NASHVILLE, Tenn. (1/11/14) ― Kentucky improved to a 12-3 and 2-0 in Southeastern Conferene action with its win over Vanderbilt, 71-62, Saturday, Jan. 11 at Memorial Gymnasium in Nashville, Tenn.
Vanderbilt dropped to 8-6 and 0-2 in league play.
Kentucky started with a lineup of sophomore Willie Cauley-Stein and freshmen Aaron Harrison, Andrew Harrison, Julius Randle and James Young. That lineup improves to 8-3 on the year. UK has used that starting five in each of its last eight games.
Alex Poythress and Dakari Johnson were the first subs off the bench marking the seventh and fifth time respectively they have entered the game first.
UK’s all-time record against SEC foes stands improves to 913-256 and 64-19 under John Calipari.
UK took its first lead of the game at the 15:33 mark after a pair of free throws from Aaron Harrison to make the score 6-4.
Andrew Harrison connected on a 3-pointer at the 10:30 minute mark to push UK’s run to 9-0 and gave Kentucky a 15-6 score advantage. Kentucky held the lead for the remaining of the opening stanza taking a 30-22 advantage into the break.
Kentucky took a nine-point lead at 36-27 to open the second frame, but the Commodores used a 4-0 spurt to pull to within 36-31 at the 16:11 mark forcing UK into a timeout.
Following an Alex Poythress dunk at the 5:37 mark to give UK a 60-47 lead. Kentucky was charged with a technical foul for its second delay of game for the contest. Vanderbilt made both free throws and then hit a 3-pointer on its return possession to pull back to within eight at 60-52.
A Vanderbilt 3-pointer cut UK’s lead to just seven at the 1:59 mark. James Young grabbed an offensive rebound off a missed 1-and-1 and the possession ended on a Cauley-Stein dunk. Kentucky held at least a seven-point advantage the rest of the way.
UK which ranks third nationally extended its 3-point streak to 875 consecutive games, while Vanderbilt which ranks second nationally has hit at least one triple in 878 successive games.
UK’s all-time record in the month of January moves to 579-195 and 28-5 under Calipari.
The Wildcats are now 16-3 all-time as the Associated Press’ No. 14 rated squad and 3-0 under Calipari.
The Cats have registered 40 or more rebounds in 13 games this season including hauling in 41 today.
Kentucky had seven steals in today’s contest just two shy of a season-best.
In regard to players' performances, Calipari said Randle has a lot of defensive attacks to contend with while Poythress has stepped up his game.
"You have to understand, he's in a dogfight," said Calipari about Randle. "I think right now that he's the only college player that when he catches the ball, he's got three guys on him. I don't know if there's another college player. You'd have to tell me who that would be. And they're being physical. So he's not just running down the court, he's like in a football game. So now, he's exerting physically, cardiovascularly, and there's some anxiety, so that could all play into it. He's doing fine. He's a beast. I wanted him to dunk a few balls today, but it's hard to dunk when guys are all over you, body to body."
Calipari said Poythress' defense and offense are where more players should be headed.
"Defensively, it's the best he's ever played," he said. "He scrambled and came up with balls and they were not his men. And then the dunks. That's what our big guys all should be doing. When you go up, don't think of laying it. I don't need to know you have a good left hand or right hand. Dunk the ball. Put your head on the rim. That's what he did today."
Information provided by Deb Moore & John Hayden
UK Media Relations
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