SVA is your Sports Leader & Source for College Sports …
Please check us out on TWITTER …
Check us out on INSTAGRAM … 
All Sports Photo Gallery at SVAPHOTOS

For the 2nd game in a row UK tried to revert back to their old ways and give a game away. The Wildcats, however, may be figuring things out as for the second game in a row, they figured out how to hang on for the win. The Cats defeated Vandy on the road 82-78.

Kentucky jumped out to a 42-30 halftime lead behind 56% shooting from 2 point land. Isaiah Jackson put on a first half show netting 15 points and 7 rebounds on 5 of 5 shooting and 5 of 6 from the free throw line. The Cats had 11 first half assists and only 6 turnovers.

The problem, as has been most of the season, was the inability to have the killer instinct and win the game. This game would be no different, until the end that is. Jackson, who had been the catalyst in the first half, was nowhere to be found in the second half only playing 5 minutes and not taking a single shot. Kentucky would reverse their assist / turnover with 6 assists and 9 turnovers. Boston continues to have poor shooting nights and the 2nd half against Vandy was no exception going 1 for 8. Vandy star Pippen Jr. did all he could to pullout the win with 21 points in the 2nd half, including 3 free throws in the closing seconds of the game.

Vandy started off the 2nd half on a 16 – 4 run that tied the game at 46-46 at the 13:24 mark. It looked like the ghosts of collapse past had reared it’s ugly head. UK’s Brooks would turn the ball over resulting in a Vandy layup to close the UK lead to 53-51 at the 10:35 mark. From there on until the 1:41 mark with the score 74-68 UK managed at least a 4 point lead. That’s when the “On no, here we go again” started to happen. Vandy would pull within 1 point a couple times but Kentucky would hang on unlike previous games, to get the win.

Final Score: Kentucky 82, Vanderbilt 78

Team Records and Series Notes                                       

  • Kentucky has won two in a row and is now 7-13 overall, 6-7 in the Southeastern Conference.
    • UK ended a four-game road losing streak.
  • Vanderbilt is 6-11, 2-9 in league play.
  • Kentucky leads the series 151-47 and has won 10 in a row vs. the Commodores.
    • UK leads 60-29 in games played in Nashville.
  • Next: Kentucky continues its tour of the Volunteer State by traveling to Knoxville for Saturday’s 1 p.m. CBS game at Tennessee.

Player Notes   

  • Davion Mintz led the Wildcats with 18 points, one below his season best, and tied his season high with four 3-pointers.
    • Made a huge 3-pointer with 1:40 remaining, giving him three consecutive games with a clutch 3 in the final two minutes of the contest.
  • Jacob Toppin had a career-high 16 points.
    • He went 5 of 5 at the foul line, four of which came with the game on the line in the final 30 seconds.
  • Isaiah Jackson scored 15 points and tied for the team high in rebounds with nine.
    • However, all but two rebounds of his production came in the first half as foul trouble limited him to only five minutes of action in the second half.
    • His 15 points is his second-best of the season, following his season-high 18 points Saturday vs. Auburn.
  • Brandon Boston Jr. picked up 12 points, four rebounds and three steals.
  • Olivier Sarr had 10 points, all coming in the second half when the Wildcats were struggling to hold on to their lead.
    • He also had a season-high four blocked shots for the second game in a row.
  • Although he scored just two points, Keion Brooks Jr. played an outstanding floor game with nine rebounds, plus career highs with five assists and four blocked shots.

Coach John Calipari 

  • Calipari is now 337-90 at UK.
  • Calipari has a 782-230 all-time on-court record. 
  • UK is 274-52 under Calipari against teams unranked in The Associated Press Top 25.
  • Calipari is 21-4 in his career vs. Vanderbilt.

Team Notes 

  • For the second game in a row, UK tied its season high of 82 points.
  • UK had five players score in double figures, second time this season, also vs. Arkansas.
  • With eight 3-pointers made tonight, UK has made 33 long balls over the last three games.
  • UK made a season-best 96% at the foul line, 24 of 25.
    • That mark is the fourth best under Calipari.
  • With 17 assists and 15 turnovers, UK is now 7-2 this season when winning or tying assist/TO margin.
  • UK limited Vanderbilt to 40% from the field.
    • UK is 207-24 under Calipari when keeping the opponent at 40 percent or less, although only 5-5 this season when that occurs.
  • Kentucky blocked 11 shots, one shy of the season high in that category.
  • UK has won its last two games by four and two points, improving its record this season to 4-6 in games decided by one or two possessions.

In the First Half 

  • Kentucky started Devin Askew, Davion Mintz, Brandon Boston Jr., Isaiah Jackson and Olivier Sarr for the fifth-straight game and eighth time this season. UK is 3-5 with this lineup.
    • Keion Brooks Jr. was the first substitute at the 16:31 mark.
  • Kentucky scored the game’s first 10 points by the 16:20 mark.
  • At 10-5, the Wildcats added a 15-3 run and led 25-8 midway through the opening stanza.
    • Defense keyed the strong start, as by this juncture, UK had forced nine turnovers and had blocked two shots.
  • UK went cold for four minutes as VU cut the gap to 25-15.
  • Vanderbilt edged back within 32-25 with 1:44 left, but the Wildcats closed with a 10-5 spurt and went to halftime ahead 42-30.
    • Jackson led UK with 15 points, 5-5 FG and 5-6 at the FT line, along with seven rebounds.
    • Mintz also had 10 points in the half.
    • Kentucky is now 4-5 this season when leading at halftime.

In the Second Half 

  • Kentucky opened the second half with the starting lineup.
  • Vanderbilt came out with a 10-2 run, forcing a UK timeout at 16:09 with the score 44-40.
  • At 13:56, UK was called for a technical foul for having six men on the court. VU made one of two free throws to tie the game at 46, the only tie of the game.
  • As he did in the previous two games, Mintz hit a huge 3-pointer, putting UK back in the lead.
  • UK stretched the lead to 62-53 with 7:23 remaining.
  • Trailing 74-68 with 1:41 to go, Vanderbilt pulled to within 74-73 but missed two free throws with 32 seconds left.
  • In the final 30 seconds, Jacob Toppin made four foul shots, Boston two and Askew two to preserve the win.

Leave a Reply