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UK POSTGAME NOTES: Kentucky Tops Vanderbilt 78-66 in Music City

Oscar Tshiebwe of Kentucky hits 30 points against Vanderbilt Tuesday night in Nashville. (SEC Media Photo)

Compiled by UK Athletics



Final Score: No. 18/17 Kentucky 78, Vanderbilt 66

Team Records, Series Notes, Etc.

  • Kentucky won its second consecutive game and its sixth in the last seven games to move to 13-3 on the season and 3-1 in the Southeastern Conference. Vanderbilt dropped to 9-6 in the league and 1-2 league play.

  • UK has started at least 3-1 in every season of the John Calipari era but one: the 2010-11 year.

  • The Wildcats improved to 152-47 all-time vs. the Commodores, including 61-29 in games played in Nashville, Tennessee.

  • Kentucky has won 11 straight in the series, its best winning streak vs. Vanderbilt since winning 18 consecutive times from the 1992-93 season to 2001-02. It’s the fourth-longest winning streak against UK’s second-most played opponent.

  • The wildcats have won the last six games in Memorial Gymnasium.

  • Next up: Kentucky hosts border-state rival Tennessee on Saturday at 1 p.m. in Rupp Arena. ESPN will have the call of UK’s most played opponent.

Team Notes

  • The Wildcats notched their first true road victory of the season in their third opportunity of the season.

  • UK is 2-3 in games away from Rupp Arena this season when factoring in neutral-site games.

  • All 13 of Kentucky’s wins this season have been by double figures.

  • Kentucky controlled the rebounding 42-26 and have won the boardwork by double-figure margins in 12 games this season, all wins.

  • UK shot 52.5% (31 of 59), the team’s eighth game making at least half of its shots this season, including the second in a row. The Wildcats are 8-0 in those games.

  • Kentucky has shot 50% or better in five of the last seven games.

  • Kentucky dominated in the paint with a 36-18 points advantage.

  • The Wildcats had just nine turnovers, the second straight game with single-figure turnovers.

  • Kentucky led by as many as 28 points in the second half. The Wildcats are 299-12 under Calipari when leading by at least 10 points during the game.

Player Notes

  • Oscar Tshiebwe dominated again with game highs in points (30, also a career high) and rebounds (13), notching his 12th double-double of the season.

  • He is the first UK player with at least 30 points and at least 10 rebounds in a game since Dec. 22, 2008 when Patrick Patterson registered 33 points and 11 rebounds against Tennessee State. Tayshaun Prince also recorded 31 points and 11 rebounds vs. North Carolina on Dec. 9, 2001.

  • He is averaging 29.5 points and 15 rebounds over this last two games.

  • His 30 points are the most by a Wildcat since Immanuel Quickley scored 30 at Texas A&M on Feb. 25, 2020.

  • He remains second nationally in double-doubles.

  • The nation’s leading rebounder has grabbed double-figure boards in all but two games this season.

  • It was his sixth 20-point game of the season.

  • He is the first Wildcat with five games of at least 20 points and at least 10 rebounds since Julius Randle did it seven times in 2013-14.

  • Coming off a school-record assists performance (17 vs. Georgia), TyTy Washington Jr. posted 15 points, four rebounds and four assists.

  • It was his 12th game in double-figure scoring, including five of the last six.

  • He is averaging 15.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.9 assists while shooting 54.2% in UK’s 13 wins.

  • Davion Mintz, continued his recent strong play with nine points.

  • Mintz made 3 of 5 from 3-point range and is 11 of 20 (55%) from behind the 3-point line over the last three games.

  • He is averaging 14.5 points per game over the last four contests.

  • Keion Brooks Jr. contributed nine points, five rebounds and two assists.

  • Sahvir Wheeler, who entered Tuesday ranked third nationally in assists per game (7.3), missed his second straight game with a neck injury he suffered Tuesday at LSU. He remains day-to-day.

Coach Calipari

  • John Calipari is now 352-96 at UK.

  • Calipari is now three wins short of career win No. 800 and has a 797-236 all-time on-court record.

  • UK is 288-56 under Calipari vs. opponents ranked outside the Associated Press Top 25.

  • Calipari is now 22-4 all-time vs. Vanderbilt.

  • Calipari has tallied a 370-117 all-time record within conference play as a head coach and owns a 162-51 record since joining the SEC.

  • Calipari improved to 113-55 on the road as Kentucky’s lead man.

In the First Half

  • With Sahvir Wheeler unavailable due to a neck injury suffered last week LSU, Kentucky started TyTy Washington Jr., Davion Mintz, Kellan Grady, Keion Brooks Jr. and Oscar Tshiebwe for the first time this season.

  • Oscar Tshiebwe opened the game by winning the tip and scoring on a turnaround bank shot.

  • UK scored on its first three possessions – including five points by Washington – for a game-opening 7-0 run.

  • Vanderbilt answered with a 6-0 run soon after to cut Kentucky’s lead to 9-8.

  • UK opened it back up with an 8-0 spurt to increase its advantage to 17-8.

  • Washington (nine) and Tshiebwe (eight) combined for UK’s first 17 points.

  • Jacob Toppin was the Wildcats’ first sub at 12:19 for Brooks.

  • With a combination of turnovers and missed shots, UK went more than five minutes without a point, at which point Vanderbilt capitalized with an 11-0 run to tie the game at 22-22 at the 7:08 mark, forcing John Calipari to burn a timeout.

  • Grady snapped the run out of the timeout with a pull-up 3 and continued the game of runs as UK reeled off 14 straight over less than four minutes retake the lead, 36-22.

  • Making 17 of 28 from the floor (60.7%), Kentucky took a 41-28 lead to the halftime locker room. UK is 13-1 this season when leading at the half.

  • Kentucky’s 60.7% mark from the field was a first-half season high.

  • UK was 4 of 5 from 3-point land, including 2 of 2 from Mintz.

  • Tshiebwe led the Wildcats with 15 points on 7-of-8 shooting to go along with seven rebounds.

  • His 15 points are the most by a UK player in the first half this season.

  • Washington performed wonderfully too with 11 points, two assists and a steal.

In the Second Half

  • Kentucky began the second half with the same starting five of Washington, Mintz, Grady, Brooks and Tshiebwe.

  • Kentucky maintained a double-figure lead the entire half.

  • A 14-2 run stretched the UK lead to its largest of the game, 78-50, with six minutes remaining.

  • Oddly, the Wildcats went scoreless the rest of the way as Vanderbilt closed the game with a 16-0 run.

  • Nearly duplicating his first-half output, Tshiebwe collected 15 points and six rebounds in the second stanza.

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