No. 12 Kentucky got 25 points from Tyrese Maxey, who led a 78-64 victory over Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tenn., on Tuesday night.
Kentucky controlled the interior, out-scoring Vanderbilt 40-20 in the paint and blocking 12 shots to the Commodores’ four. The Wildcats shot 61.3 percent in the second half.
Immanuel Quickley had 18 points, Nick Richards had 12 and Ashton Hagans had 11 points, eight assists and 10 rebounds for the Wildcats (19-5, 9-2 Southeastern Conference). Kentucky has won three in a row, and seven of its last eight.
Saben Lee (20 points), Scotty Pippen Jr. (13), Dylan Disu (12 points, 10 rebounds) and Maxwell Evans (10 points) led Vanderbilt (9-15, 1-10).
Kentucky controlled the area around the rim in the second half, which helped the ‘Cats go on an 18-2 run that flipped the game.
Having trailed throughout the first half, the Wildcats tied it for the first time on forward E.J. Montgomery’s two free throws with 11:48 to play. Then, Maxey’s driving layup with 11:16 left gave them their first lead of the evening, 48-46, an advantage they would not give up.
Maxey bounced in a long 3-pointer to make it 51-46. A Maxey layup at 7:16 extended the lead to 57-48. Richards rammed home a dunk at 6:11 for Kentucky’s first double-digit advantage at 59-48.
Vanderbilt wouldn’t go away. The Commodores sprung a full-court press, and guard Jordan Wright swiped an inbounds pass and laid in with 4:17 left, cutting the advantage to 62-57.
But Quickley answered with a wide-open 3 from straight away out of the final media timeout, another with 3:04 left, and a Hagans layup at 2:25 pushed the lead back to 70-57.
Vanderbilt controlled the first half, thanks to an 8-of-17 showing behind the arc. Its biggest lead was 34-20 when Lee hit a 3-pointer with 4:43 left to play before half. His foul shots again made the lead 14 with 3:51 remaining.
But Kentucky chipped away, with Quickley canning three free throws after Lee bumped him on a 3-point attempt with 35 seconds left before the break. Vandy’s lead was 36-27 at half.
—Field Level Media