The Kentucky Wildcats (18-4, 7-2 Southeastern Conference) defeated the Vanderbilt Commodores (11-10, 3-6 Southeastern Conference) with a score of 77-70.
Davion Mintz led the way for Kentucky with a season-high 21 points, including four treys. Scottie Pippen Jr. paced the Commodores with a game-high 33 points.
Sloppy Start for the Wildcats
On a night where debatably Kentucky’s two top players, Oscar Tshiebwe and Tyty Washington, were in foul trouble early the Wildcats needed a spark off the bench.
After going back and forth the first 10 minutes, the game was tied 18-18 after a three-pointer by Kellan Grady. The Wildcats proceeded to end the half on a 17-2 run to end the first half to put them up 41-31 going into the half.
Vanderbilt Comes Up Short
After overcoming 11 first-half turnovers, Vanderbilt was able to get it to within one possession twice in the second half. Each time the Commodores brought it close, Kentucky and Rupp Arena had an answer.
Mintz put Kentucky in the driver’s seat with one of his four threes on the night to put Kentucky up 47-43.
Kentucky would not look back and feed off each other, and Rupp Arena to contain Pippen Jr. and the Commodores the rest of the way.
Behind Mintz’s 21 points and Tshiebwe’s 17 rebounds, the Wildcats were able to escape the in-conference matchup with a 77-70 win.
Tale of the Tape
Kentucky had 16 assists on the night, led by one of the best distributors in the nation, Sahvir Wheeler with nine assists. Meanwhile, Vanderbilt only had eight assists on 24 made field goals.
In the losing effort, Pippen Jr. managed to put up his second 30-point game against Kentucky this year. The preseason SEC player of the year is well on his way to all-SEC accolades. Pippen Jr. has put together an impressive season despite the team’s record.
Next up, Kentucky will travel to Tuscaloosa where they take on the Crimson Tide on Saturday.
Vanderbilt’s next test will be against LSU on Saturday at home.