Game Rewind | Cats fall at Vanderbilt – The Courier-Journal

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FINAL: Vanderbilt 74, Kentucky 62

Jamal Murray’s 33 points were not enough to prevent UK from falling at Vanderbilt. With the loss, Kentucky falls into a tie for first place in the Southeastern Conference with Texas A&M, but the Aggies hold the tie-breaker thanks to their win in College Station earlier this month. UK closes the regular season with games at Florida and home against LSU. Texas A&M must still travel to Auburn and host Vanderbilt.

Vanderbilt 68, UK 60 (3:47, 2H): Kentucky in a lot of trouble here, down eight and looking desperate. Jamal Murray will have a chance to go to the free-throw line after the timeout, but even he has gone cold on recent trips. UK is just 8 for 19 (42.1 percent) from the free-throw line in the game. That’s bad news for a team that needs to make up a lot of ground in a short period of time. Alex Poythress has fouled out, and Skal Labissiere is back in the game with four fouls. Marcus Lee has been productive recently, but also has four fouls and missed two free throws with a chance to cut the lead to five. Tyler Ulis is 5 for 18 from the field and 0 for 6 from 3-point range.

Vanderbilt 60, UK 56 (7:58, 2H): Jamal Murray now one rebound from a double-double with 29 points and nine boards, but his first turnover of the game when he was called for traveling on a move in the paint on a recent possession prevented Kentucky from a chance to tie or take the lead. A dunk from Matthew Fisher-Davis then stretched the Vanderbilt lead back to four. Fisher-Davis now has 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting. Luke Kornet has seven points and nine rebounds for the Commodores. Looks like Alex Poythress will be back on the bench in favor of Charles Matthews out of the timeout. UK going with four guards with bigs in foul trouble.

Vanderbilt 55, UK 54 (11:01, 2H): Skal Labissiere just picked up his fourth foul, but Alex Poythress is back in the game with four fouls. Jamal Murray now up to 29 points on 11-of-17 shooting. He is 6 for 8 from 3-point range. Tyler Ulis has 12 points and six assists. Vanderbilt’s Damian Jones has nine of his 13 points in the second half and has six total rebounds. Neither team has been great from the free-throw line: UK is 6 for 13 and Vanderbilt is 8 for 12. The two teams have combined for five total turnovers.

Vanderbilt 51, UK 47 (14:37, 2H): John Calipari needs a timeout after Vanderbilt takes a four-point lead on a Matthew Fisher-Davis 3-pointer. He has 18 points in the game and is 4 for 8 from 3-point range. UK senior forward Alex Poythress just went to the bench with his fourth foul. Calipari is turning to Skal Labissiere again out of the timeout. Labissiere has three fouls. UK is just 2 for 6 from the field in the second half.

UK 47, Vanderbilt 45 (15:53, 2H): Isaac Humphries started the second half, but continued to be exposed on defense for Kentucky. The bad news, is UK has few other options at this point. Alex Poythress and Skal Labissiere have fared little better and each picked up their third fouls on their first possession of the second half. For now, John Calipari will leave Poythress and his three fouls in to play alongside Marcus Lee, who has two fouls. Jamal Murray started the second half where he left off with a 3-pointer while falling down, but has been held off the scoreboard since. Isaiah Briscoe’s forgettable shooting night continued with an airballed mid-range jumper on the last possession before the media timeout.

HALFTIME: Kentucky 39, Vanderbilt 36

Jamal Murray needed less than one half to top the 20-point plateau for the eight consecutive game, finishing the first half with 21 points on 8-of-11 shooting to elad UK to a three-point lead over Vanderbilt. Murray also contributed a team-high six rebounds and hit 4 of 5 3-pointers. The bad news for Kentucky is foul trouble has once again plagued its post players with Alex Poythress, Marcus Lee and Skal Labissere each whistled for two fouls in the half. That trio and freshman 7-footer Isaac Humphries combined for five points and five rebounds in the half. Lee accounted for all five of the points and two of the rebounds. As a team, Kentucky shot 55.2 percent (16 for 29) from the field and 44.4 percent (4 for 9) from 3-point range. Sophomore point guard Tyler Ulis totaled nine points and four assists but was 4 for 11 from the field.

UK 35, Vanderbilt 29 (3:53, 1H): Jamal Murray proving this afternoon Kentucky can still be dangerous when it gets next to nothing from its post players. Murray now has 18 points on 7-of-8 shooting to go with a team-high five rebounds. Meanwhile Alex Poythress, Skal Labissiere and Marcus Lee all have two fouls. Isaac Humphries, the team’s other available post player, has one foul. Tyler Ulis is up to eight points on 4-of-10 shooting to go with three assists and two rebounds, but Vanderbilt has no answer for Murray, who is 3 for 3 from 3-point range. As a team UK is 15 for 24 (62.5 percent). Vanderbilt is 11 for 27 (40.7 percent).

UK 24, Vanderbilt 19 (6:54, 1H): Alex Poythress is on the bench with two fouls, but 11 points from Jamal Murray have helped Kentucky maintain its advantage. The Wildcats even managed to treat water during a brief respite for Murray on the bench. Murray is 4 for 5 from the field. Marcus Lee has five points but just recorded his first rebound on a put-back off a long Tyler Ulis 3-pointer as the shot clock expired. UK has a 13-10 advantage in rebounds thanks in large part to a team-high four boards from Murray. Vanderbilt center Damian Jones has four points on 2-of-6 shooting.

UK 15, Vanderbilt 13 (11:34, 1H): The UK offense has gone cold with the Wildcats hitting just one of their last five shots. Calipari looking for an an answer in the post, but Isaac Humphries has struggled since coming onto the court. Skal Labissiere will get his first chance out of the timeout alongside Marcus Lee. Isaiah Briscoe has now missed two wide-open 3-pointers. As long as Derek Willis is out, opponents’ ability to leave Briscoe open on the perimeter is going to cause some significant spacing issues for the UK offense. Tyler Ulis also struggling a little early, having missed all three of his shots with one turnover and one assist.

UK 12, Vanderbilt 7 (15:54, 1H): A Luke Kornet 3-pointer ended a UK 10-0 run, but the Wildcats immediately answered with a lob from Tyler Ulis to Marcus Lee to take a five-point lead into the first media timeout. Lee was fouled on the dunk and will have a chance to finish the three-point play after the timeout. Jamal Murray has six early points thanks to identical 3-pointers from the same spot on the floor after cutting under the basket to get open on the right wing. Isaiah Briscoe has four points but missed a wide-open 3-pointers. UK opened with Alex Poythress on Vanderbilt center Damian Jones and Lee guarding 7-footer Kornet, who plays as a stretch four. Cats need to guard against foul trouble from the post players with Derek Willis out.

STARTING LINEUP: Alex Poythress has returned to the starting lineup in place of freshman Isaac Humphries alongside Tyler Ulis, Isaiah Briscoe, Jamal Murray and Marcus Lee. Derek Willis is officially out with his right ankle injury.

PREGAME: UK junior forward Derek Willis appears unlikely to play as he was spotted in street clothes still wearing a protective boot on his right foot during early warmups. Without Willis, UK will rely heavily on the recently returned Alex Poythress and freshman 7-footer Isaac Humphries to counter Vanderbilt’s size. The Commodores start two 7-footers, including junior center Damian Jones, who is averaging 20.7 points and 11.0 rebounds per game in his last three games.

For more about the game, check out Kyle Tucker’s story below and his preview video:



Courier-Journal beat writer Kyle Tucker previews UK basketball’s game at Vandy. Feb. 27, 2016
Kyle Tucker/The C-J

Game Rewind | Cats fall at Vanderbilt – The Courier-Journal

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