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Kentucky beats Vanderbilt to clinch SEC title

Feb 25, 2012 - 9:27 PM Lexington, KY (Sports Network) - Anthony Davis scored 28 points, pulled down 11 rebounds and blocked six shots, as the top-ranked Kentucky Wildcats clinched the outright SEC regular-season title with an 83-74 victory over the Vanderbilt Commodores.

Marquis Teague added 16 points and six assists for the Wildcats (28-1, 14-0 SEC), who claimed their 45th SEC crown. Terrence Jones donated 12 points and six boards.

"This team is the most efficient team in the country on offense and defense and it's really only because they are talented," Kentucky head coach John Calipari said. "They play together, they play off of one another, they make easy plays defensively."

Kentucky has won 20 in a row and extended the nation's longest home-winning streak to 51 games.

Jeffery Taylor ended with 19 points and nine rebounds for the Commodores (20-9, 9-5), who had a three-game winning streak snapped. John Jenkins and Festus Ezeli had 18 and 15 points, respectively.

"I thought it was a pretty well-played game by two good teams and we just didn't make enough plays down the stretch and they made some big ones. It seemed like every time they needed something (Anthony) Davis got it done for them, he was spectacular," Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings said.

Vanderbilt showed early on that they were not going to go down easy. After Kentucky went on an 8-0 spurt to build a 32-24 lead, the Commodores responded with a flurry of their own. A 12-2 run put the visitors in front by two, 36-34 with 1:37 to go in the first half.

The Commodores took a 37-36 edge into the locker room.

The Wildcats scored the first six points of the second half and led by five multiple times early in the frame.

Holding a 55-54 margin with 10:08 to play, the home team went on an 11-2 run. Darius Miller tallied seven points during the burst to give Kentucky a 66-56 lead with 7:47 left.

But the Commodores fought back with nine straight points. After a Taylor layup, Jenkins made two three-pointers and a free throw to cut the gap to 66-65 with 4:27 remaining.

Kentucky tried to create some distance again. This time around, the home team went on a 7-1 flurry. Miller's jumper made it a 73-66 contest with two minutes left.

The Wildcats finally held onto the lead, going 6-of-6 from the foul line down the stretch to seal the victory.

Game Notes

Kentucky holds a 136-44 lead in the all-time series. The Wildcats recorded the regular-season sweep after picking up a 69-63 victory in Nashville on February 11th...Kentucky is off to its best start in the SEC since the 2003 squad went 16-0...Vanderbilt fell to 1-6 against ranked opponents this season...The Wildcats had 50 points in the paint, compared to 32 for Vanderbilt...Kentucky shot 57.1 percent from the field.