Sport: Another slow start doesn't derail Kentucky in win vs. Vanderbilt - PressFrom - US

SportAnother slow start doesn't derail Kentucky in win vs. Vanderbilt

06:55  13 january  2019
06:55  13 january  2019 Source:

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - Gray skies. An accumulation of snow overnight followed by a cold rain. Duke winning on a last-second shot in the afternoon. A loss to Vanderbilt would have capped a gloomy Saturday for the Big Blue Nation.

No. 18 Kentucky fights back again to top Vanderbilt 56-47

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Jarred Vanderbilt is a 6'8" 5-star point-forward who will be taking his talents to the Kentucky Wildcats next year. He'll be teaming up with 4 other top ranked recruits to put together another historic recruiting class We started out in 2013 following high school stars like Thon Maker, Jaylen Brown

Despite a stumbling start that fit the day's depressing conditions, Kentucky righted itself and beat Vanderbilt, 56-47.


Maybe "outlasted" was a better verb. It wasn't easy. More than one UK player got knocked to the floor. Murmurs of concern erupted occasionally.

The uneven play could have led to a thought: To a promotion involving setting a record for most people wearing hard hats, perhaps it would have been wise to add protective goggles to shield eyes watching the play.

Bottom line: Kentucky improved to 12-3 overall and 2-1 in the Southeastern Conference. Keldon Johnson and Ashton Hagans led UK with 15 points each. Hagans had three steals, giving him 22 in the last five games. Immanuel Quickley chipped in 12 points.

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Vanderbilt fell to 9-6 overall and 0-3 in the SEC. Aaron Nesmith led the Commodores with 11 points.

Kentucky trailed 30-28 at halftime. That marked only the second time UK entered the second half behind since the Duke avalanche (59-42) on opening night. The Cats also trailed UNC Greensboro 40-37 on Dec. 1.

On Friday, PJ Washington said the game would be a "big stepping stone" for Kentucky playing with seamless efficiency. "We've got to come out and play 40 minutes," he said. "That's the biggest thing we haven't done all season."

It was apparent almost immediately that Kentucky would slip off that stepping stone this night. Vandy made six of its first seven shots and zipped to a 16-4 advantage inside the first five minutes.

The Commodores made their fifth 3-pointer that the 11:23 mark. Vandy, which had struggled from 3-point range, was already within one of the six 3s (in 25 attempts) made in a loss at Georgia on Wednesday. (The Commodores made only two of their 19 3-point shots the rest of the way.)

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Vanderbilt QB Kyle Shurmur vs . Kentucky 's defense. The senior ranks fifth in SEC passing, having completed nearly 59 percent of his attempts for 1,629 yards Vanderbilt is facing its third consecutive ranked opponent and seeks its first win against a ranked team since beating No. 18 Kansas State in

UK Coach John Calipari could not wait for the first television timeout to serve as a brake on Vanderbilt's peel out of the gate. He called time with 16:05. Twenty-eight seconds later, he replaced Reid Travis with Nick Richards. The latter changed the game.

For a second straight game, Richards gave UK a spark. He took a lob from Hagans and dunked. He took a charge. These plays helped generate fan enthusiasm.

Kentucky never led in the first half.

The first lead came as part of a 7-0 run to start the second half. Johnson did the honors with a three-pointer from the left corner, the same spot he missed from in the loss at Alabama seven days earlier.

His three put Kentucky ahead 33-30 with 18:45 left.

The lead grew to 45-39 on a Travis free throw with 9:01. But nothing was coming easy.

Richards put that on display. If the three-knockout rule was in effect, the game would have ended 10:50 left. That's when Richards got knocked down in a rebound situation. While sitting on the floor, he stretched out his arms in a what's-going-on gesture.

Earlier, Richards landed awkwardly after jumping for a fast-break lob. He clutched an ankle but did not appear injured.

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Vanderbilt (1-2), which will visit Western Kentucky (2-1) on Saturday, is coming off a blowout 38-7 loss to Currently, Vanderbilt has an SEC-worst two sacks and is also last in sack percentage at 1.8 percent. Georgia Tech only scored more than 30 points once in its previous 11 games vs . Power 5

Jarred Vanderbilt Is Another Talented Piece in Kentucky 's Loaded Class. Vanderbilt ’s addition doesn ’ t feel as important now as it did when he announced his commitment to Kentucky last December. At that point, the Wildcats had already assembled much of their standout class (point

Less than two minutes earlier than that, Vandy's Matthew Moyer inadvertently elbowed Richards in the face as they were on the floor scrambling for a loose ball.

Adding possible injury to this insult, Hagans went down with 5:05 left. He had scored on a driving layup, then stayed down and had to leave the game. As Hagans was face down on the court, a child yelled a plaintive, "C'mon, Hagans."

Meanwhile, Vanderbilt's struggles in the last eight minutes of games continued. The Commodores entered their dead zone down 45-42. Vandy scored only five points the rest of the way.

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Related slideshow: 2018-19 college basketball season (provided by USA Today Sports)

Another slow start doesn't derail Kentucky in win vs. Vanderbilt

Washington helps No. 8 Kentucky top No. 9 Kansas 71-63.
PJ Washington scored 14 of his 20 points in the second half, and No. 8 Kentucky beat No. 9 Kansas 71-63 in the SEC-Big 12 Challenge. Washington also had 13 rebounds, helping the Wildcats to a 49-36 advantage on the glass. Reid Travis had 18 points and 12 boards, and Keldon Johnson also posted a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. BOX SCORE: NO. 8 KENTUCKY 71, NO. 9 KANSAS 63 Neither team reached 40 percent shooting, but the Wildcats (16-3) were much better in the second half and held the Jayhawks in check down the stretch of the marquee matchup between college basketball's two winningest programs.

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