Kentucky surged out to a nine-point halftime lead and withstood a late Vanderbilt run with physical play to pull away for a 74-67 victory at Memorial Gymnasium.
A week ago Kentucky got out-toughed in Knoxville. Today in Nashville they owned Vanderbilt inside. The Cats outscored the Commodores in the paint 36-26 and blocked seven Vanderbilt shots.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had another excellent performance without Quade Green in the lineup. The point guard led all scorers with 22 points on 7-of-11 shots. Wenyen Gabriel and Sacha Killeya-Jones made plenty of hustle plays, Kevin Knox fought for buckets down the stretch and Hamidou Diallo nailed a corner three-pointer with 1:15 to seal a Kentucky victory.
Riley LaChance had three free throws with 30 seconds to play to make it a one-point game. A career 85.8 percent free throw shooter missed all three free throw attempts to end any chance Vanderbilt had to win the game.