Kentucky vs. Vanderbilt: Why Do 'Cats Lack a Killer Instinct?

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Kentucky vs. Vanderbilt: Why Do 'Cats Lack a Killer Instinct?
Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

It was a tale of two halves for Kentucky against Vanderbilt. The Kentucky Wildcats struggled to shoot all night, but in the second half, a lack of poise and experience kept Vanderbilt in the game until the very end.

In the first half, Kentucky was relatively unflappable in the half court. Despite missing shots, they stayed active on defense and challenged every Vanderbilt shot.

But when Vanderbilt went zone in the early part of the second half, the Kentucky offense stalled. In ESPN commentator Rece Davis' words, the Wildcats were "flummoxed."

Baffled. Bewildered. Puzzled. Shocked.

And just like that, Kentucky lost their double-digit halftime cushion and let Vanderbilt back into the game. 

If it weren't for a missed shot clock violation, the Wildcats may be 0-1 in SEC play. 

The problem does not lie in shooting. Even though Kentucky shot a sub-standard 45.3 percent from the field (and an ugly 3-of-17 from beyond the arc), cold shooting was prevalent on both sides. 

Kentucky lacks a killer instinct. Vanderbilt was down in the first half. The Wildcats had chances to separate, but failed. That failing will lead to losses down the road. 

Here's my take on why Kentucky couldn't put Vanderbilt out of reach. 

 

All stats via ESPN.com.

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