Big second half pushes Kentucky past Vanderbilt 69-53
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WYMT) - The University of Kentucky men’s basketball team, riding a three game winning streak the past week and a half, are hitting the road once again, this time in Nashville to take on the Vanderbilt Commodores.
A close game early at Memorial Gymnasium, with the teams trading buckets throughout the first half. A run late in the first half put the Wildcats in control. More consistent shooting from Kentucky in the second half kept the distance up, with UK pulling away for a 69-53 win.
Kentucky was able to hold a slim but consistent lead throughout much of the first frame. The Wildcats were able to hold the advantage and extend the lead to nine by halftime.
A 9-0 run across two minutes early in the second half busted open the margin to double digits for the Cats. Kentucky continued to hold off Vanderbilt throughout the final 20 minutes. With the margin hovering between 15 and 20 for much of the half, Kentucky was able to keep small runs from the Commodores in check.
Antonio Reeves used a big night from field goal range to lead the Cats in scoring with 16 points. Both Oscar Tshiebwe (15 points, 13 rebounds) and Jacob Toppin (12 points, 10 rebounds) notched double-doubles as well. CJ Fredrick and Sahvir Wheeler led the team in assists with 5 each.
Kentucky improves to 14-6 with the win, and is now 5-3 in the SEC. The Wildcats are back in their own friendly confines on Saturday evening for the tenth and expected to be final edition of the SEC/Big 12 Challenge. Kentucky will host No. 9 Kansas, with tip-off slated for 8:00 p.m. on ESPN and ESPN4K.
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