(From Vandy athletics; photos courtesy SEC)
Oscar Tshiebwe scored a career-high 30 points and brought in 13 rebounds, and No. 18 Kentucky never trailed in a 78-66 victory over Vanderbilt at Memorial Gymnasium on Tuesday.
The Wildcats (13-3, 3-1 SEC) ran their winning streak over Vanderbilt to 11 as they shot 58 percent from the field. TyTy Washington added 15 for Kentucky.
Scottie Pippen, Jr. poured in 32 for the Commodores (9-6, 1-2 SEC) who were out-rebounded 42-26. They also allowed 36 points in the paint.
The Wildcats can play for a sweep of the Volunteer state Saturday when Tennessee comes to Rupp Arena.
Kentucky began the game Tuesday with a 7-0 run before Vanderbilt got back-to-back 3s to draw within one point at 9-8 at the 16:40 mark. But it would be 3 1/2 minutes before the Commodores scored again—on another Pippen 3—and the Wildcats built a 17-8 lead before then.
Davion Mintz splashed a left-corner 3 giving Kentucky a 22-11 advantage a little less than eight minutes into the half. Vandy, however, exploded with an 11-0 run to tie the score at 22-all over a five-minute stretch.
The Wildcats punched back by scoring 14 straight, seven of which came from Kellan Grady. Kentucky took a 41-28 lead into the break after shooting 60.7 percent, winning the rebounding battle 19-12 and scoring nearly half (20) of its points from inside the paint.
Vandy got 17 points from Pippen, but the rest of the Commodores shot 5 of 19 combined from the floor.
Kentucky extended its lead to 53-36 on a Keion Brooks triple a little more than 3 1/2 minutes into the second half. Washington’s midrange jumper with 13:35 to go put the Wildcats up 58-40.
Vanderbilt had no formula for any sort of comeback from there as Kentucky built a lead as large as 28 with 6:14 on the clock. The ‘Dores finished on a 16-0 run that made the score look respectable as John Calipari substituted liberally.
- Kentucky now is 151-47 all-time against Kentucky and 50-23 in Nashville vs. the Commodores.
- Vandy’s last in against a ranked opponent was Feb. 5, 2020, over No. 18 LSU.
- Attendance on Tuesday was announced as 8,343