Kentucky holds on against VanderbiltFeb 12, 2012 - 5:55 AM Kentucky the lead for good, as the top- ranked Wildcats beat Vanderbilt, 69-63, for their 17th straight win.
Anthony Davis tallied 15 points, Terrence Jones 14 and Marquis Teague 13 for Kentucky (25-1, 11-0 SEC), which continued its unbeaten stretch in conference play.
The Wildcats scored the final eight points, blanking Vanderbilt over the final four minutes.
John Jenkins had 15 points for the Commodores (17-8, 6-4), who lost for the third time in four games. Festus Ezeli, Jeffery Taylor and Brad Tinsley all scored 13 in defeat.
Tinsley's jumper provided Vandy with a 63-61 edge with 4:10 left, but the Commodores went cold from the field the rest of the way, missing their final nine shots.
"I thought for most part we got pretty good shots in the last four minutes," Tinsley said. "They made some great defensive plays, some blocks here and there, being in the right place. For the most part we executed what Coach [Kevin Stallings] told us to do and they just made some plays."
Lamb's three with 3:18 to go gave Kentucky the lead for good and Michael Kidd- Gilchrist added a pair of free throws with 2:08 left to make it a 66-63 difference.
Ezeli then missed a jumper and Taylor was off the mark on the following shot.
The Wildcats essentially sealed the win with a circus play at the other end. Kidd-Gilchrist dribbled into the lane before losing his footing, but somehow passed the ball from his knees to Darius Miller, who made an acrobatic layup just before the shot clock expired with 1:13 remaining.
Missed free throws from Teague and Kidd-Gilchrist opened the door for Vandy, but the Commodores continued to miss the mark in the closing seconds.
"We need all of this. In every huddle, I kept saying this is great for us," Kentucky coach John Calipari said. "It is what we need. To be honest, I would rather we be up 23 points. They are an execution team, a veteran team, seniors. They played like that. We got better today."
Jones jammed off an assist from Lamb, and then hit a jumper to cap a run of eight straight points for the Wildcats to give them a 20-11 advantage. A jumper from Jones provided a 34-20 lead with 1:27 left in the half and the margin stood at 13 at the break.
A three-pointer from Jenkins capped a 9-2 push for Vandy, getting the hosts within 44-41 with 14:08 left. The Commodores pulled even at 48 following a three-ball from Taylor barely inside 12 minutes left.
Kentucky's defense forced Vanderbilt into 28 percent shooting in the first half; its lowest first half showing of the year. Vanderbilt ended at 36.5 percent shooting...Kentucky was 3-of-14 from three-point range...Kentucky is 70-1 under Calipari when holding an opponent to 67 points or fewer...The Wildcats held a 44-22 scoring advantage in the paint.
- KENTUCKY: 69
Feb 11 11:02 PM
- KENTUCKY: 36
Feb 11 9:52 PM
- KENTUCKY: 0
1st Half - 20:00
Feb 11 9:06 PM
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- Calipari plans to coach Kentucky 'the rest of my career' May 16
- Calipari: Defense, size will be Kentucky's initial strengths May 11
- New Vanderbilt coach Bryce Drew announces his staff Apr 26
- Vanderbilt junior center Damian Jones entering NBA Draft Apr 14
- Bryce Drew wants to be 1st to take Vanderbilt to Final 4 Apr 6
- Vandy sophomore guard Wade Baldwin IV entering NBA draft Apr 5
- Kentucky's Skal Labissiere announces plan to enter NBA draft Apr 5
- Kentucky guard Jamal Murray says he will enter NBA draft Apr 1
- Vanderbilt using Fogler, not search firm to find new coach Mar 28
- Stallings gone, Vanderbilt to start search for new coach Mar 27
- Calipari: All eligible Kentucky players to enter NBA draft Mar 23