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Sarr scores 24 in a 77 to 74 Victory Over Vanderbilt

After beating Mississippi State to end their six-game losing streak, the Wildcats came back to Rupp Arena for the first time since December 12th to face off against the Vanderbilt Commodores. Kentucky was looking to stay undefeated in SEC conference while Vandy was looking to pick up their first conference win after getting destroyed by Florida in their opening game.

Kentucky’s inability to score has been the biggest contributor to their dreadful start of the season. Kentucky’s own Dontaie Allen was the answer against Mississippi State, but Kentucky needed another player to step up if the Cats were going to bring home the win tonight. That player would be Oliver Sarr who ended the game with 24 points to lead the Wildcats to victory 77 to 74.

The Cats lead early in the first half by as much as 6 points but Vandy was too hot from behind the arc for the lead to last. The Commodores made 8 of their 17 three pointers in the first half and took the lead with 9:17 left in the half. Kentucky’s scoring troubles continued in this game as well as they went 6:21 without a field goal. The Wildcats were down 33 to 40 at the end of the first half. Oliver Sarr led the Wildcats with 15 points and 4 rebounds at halftime.

The Cats rallied in the second half and went on a 7-0 run to begin the half to pull even with the Commodores at 40. The lead would go back and forth throughout the rest of the game. It was clear that the halftime strategy for the Wildcats was to guard the three-point shooters. After hitting eight in the first half, Vandy only hit 2 of their 10 shots from behind the arc in the second half.

The game came down to the final seconds when Davion Mintz hit a three from the corner with 47 seconds left in the game. After a Vandy missed shot that seemed to lay on the rim forever before rolling out, Kentucky took the victory and a 2-0 start in the SEC.

Several Wildcats played a part in the victory tonight. Dontaie Allen ended the game with 14 points and 5 rebounds. Mintz and Askew both ended the game with 11 points each.

As a team there are a couple stats that stood out. Kentucky only turned the ball over two times in the game. They also had 9 team blocks which led to eight points off turnovers.

I am not sure you can say that the Wildcats have turned the corner for good this year, but the last couple of games have been promising. This game showed us that the young team were able to make adjustments at halftime to bring home the victory in the second half. The Cats will have a tough game on the road Saturday when they play Florida at 5:00 pm.

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