Moses Kingsley scored 17 points off the bench to lead five Arkansas players in double figures in an 85-67 win over Tennessee on Saturday night



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FAYETTEVILLE, Arkansas — Mike Anderson had a message to send to standout Moses Kingsley after what the Arkansas coach considered to be too many emotional outbursts earlier in the week in a loss at Florida.

Consider the message received loudly and clearly for the Razorbacks junior.

Coming off the bench for the first time this season, an under-control Kingsley scored 17 points in 23 minutes as Arkansas (12-11, 5-5 Southeastern Conference) won for the third time in its last four games with an 85-67 victory over Tennessee on Saturday night.

The performance was the 23rd straight time this season Kingsley has scored in double figures, though this time came off the bench — and after the junior received a technical foul in the loss to the Gators on Wednesday night.

"I've got to learn," Kingsley said. "I've got to learn how not to get too emotional sometimes in the game ... I got the point, but I'm just glad we got this win."

Five players finished in double figures for the Razorbacks, with Dusty Hannahs scoring 13 points and Anthlon Bell and Anton Beard finishing with 12 each. Freshman Jimmy Whitt added 10 points off the bench and Arkansas shot 52.6 percent (30 of 57) in the win, including a 9-of-22 effort on 3-pointers.

Hannahs was 3 of 6 from behind the arc and Bell and Whitt added a pair of 3-pointers each, but it was Kingsley who provided his usually steady production — albeit off the bench for the first time this season.

"I think the message was served," Anderson said. "People are going to try and get up under his skin, so that's the maturation of a player. You've got to mature and understand — you're a target now."

Kevin Punter led the Volunteers (11-12, 4-6) with 24 points, while Shembari Phillips had 12 points and Armani Moore added 11 in the loss.

A game after rallying from 21 points down to defeat No. 20 Kentucky, Tennessee struggled from the outset on Saturday night.

The Volunteers made only three of their first 20 shots and never led in the game, trailing by as many as 17 points in the first half before eventually trailing 36-23 at halftime.

Punter, who entered the game eighth in the country with an average of 23.1 points, was 0 of 7 from the field in the first half before scoring 20 points in the second. The Volunteers finished 8-of-32 (25 percent) shooting in the half and 35.4 percent (23 of 65) for the game.

"We just got outplayed, and I don't think it has anything to do with (the Kentucky win)," Tennessee coach Rick Barnes said. "But they pretty much got whatever they wanted whenever they wanted it."

Kingsley, who entered the game with 11 double-doubles this season, finished 8 of 11 from the field.

The junior's impact was felt quickly after he entered the game with 14:32 remaining in the first half, scoring six points as Arkansas opened a 25-9 lead. He finished with 11 points in the half, including a three-point play to cap the scoring and give the Razorbacks a 36-23 halftime lead.

The last time Kingsley scored in single digits came in Arkansas' NCAA Tournament loss to North Carolina last season, when the 6-foot-10 Nigerian was a bench player behind former SEC Player of the Year Bobby Portis.

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TIP INS

Tennessee: Punter matched his career high with seven assists, the last time which came against Virginia Commonwealth in 2014. The senior also had a pair of steals and finished 7-of-18 shooting.

Arkansas: A small fire in one of the suites caused Bud Walton Arena to be filled with a light haze of smoke approximately an hour and a half before tipoff. The suite's sprinklers turned on, and Fayetteville fire fighters helped put out the fire — with no delays caused in the game and the cause not immediately known.

WELCOMED WHITT

Whitt finished with 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting, the first time the heralded freshman scored in double figures since scoring 15 points in a win at Missouri on Jan. 12. He scored in double figures in five of Arkansas' first six games this season, but he entered Saturday having done so only once in the Razorbacks last 16 games.

UP NEXT

Tennessee hosts Auburn on Tuesday.

Arkansas is at Mississippi State on Tuesday.

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