NCAA BK

Kentucky hands Vandy first loss

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Lexington, KY (Sports Network) - finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds to lead seventh-ranked to a 75-63 win over 20th-ranked and previously unbeaten in the Southeastern Conference at Rupp Arena. and each added 16 points for the Wildcats (10-1, 1-0 SEC), who earned their third straight victory overall and their fourth straight in the series.

"I knew it would be a real battle," head coach Tubby Smith said. "We are pleased to win a hard-fought game."

and both posted 15 points for the Commodores (12-1, 1-1), who lost for the first time after starting the season with a school-best 12 victories and remained winless in 27 visits to Rupp Arena.

contributed 12 points and seven rebounds for , which opened the second half with an 8-0 run to extend a two-point edge. A layup by Azubuike 3:48 into the second put the Wildcats ahead 42-32.

"I've just been trying to crash the boards and become more aggressive offensively," Azubuike said.

A four-point play by with 10:37 left in the second half pulled within 50-45. However, Azubuike hit a three-pointer 21 seconds later to stretch the Wildcats' edge to eight.

regained a 10-point advantage, 57-47, on a layup by Daniels with 8:27 to play, but the Commodores pulled within 57-55 on a three-point play by with 5:52 remaining.

Still, the Wildcats mounted an 11-2 run to pull away. A layup by Hawkins, with 3:26 to play, pushed their lead to 68-57 and the Commodores never threatened again.

"We turned our defensive pressure up and took care of the ball," Smith said. "We made our free throws and got great play out of our bench."

shot 54 percent from the field and held a 42-23 edge on the boards to offset 23 turnovers. Vandy shot just 41 percent and hit only 5-of-23 three- point tries.

The Wildcats took an early 13-3 lead. A layup by Hawkins 7:17 into the first half capped the run. A three-pointer by Fitch midway through the half opened a 22-8 edge for .

Four straight points by Hundley capped a 6-0 flurry by , which got within 27-22 late in the first half. His three-pointer, with 3:59 to go, came with 3:59 remaining.

Two foul shots by Hawkins 54 seconds later put the Wildcats ahead 31-22.

But the Commodores got within 34-32 at halftime. Moore scored the final four points to cap their 10-3 run.
Tagged: Vanderbilt, Kentucky

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