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Kentucky 109, Vanderbilt 77

Kentucky 109, Vanderbilt 77

TERESA M. WALKER
ASSOCIATED PRESS

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Antonio Reeves scored 24 points and led six Wildcats in double figures as the 17th-ranked Kentucky Wildcats routed struggling Vanderbilt 109-77 to snap a two-game skid.

The Wildcats (16-6, 6-4) had lost three of their last four to fall to sixth in the Southeastern Conference standings with 10 games remaining until the league tournament in Nashville in March.

Kentucky also snapped a two-game skid against Vanderbilt with the Commodores notching their first win at Rupp Arena since 2007 last March before stunning the Wildcats in the SEC Tournament quarterfinals.

Reeves and Rob Dillingham proved too much, at one point outscoring Vanderbilt by themselves 26-22 at one point. Dillingham finished with 20 points. Justin Edwards added 17, Jordan Burks 13, Aaron Bradshaw 12 and Zvonimir Ivisic 11.

Evan Taylor led Vanderbilt (6-16, 1-8) with 20 points. Ezra Manjon added 14, and Tyrin Lawrence had 10.

Kentucky never trailed as Reeves opened the game with a pullup jumper, and Edwards followed with a 3-pointer. Dillingham made his first four shots, including a trio of 3s and a pair of two free throws, as the SEC freshman of the week came off the bench in this game.

The Wildcats led by as much as 22 before taking a 55-38 lead into halftime. Vanderbilt tried to make a run with Paul Lewis’ three free throws pulling the Dores within 81-65 with 8:55 left.

Kentucky answered with six points in the span of 43 seconds to get fans chanting “Go Big Blue” after the spurt capped by a steal and high-flying dunk by Edwards followed by a layup by Dillingham to pad the margin.

Burks’ dunk with 3:56 left put the Wildcats at the 100-point mark for the fourth time this season leading to more cheers from the predominantly Kentucky blue crowd.

BIG PICTURE

Kentucky: Coach John Calipari’s best 3-point shooting team in his tenure with this program showed out once again. The Wildcats made 10 of their first 14 3-pointers and made at least 14 for the fifth game this season. The SEC’s top 3-point shooting team easily topped their percentage outside the arc knocking down 15-of-26 (57.7%). ... Calipari improved to 26-6 in this series.

Vanderbilt: The Commodores couldn’t build any momentum from their win over Missouri. They wound up allowing the most points at Memorial Gym since giving up 93 to Southern California in an overtime loss in November 2017.

Kentucky athletics press release

February 6, 2024





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