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Kentucky overcomes another early deficit to defeat Vanderbilt 56-47

After back-to-back slow starts against Alabama and Texas A&M over the last week, Kentucky players said after their most recent outing that they knew it was something they had to turn around, and turn around quickly.

Just minutes into their matchup with Vanderbilt this evening, however, Kentucky found themselves down 16-4, needing yet another comeback effort to win their second SEC game of the season.

They crawled back, but the Wildcats still found themselves down 30-28 at halftime, their lowest point total of the season at the break. And the offense wouldn’t look much better in the second half.

After intermission, Kentucky picked up their intensity and found a way to slowly spread the lead, pushing it to 11 with 5:09 remaining in the game.

Vanderbilt gave a slight resistance, but the Wildcats were able to hold them off to pull off the 56-47 victory to move to 12-3 on the season and 2-1 in conference play.

On offense, it was easily Kentucky’s ugliest game of the season, finishing with 15 fewer points than the team’s lowest scoring output of the season (71 against Southern Illinois and Louisville). As a team, they finished shooting 50 percent from the field (just 44 shots on the night), 25 percent from three (4-16), and 57.1 percent from the free throw line.

Defensively however, Kentucky held Vanderbilt to just 47 points, the Wildcats’ second-lowest allowed total of the season (44 against Monmouth). The Commodores shot just 36 percent from the field, 28 percent from three, and 50 percent from the free throw line.

Ashton Hagans finished with 15 points on 7-9 shooting, four rebounds, four assists, and three steals, proving yet again to be Kentucky’s most impactful player on the roster at this point in the season. He fell hard on a drive late in the second half and appeared to hurt his back, but he was back in a few possessions later looking okay

Keldon Johnson also added 15 points on an efficient 6-8 shooting, along with one rebound and one assist.

Immanuel Quickley added a career-high 12 points on 4-9 shooting, with three of those makes coming from beyond the arc.

Outside of those three, Kentucky got little to nothing on the offensive end of the floor from the rest of the Wildcats. Reid Travis, Tyler Herro, and PJ Washington combined for just 12 points on a putrid 4-13 shooting. Herro and Travis also combined for five turnovers.

Check out the entire boxscore:

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Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

53 Comments for Kentucky overcomes another early deficit to defeat Vanderbilt 56-47



  1. eddiesuttonsliver
    10:37 pm January 12, 2019 Permalink

    something something bad win something



  2. RealCatsFan
    10:42 pm January 12, 2019 Permalink

    From the two jewel shots in the game it looks like they should have passed out UK cups instead of UK hardhats.



    • runningunnin.454
      10:47 pm January 12, 2019 Permalink

      Did you see the older lady laughing at the Vandy guy? Cold hearted, man.



  3. bigbluebanana
    10:42 pm January 12, 2019 Permalink

    As an aside, Jack, you have become far and away my favorite writer here.



  4. Bud
    10:49 pm January 12, 2019 Permalink

    Didn’t see the game…why’d herro take 3 shots?



    • syrin23
      10:51 pm January 12, 2019 Permalink

      Tyler took him self out of the offense. Vandy played zone, and Tyler stood 7=9 feet outside the three point line the whole game and was never in a position to shoot the ball when he caught it. Plus, he never drove the lane.



    • mashburnfan1
      11:49 pm January 12, 2019 Permalink

      Seems like a coach would see that and tell the player.



  5. runningunnin.454
    10:50 pm January 12, 2019 Permalink

    Where’s Olblue and No more excuses?
    Must be a Dumbasses Anonymous meeting tonight.



    • BigolBlue
      11:11 pm January 12, 2019 Permalink

      We barely beat a very bad vandy team. Looked bad most of game. Lose if it wasnt for Hagans. This team isnt good. Keep living in your dream world thinking Cal can win another title.



    • Blue Bill
      11:26 pm January 12, 2019 Permalink

      And the Troll meeting begins…..



    • bigbluebanana
      11:35 pm January 12, 2019 Permalink

      I want to see your dreamworld where a coach that would take the UK job even touches what Cal has done here. Stevens, Self, Izzo, Wright….none will ever coach here. Oh that’s right, you think Nevada’s coach would do better that Cal. Keep playing in fantasy land. The rest of us will continue rooting for the boys in blue, we will continue to enjoy every win, we will support the coach who got us back to this level of national relevance. There’s a reason even national broadcasters state The we have a volatile fan base, and why other fan bases say the same thing…and that reason is people like you. Can’t enjoy a damn thing because you’re too busy sucking at your own life that you can’t even enjoy the winningest f*cking basketball program in history. It’s a child’s game and we happen to be great at it, yet here you are all the time bitching. I bet you order your steaks well done and your wife’s name is Karen and she constantly needs to speak to the manager.



    • No more excuses cal
      11:23 pm January 12, 2019 Permalink

      This team still hasn’t beat a quality team yet.plaers first



    • No more excuses cal
      11:27 pm January 12, 2019 Permalink

      There kinda like them 10 lose tubby teams get a ugly win now and then loose to suppiour coached teams but hey we be ready for the June draft players first



    • bigbluebanana
      11:39 pm January 12, 2019 Permalink

      Dude, you need to learn how to write and spell. I can’t even be mad at you because I feel so sorry for you. At least bigolblue knows how to spell and convey his sh1tty ideas properly. For real dude, my 8 year old can write out better sentences than you, and far less spelling errors, and he still thinks Santa is real.



    • No more excuses cal
      11:54 pm January 12, 2019 Permalink

      Writing skills don’t change the truth about my statement



    • bigbluebanana
      12:09 am January 13, 2019 Permalink

      No, but they impact the gravitas your statement has. It’s one thing for accidentally hitting other keys when typing, quite another when you don’t know what punctuation is, or differences between there and their. If you want people to at least listen to your viewpoints full of vitriol and uninformed takes, you might want to come across as someone who didn’t just put the pipe down, or at the very least, graduated elementary school.



    • makeitstop
      11:56 pm January 12, 2019 Permalink

      Big Blue Banana wins post of the year. Can’t stop laughing.



    • No more excuses cal
      2:12 am January 13, 2019 Permalink

      Alot of people are listening to me you being one of them puncuation skills or not your listening



    • bigbluebanana
      4:53 am January 13, 2019 Permalink

      No, I’m just responding to an idiot who can’t form complete sentences and has no idea what he’s talking about. The only person that might vaguely appreciate and share your viewpoints is bigolblue, and even he seems like he tries to distance himself from you.



    • No more excuses cal
      1:53 pm January 13, 2019 Permalink

      Did you know some of the smartest most influential people in the world had poor writing skills here just a few ben Franklin. Winston Churchill John f Kennedy and Albert Einstein nuf said



    • Skooms
      3:52 pm January 13, 2019 Permalink

      Everyone of those people you just mentioned still wrote WAYYYYYYYYY better than you, our village idiot.



  6. syrin23
    10:53 pm January 12, 2019 Permalink

    Our “best” shooters have shown us they are gym rat wonders, but not in game performers. Lets hope they turn it around, but right now Quickley and Keldon are our best outside shooters. Tyler took himself out of the offense tonight standing so far behind the line the whole game that he was never in a position to catch and shoot.



  7. BigolBlue
    10:55 pm January 12, 2019 Permalink

    Nice W



    • No more excuses cal
      11:28 pm January 12, 2019 Permalink

      But we will be ready for the June draft players first



    • RealCatsFan
      12:02 am January 13, 2019 Permalink

      You two need to go off somewhere and spoon each other.



  8. KYjellyRoll
    10:55 pm January 12, 2019 Permalink

    These slow starts to inferior teams will catch up with these guys very soon if something doesn’t change. A win is a win and I’m glad they’ve found a way to win but if they do this to quality opponents I’m afraid they won’t be able to close the gap.



    • michaelb
      12:20 am January 13, 2019 Permalink

      Yea it seems to keep keep happening . Might benefit from a starting line up change . I’d try starting Q in Herros spot just to see what happens



  9. CopenhagenCat
    10:56 pm January 12, 2019 Permalink

    PJ Washington did a great job taking the ball out of bounds tonight. Would be nice if he would play every game instead of when he wants to. Pisses me off. He just stands there. Then if he blocks one shot he tries to act like he is dominating. Pathetic.



    • JusSayin
      11:17 pm January 12, 2019 Permalink

      He had the highest +/- on the team and the ball was virtually never passed to him.

      He needs to make his free throws, but he wasn’t the issue tonight.



    • RealCatsFan
      12:03 am January 13, 2019 Permalink

      Terrence Jones 2.0.



  10. makeitstop
    10:56 pm January 12, 2019 Permalink

    Cal’s best shooting team? I’ve said 100 times we have the right coach for our program… but dude, this is on you! 3 straight no shows? Our 4 big men had a total of 10 points? We couldn’t figure out the VANDY zone? They gave us open shots and we couldn’t hit. I get it’s a process, blah blah blah but Cal, seriously, effort is not a process and shooting is not a process, these shots were pretty open, and I’m pretty sure unguarded from the freakin’ charity stripe. C’mon man. That’s not ok.



    • BigolBlue
      11:12 pm January 12, 2019 Permalink

      Time to move on from Cal



    • IrishCat
      11:19 pm January 12, 2019 Permalink

      Cal supposed to hit more shots?



    • Jiminy Crickets
      11:34 pm January 12, 2019 Permalink

      Cals offense is antique. Big guys stand around, perimeter guys never move after they run the weave, and pass around 3 line. Shot clock gets to 6-7 and drive and throw it at the rim. Vandy player zone, we looked like we’ve never seen it.



    • catsarerunnin
      7:54 am January 13, 2019 Permalink

      I’m surprised you’re not in the coaches HOF Jenny.



    • makeitstop
      11:43 pm January 12, 2019 Permalink

      No Cal can’t hit the shots for them but his best shooting team this is not. And Jiminy is right – they move through once or twice then stand. If I knew how to fix it, I’d be making $6m/yr. but they look like they never saw a zone. It’s too late in the season for the lost ball in high weeds look. We’ve gone from a big man dominated, rebound grabbing, Jam it back in, bully team to a guard dominated team. Thank god for Quickley and Hagan the last week but it seems like a regression and that’s up to Cal to stop, it’s why he gets the big bucks.



    • Matt10
      3:24 am January 13, 2019 Permalink

      Jiminy, the offense has to be kept really simple because, remember, most of them are freshmen.
      Aside from poor offense, it’s pretty impressive to hold any team to 17 second half points. I’ll take the W.



  11. catsby90.1
    11:24 pm January 12, 2019 Permalink

    A win is a win, and I’ll never take one for granted, but geez was that boring lol. Also, for herro to be such a good player, why in the world can’t he make an entry pass???



    • RealCatsFan
      12:05 am January 13, 2019 Permalink

      It was an ugly game. Glad I didn’t pay the discounted $120 ticket price to see that in person.



    • michaelb
      12:21 am January 13, 2019 Permalink

      Same here lol 120$ for that ? I woulda been let down



  12. No more excuses cal
    11:31 pm January 12, 2019 Permalink

    Because cal don’t teach that in practice they just go over there draft speach players first



    • Catsfan1715
      12:22 am January 13, 2019 Permalink

      7 sweet 16’s, 6 elite 8’s, 4 final 4’s and a title. More than any program since 2010 with exception of the 1 title (tied for 2nd). Players first. If you add 2009 I’m pretty sure we are still 1st and 2nd (title) in each category. Players first



    • No more excuses cal
      2:31 am January 13, 2019 Permalink

      We also got some really bad losses to let’s see k state last year that cost you at least one final four on the list Wisconsin ouch that one hurt uconn x2 Kevin Ollie handed cal one of them by the way where he coaching at now and I could go on and on about cal having the best players and underachieving while others have had less talent and done just as much or more Villanova come to mind first



    • Blue Bill
      10:10 am January 13, 2019 Permalink

      What does that jibberish even mean? You can’t form a simple sentence but no doubt know much more than Coach Cal.



    • Blue Bill
      10:11 am January 13, 2019 Permalink

      Referring to NMEC.



    • Skooms
      3:56 pm January 13, 2019 Permalink

      Yeah cause Villinova is just tearing it up this year huh? No, Jay Wrights formula works wonderful UNTIL someone leaves earlier than expected.



  13. Lexkyval
    11:44 pm January 12, 2019 Permalink

    We didnt start slow agaisnt bama. They were just much better. We didnt bog down till 2nd half.



  14. VirginiaCat
    11:49 pm January 12, 2019 Permalink

    It occurs to me that if we keep playing mediocre basketball, the mystique will fade and we will no longer be everyone’s super bowl. That’s part of Cal’s master plan and is brilliant.



  15. Righteous1
    11:57 pm January 12, 2019 Permalink

    That plan is working.



  16. michaelb
    12:23 am January 13, 2019 Permalink

    120$ lower level for that ? Yikes . They’re gonna have to pay people to go in February



  17. mcp157
    8:35 am January 13, 2019 Permalink

    BBN has a lot of chicken littles out there. Let’s give the season time to unfold.