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Jenkins stars as Vandy knocks off Kentucky

Feb 12, 2011 - 10:11 PM Nashville, TN (Sports Network) - John Jenkins put on a show at Memorial Gym, pouring in a career-high 32 points behind six three-pointers to carry No. 23 Vanderbilt past road-weary and 18th-ranked Kentucky, 81-77.

Jenkins hit 11-of-17 from the field overall and was exceptional down the stretch for the Commodores (18-6, 6-4 SEC), winners of three straight following losses to Arkansas and Florida.

"My teammates did an outstanding job, best of the year, setting screens and just trying to find me open in the right spots and I was able to knock them down," a humble Jenkins said.

Festus Ezeli chipped in 14 points and seven rebounds and Steve Tchiengang added 12 points to make up for Jeffery Taylor's rough shooting day.

Terrence Jones paced Kentucky with 25 points and nine rebounds, and Brandon Knight went 4-for-7 from behind the arc en route to a 20-point effort.

Nevertheless, the Wildcats (17-7, 5-5) fell to 1-5 on the road in conference play.

The Commodores had just one day to rest following a hard-fought 81-77 win over SEC West-leading Alabama, but they didn't show tired legs when it mattered on Saturday.

Jenkins' sixth three of the game broke a 66-66 tie with 4 1/2 minutes left, then the sophomore guard maneuvered into the lane for a tough deuce.

Jones converted a three-point play off an offensive rebound with 3:29 showing, but turnovers on consecutive possessions led to easy lay-ins for Taylor and Jenkins that gave the hosts a 75-69 lead with 2:18 left.

Jones and Knight kept Kentucky close with late three-pointers, but Vanderbilt went 6-for-6 from the foul line in the final minute to secure the win.

"All I remember is the very end where we gave ourselves a chance." Kentucky head coach John Calipari said immediately following the game. "I thought Vanderbilt played great. I thought we played pretty well."

Kentucky held the biggest lead of the first half at 19-11 following two Doron Lamb free throws 8 1/2 minutes into the contest.

Vandy scored eight of the next 10 points, though, and Tchiengang netted nine points in the final four-plus minutes to help put the hosts on top, 44-40, at the intermission.

Brad Tinsley opened the second-half scoring with a three-point play, and the Commodores stayed in front until a Jones bucket with under nine minutes to play tied things, 56-56.

Game Notes

Vanderbilt improved to 14-1 at home his season...Taylor, battling foul trouble for most of the game, ended with just four points on 1-of-7 shooting, 11 below his season average....Tinsley totaled 11 points for the Commodores, who shot 20-of-23 from the foul line...DeAndre Liggins tallied 10 points for Kentucky...The Wildcats' Darius Miller played only 18 minutes before leaving with a groin injury...The Commodores play four of their final six games on the road, starting at Georgia on Wednesday...Kentucky heads back home for a tilt against Mississippi State on Tuesday.