VANDERBILT AT KENTUCKY
RUPP ARENA AT CENTRAL BANK CENTER, LEXINGTON, KY
JANUARY 5, 2021
Final Score: Kentucky 77, Vanderbilt 74
Team Records and Series Notes
In a game that featured 17 ties and five lead changes, and neither team leading by double digits during the contest, Kentucky hit a 3-pointer with 48 seconds left and held on for a 77-74 victory.
For the fifth year in a row, Kentucky overcame a halftime deficit against Vanderbilt in Rupp Arena to pull out the victory.
UK is now 3-6, 2-0 in the Southeastern Conference. Vanderbilt is 4-4, 0-2 in the SEC.
Kentucky leads the series 150-47 and has won the last nine.
With 150 victories, UK has more wins against the Commodores than any other opponent.
Next: on Saturday, Kentucky plays at Florida. Game time is 5 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN.
Olivier Sarr led all players with a season-high 24 points, adding seven rebounds and two blocks.
Sarr had career highs with 14 of 17 at the foul line, also most by any Wildcat this season.
Davion MIntz had 11 points, including the game-winning 3-pointer with 48 seconds left.
Dontaie Allen came off the bench to net 14 points and grab five rebounds.
10 of the points came in the second half as he made both 3-point attempts and all four free throws.
Devin Askew had 11 points, giving him consecutive double-figure games for the first time at UK.
He also led the Cats with three assists and a season-high three steals.
Coach John Calipari
Calipari is now 333-83 at UK.
Calipari has a 778-223 all-time on-court record.
UK is 270-48 under Calipari against Associated Press unranked teams.
Calipari is now 185-13 at Rupp Arena as Kentucky's head coach.
It's the eighth time in Calipari's 12 seasons UK has started SEC play 2-0.
Kentucky won consecutive games for the first time this season.
The Wildcats snapped the first two-game skid at home of the Calipari era and prevented the first-three game home losing streak in 45 seasons in Rupp Arena.
The Wildcats made 26 of 32 foul shots, season highs in both categories.
UK made only two turnovers, fewest in the Calipari era. Both miscues were in the second half.
The Wildcats won points off turnovers 12-4.
Kentucky got 21 fast-break points, 16 of which came in the decisive second half.
UK blocked nine shots and has 19 in the last two games.
UK won despite being outrebounded 42-29.
The minus-13 margin is the eighth worst in the Calipari era.
Despite the disparity, second-chance points were tied at six for each team.
After losing three games by three points or less in December, UK has now won by three points and in overtime in the last two games.
In the First Half
Dontaie Allen was the first substitute at the 17-minute mark.
Kentucky led 17-11 before Vanderbilt hit a 13-2 spurt for a 24-19 visitors' advantage
UK rallied to tie at 24 and 29 but VU had an 11-2 run for the largest lead of the half at 40-31.
Kentucky got the final basket as Vanderbilt went to halftime ahead 40-33.
Sarr led the Wildcats with 15 points and four rebounds in the first half. He tied Terrence Clarke for the most points in the first half this season, as Clarke had 15 in the opening stanza vs. Georgia Tech.
Kentucky had no turnovers in the first half.
UK is 2-3 this season when trailing at intermission.
Vanderbilt led UK at halftime in each of the last five games in Rupp Arena but the Wildcats rallied to win all five.
In the Second Half
Kentucky opened the second half with Mintz, Allen, Boston, Ware and Sarr.
UK tallied a quick seven points to tie it at 40.
However, VU responded with a five-point possession as Dylan Disu got a basket-and-one, plus a flagrant foul on Ware and two VU free throws to make it 45-40.
UK took the lead at 50-49, the first time the Wildcats had been ahead since 19-17.
Trailing 57-53, UK went on a 6-0 run to re-take the lead at 59-57.
Tied at 72, Allen was fouled on a defensive rebound and made both free throws to put UK up two with 1:17 remaining.
Scotty Pippen Jr. drew Sarr's fifth foul at 1:02 and tied it with two foul shots.
On the next possession, following a timeout, Askew drove and dished to Mintz in the deep left corner, and he swished a 3-pointer with 48 seconds remaining.
After a missed shot by each team, Vanderbilt had a chance to tie but missed a pair of 3-pointers in the last six seconds as UK held on to win.