LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – All right, it’s a win at Vanderbilt. Big deal, right. Kentucky beats Vanderbilt, that’s what it does. Tuesday night was win No. 155 over Vandy, and the Wildcats’ 14th straight in the series and 62nd in Nashville.
But this game was in a tricky spot. And it is a big deal.
It comes ahead of a national spotlight matchup against Kansas in Rupp Arena Saturday night. And it comes against a Vanderbilt team that has posed problems for opponents at home, albeit with leading scorer Liam Robbins, who missed the Kentucky game with a bone bruise. Vandy has beaten Pittsburgh, Arkansas, South Carolina and Georgia at home.
Kentucky cruised, as it usually does, as it should have done, to a 69-53 victory. It had 5 players score in double-figures. It executed as well as it has all season on offense, and stifled a good offensive team on defense.
Antonio Reeves had a game-high 16 points. Oscar Tshiebwe made 7 of 10 shots from the field to finish with 15, to go along with 13 rebounds. Jacob Toppin had 12 points and 10 rebounds, his fourth double-double of the season, while Cason Wallace and CJ Fredrick had 10 points each.
The Wildcats dished out 17 assists, led by Fredrick and Sahvir Wheeler with 5 each. Kentucky shot 56.4 percent for the game and went to the free-throw line only twice. The Wildcats outrebounded Vanderbilt 37-24.
Kentucky earned its fourth straight win and improved to 5-3 in the SEC.
“We’ve gotten to a point where we trust each other,” Toppin said. “We believe that the next guy is going to make the play, and that’s where we are right now.”
In a trap game, Kentucky sprung the trap, and now is set for a chance to regain some national attention in Saturday night’s matchup against Kansas.
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