Sunday, February 18, 2001

Kentucky 79, Vanderbilt 74


Wildcats win 7th straight in SEC

The Associated Press

        NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tayshaun Prince was there when Kentucky needed him most.

        Prince scored 27 points, including 16 of the Wildcats' final 29, as No.22 Kentucky beat Vanderbilt 79-74 on Saturday for its seventh consecutive Southeastern Conference victory.

        The Wildcats (17-7, 10-2 SEC) have won 17 straight games against Vanderbilt (15-10, 4-8).

        “I know the guys were looking to get me the basketball,” said Prince, who also led Kentucky with nine rebounds and five assists.

        Prince was at his best when he needed to be, making 11 of 12 free throws. He also hit his own only two 3-point shots of the game in the final 5:26, both times with the Wildcats trailing.

        “The shots weren't falling (from the outside), but I had the confidence to keep taking them,” Prince said.

        He was just 2-of-9 from 3-point-range as Kentucky went 7-for-26 overall.

        “He hit some shots, and he needed to, because no one else was hitting them,” Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings said.

        Kentucky maintained at least a two-game edge in the Eastern Division. Second-place Florida (7-4, SEC East) visits Tennessee today.

        The Wildcats also spoiled Vandy's first sellout of the season. The Commodores have not beaten Kentucky since a home victory on Jan.13, 1993, when Kentucky was ranked No.1.

        Kentucky withstood a furious second-half rally by Vanderbilt in which the Commodores battled back from a 50-32 deficit with an 18-0 run. The Commodores capped the spurt with freshman Brandon Plavich's 3-pointer with 10:22 to play that tied it at 50.

        From that point, the Wildcats put the ball and the game in the hands of Prince.

        Prince sealed the game for Kentucky with a soft jump hook and was fouled by Russell Lakey with 1:04 to play. Prince converted the three-point play, giving Kentucky a 77-72 lead.

        Twice the Wildcats seemed on the verge of blowing out the Commodores. UK outscored Vandy 20-4 to take a 45-29 halftime lead.

        Kentucky widened the lead to 18 points early in the second half before Vanderbilt made its final push with the 18-0 run that stretched over an amazing 7:12.

        “We were able to control the tempo at the start of the second half,” Kentucky coach Tubby Smith said. “But Vanderbilt showed a lot of heart. It's always tough to win in Nashville.”

        The Wildcats return home to play Louisiana State on Wednesday night at Rupp Arena.


KENTUCKY (79)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Prince          36  7-18 11-12   5-9  5  3   27
Parker          10   1-2   0-0   0-4  0  2    2
Fitch           29   3-5   1-2   0-5  3  2    9
Bogans          30  5-12   0-1   2-5  3  4   10
Smith           22   2-5   2-4   0-1  1  3    8
Hawkins         18   1-6   1-2   0-2  2  2    3
Blevins         16   1-3   2-3   0-0  0  0    5
Daniels          6   1-3   0-0   2-2  0  1    2
Stone           21   4-6   3-5   4-7  0  4   11
Estill          12   1-2   0-0   2-2  1  2    2
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 26-62 20-29 15-37 15 23   79
_______________________________________________


Percentages: FG-.419, FT-.690. 3-Point Goals:
7-26, .269 (Prince 2-9, Fitch 2-4, Bogans 0-5,
Smith 2-5, Blevins 1-3). Team rebounds: 5.
Blocked shots: 5 (Prince 3, Stone, Estill).
Turnovers: 16 (Bogans 6, Fitch 3, Stone 2,
Blevins, Daniels, Parker, Prince, Smith). Steals:
5 (Hawkins 3, Fitch 2).


VANDERBILT (74)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Freije          30   4-8   3-3   0-5  2  4   13
Lapointe        24   3-8   3-4   5-8  0  3    9
Lakey           27   1-4   0-0   0-2  3  5    3
Richmond        36  4-11   3-5   2-6  4  2   13
Moore           32  5-15   6-7   1-4  2  3   16
Coulibaly        1   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  1    0
Plavich         19  4-11   0-0   1-2  0  4   12
Howard           1   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
Hundley         10   0-1   0-0   0-1  2  0    0
Williams        20   3-4   2-3   3-4  2  3    8
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 24-62 17-22 12-32 15 25   74
_______________________________________________


Percentages: FG-.387, FT-.773. 3-Point Goals:
9-27, .333 (Freije 2-4, Lakey 1-2, Richmond 2-4,
Moore 0-6, Plavich 4-11). Team rebounds: 4.
Blocked shots: 2 (Coulibaly, Williams).
Turnovers: 15 (Lakey 4, Richmond 4, Plavich 2,
Williams 2, Freije, Lapointe, Moore). Steals: 8
(Moore 3, Lakey 2, Hundley, Plavich, Williams).
__________________________________
Kentucky           45   34  -   79
Vanderbilt         29   45  -   74
__________________________________
Technical fouls: Vanderbilt 1 (Bench).  A:
14,168. Officials: Curtis Shaw, Tom Eades, J.b.
Caldwell.


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