Vanderbilt came to Lexington focused and prepared for a fight. They started the game strong and would lead throughout the entire game but Kentucky would flex their muscle late and eventually come away with a victory.
The Wildcats defeated Vanderbilt 73-67 behind 25 points from All-SEC guard Malik Monk and a barrage of shots down the stretch that pushed them ahead of Vanderbilt.
The Commodores played a tough, physical game with the team most likely to win the Southeastern Conference, in their house, on the road. It was another sign that this Vanderbilt team is playing their best basketball right now and really does look like an NCAA Tournament team.
Vanderbilt pushed ahead early with a 19 point lead behind stellar outside shooting and excellent on the ball defense. Kentucky would come back and make things closer but the Dores still took a lead into halftime, 30-24.
Head coach Bryce Drew had his focused on Tuesday night as they played like they knew what the game meant to them. Vanderbilt would start the 2nd half much like the 1st and remained hot from the field and from three point range.
It was an offensive collective effort from the majority of the team but received big performances from both Luke Kornet and Joe Toye.
Kornet led the Commodores in scoring at 21 while Toye had a career night scoring 15 points and playing great defense on the Wildcats top scorer.
It became a back and forth affair late in the game. Kentucky would eventually go ahead but Vanderbilt would remain right there with an opportunity to win. Clutch three point shots by Kornet kept things within a possession but made free throws by the Cats eventually sealed the deal.
Vanderbilt's depth might have come into effect late in the game but regardless, the Commodores fought all the way till the end and gave a Top 10 everything they wanted on their home court.
One glaring hole on Tuesday night's game was the lack of everything from junior Matthew Fisher-Davis. The Commodores leading scorer put up a goose egg on Tuesday night going scoreless in a game where his points would have made a big difference. He also had several turnovers in the 2nd half where he looked checked out. Had Vanderbilt received a marginal performance from Fisher-Davis, they would of upset the Cats but going scoreless had the Dores losing by sux points.
Vanderbilt closes out the regular season this Saturday at home on senior night. The Dores welcome in the Florida Gators in what will be the biggest game of the season for Vandy and a game that could propel them into the NCAA Tournament. The game is set to tip-off at 1 pm Central and will be aired on either ESPN or ESPN2.