Fox added seven points and Hawkins came off the bench for five.
Kentucky shot 45.7 percent from the field and 55.6 from 3-point range in the first half. The Wildcats had 11 assists and only two turnovers.
Tennessee got eight points from Williams and seven each from Hubbs and Bone. The Volunteers shot only 31 percent from the floor, including 22.2 from 3-point range. They also had six turnovers and three assists.
NOTES: Between the teams, seven of the 10 starters were freshmen, four Kentucky, three for Tennessee. Overall, Kentucky ranks 343rd of 351 Division I teams in terms of youth. ... Kentucky is now 207-4 under coach John Calipari when leading by 10 points or more during the game. ... Over the weekend, Kentucky became the first school to hit a 3-pointer in 1,000 straight games. The streak is now 1,001.