Kentucky vs. Vanderbilt: Wildcats Survive Commodore Rally to Win 60-58

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Kentucky vs. Vanderbilt: Wildcats Survive Commodore Rally to Win 60-58
Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

When Kentucky and Vanderbilt met for the first time since the Commodores beat them for the SEC title last year in Nashville, it looked to be an easy path to victory and revenge for the Wildcats. For most of the game, Vandy looked overmatched while UK seemed to be firing on all cylinders.

But a few minutes into the second half, Vanderbilt caught fire while the Wildcats couldn't seem to do anything right. In the end, it took a missed call in Kentucky's favor (Nerlens Noel final basket for the Cats was clearly shot after the shot clock expired) to help UK hang on for their first SEC win of the season. 

 

The Good

  • Phantom clutch basket aside, Nerlens Noel was one of the few players the Cats seemed to be able to count on for a consistent effort throughout the game. He ended up with his usual across the board stat line: 13 points, seven rebounds, three blocks, two steals.
  • Ryan Harrow continued to be a strong offensive presence (and a decent floor general) for the Wildcats, leading UK in scoring with 16 points to go along with four assists.

 

The Bad

  • As a team, Kentucky turned the ball over 16 times compared to only 12 assists.
  • I know I sound like a broken record, but once again, free throw shooting was a major issue. In addition to only shooting 60 percent at the line, many of the misses came late in the second half when UK badly needed the points.
  • In addition to leading UK in the turnover department (5), Archie Goodwin also had a very poor night shooting the ball, going 5-of-14 from the floor and 0-of-4 from behind the arc.
  • When Kyle Wiltjer wasn't getting constantly beat on defense, he only managed to score two points on 1-of-5 shooting.
  • Alex Poythress was once again a non-factor on offense, scoring only seven points before fouling out with 54 seconds left in the game.
  • Julius Mays continued to be caught in the throes of a horrible shooting slump, going 1-of-5 from the floor for three points.

 

The Weird

  • At one point during the television broadcast, ESPN commentator (and known Coach Cal hater) Bob Knight praised John Calipari for his coaching ability. This was in addition to his many compliments about the Wildcats throughout the night, which had to be a surprise to the Big Blue Nation that was tuned into ESPN for the game.
  • Matt Jones of Kentucky Sports Radio tweeted out a screen shot of Kyle Wiltjer that was not only perfectly timed, but also sums up many Wildcat fans' reaction to the team's play in the second half.

 

All stats via ESPN.com

 

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