Sunday, January 28, 2001

Kentucky 86, Vanderbilt 75


Wildcats control the boards

The Associated Press

        LEXINGTON, Ky. — After back-to-back losses in which his team got embarrassed on the boards, Kentucky coach Tubby Smith challenged his players to crash the glass against visiting Vanderbilt.

        The Wildcats (11-7, 4-2 Southeastern Conference) took the plea to heart, outrebounding the Commodores 40-28 in an 86-75 victory Saturday night.

        Included in Kentucky's rebounding total was a 20-12 advantage at the offensive end, leading to 24 second-chance points.

        “We tried to make a conscious effort to improve our rebounding because we were abysmal in our last game against Alabama,” Smith said. “Everybody gave a great effort tonight.”

        Marquis Estill tied a career high with 19 points and Saul Smith got his career-high with 18 as the Wildcats beat Vanderbilt for the 16th straight time.

        Smith, who has struggled from the perimeter much of the season, hit six of 10 shots — including three of six 3-pointers — and had two assists to move him into 11th place on the Wildcats' all-time list with 303.

        “You can talk about going out and getting it done all you want, but it's a matter of who goes out and does it,” Saul Smith said. “I just try to

        lead by example and get our team pumped up as much as possible.”

        Tayshaun Prince added 15 and Keith Bogans 13 for the Wildcats, who travel to Georgia on Wednesday with a share of the SEC East lead on the line.

        “This game should give us some positive reinforcement that we can play with anybody in the conference,” Tubby Smith said. “We've already beaten Georgia here, so hopefully we can go down there and play better than we did tonight.”

        Matt Freije scored 15 of his 21 points in the second half and Billy Richmond had 15 to lead Vanderbilt (13-6, 3-4).

        “The difference was their aggressiveness on the offensive boards and our inability to rebound the ball,” Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings said. “We can't give them 20 offensive rebounds and expect to beat them.”

        Leading scorer Greg LaPointe, who came into the game averaging 12.5 points, finished with four in only 14 minutes because of a sore back.

        “His back just wouldn't allow him to go,” Stallings said. “This is the worst game day he's had all season long. He's our best player, our best big guy, and we missed him tonight.”

        Down 16-8, Estill scored seven points during a 13-0 run to give Kentucky a 21-16 lead with 7:52 remaining in the first half.

        Following Williams' three-point play, an 11-1 run put Kentucky up 32-20 with 2:06 to play. Vanderbilt outscored the Wildcats 7-2 over the final two minutes to cut the margin to 34-27 at halftime.

        For the half, Kentucky's bench — led by Estill — outscored Vanderbilt's reserves 22-9.

        “Our starters came out a little slow tonight,” Estill said. “We were talking about that on the bench, and knew that we needed to get in the game and step it up.”

        A 15-2 run to open the second half put Kentucky up 49-29 with 15:52 to play. Bogans scored the first seven points and Smith hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Wildcats their largest lead of the night.
        “We lost a 20-point lead, but we never let them take the lead,” said freshman Jason Parker, who finished with four points and five rebounds. “We need to keep our focus when we get a big lead, and that's something we'll definitely work on this week.”


VANDERBILT (75)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Williams        34   3-5   5-5   5-8  5  5   11
Lapointe        15   2-3   0-0   0-2  0  1    4
Howard          19   1-5   0-0   1-2  2  2    2
Lakey           27   0-2   1-2   1-1  1  2    1
Moore           34  4-10   2-4   0-3  0  1   13
Coulibaly        1   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  2    0
Plavich         14   1-2   1-2   0-0  0  1    4
Richmond        17  5-15   2-3   0-1  2  4   15
Hundley         10   0-2   4-4   1-1  0  3    4
Freije          29  7-11   3-4   3-7  1  2   21
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 23-55 18-24 11-25 11 23   75
_______________________________________________


Percentages: FG-.418, FT-.750. 3-Point Goals:
11-23, .478 (Williams 0-1, Howard 0-2, Moore 3-6,
Plavich 1-2, Richmond 3-6, Hundley 0-1, Freije
4-5). Team rebounds: 3. Blocked shots: 3 (Freije
2, Lapointe). Turnovers: 23 (Howard 3, Hundley 3,
Lakey 3, Lapointe 3, Richmond 3, Freije 2,
Williams 2, Plavich). Steals: 7 (Moore 3,
Lapointe 2, Richmond 2).


KENTUCKY (86)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Prince          27   4-9   7-8   2-6  1  1   15
Parker          16   2-5   0-1   1-5  0  4    4
Fitch           15   1-3   1-1   3-4  1  2    3
Bogans          24   5-9   2-2   0-2  1  1   13
Smith           31  6-10   3-4   0-1  2  3   18
Hawkins         12   2-4   0-0   0-2  1  1    4
Blevins         23   1-5   0-0   2-4  3  1    3
Daniels         15   3-5   0-0   3-4  2  2    6
Stone           12   0-5   1-2   5-5  2  2    1
Estill          25   5-7  9-11   3-4  0  2   19
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 29-62 23-29 19-37 13 19   86
_______________________________________________


Percentages: FG-.468, FT-.793. 3-Point Goals:
5-18, .278 (Prince 0-2, Fitch 0-1, Bogans 1-4,
Smith 3-6, Hawkins 0-1, Blevins 1-2, Daniels 0-1,
Estill 0-1). Team rebounds: 3. Blocked shots: 5
(Estill 2, Parker, Stone, Prince). Turnovers: 16
(Smith 4, Blevins 3, Hawkins 3, Daniels 2,
Bogans, Estill, Fitch, Stone). Steals: 12 (Smith
3, Bogans 2, Estill 2, Fitch 2, Hawkins, Parker,
Prince).
__________________________________
Vanderbilt         27   48  -   75
Kentucky           34   52  -   86
__________________________________
Technical fouls: None.  A: 22,381. Officials:
Jamie Luckie, Carlos Reyes, Doug Sirmons.


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