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No. 5 UK uses a 15-1 run to beat Vanderbilt 77-71

Wildcats will play Tennessee in the SEC semifinals
SEC Vanderbilt Kentucky Basketball
Posted at 10:26 PM, Mar 11, 2022

TAMPA, Fla. — No. 5 Kentucky used a 15-1 run in the 2nd half to hold hold a pesky Vanderbilt team 77-71 advancing to the SEC Tournament semifinals.

Kentucky had a fast start to the first half with a lay-up by Sahvir Wheeler, Oscar Tshiebwe 15 footer and a TyTy Washington 3 pointer. UK jumped out to a 7-2 advantage.

Vanderbilt went on a 9-0 run with Myle Stute scoring five of it to give the Commodores an 11-7 lead. But the Wildcats bounced back with their own 12-0 run that included a Kellan Grady three following a UK steal, a Davion Mintz 3 pointer and a Jacob Toppin 18 footer.

Tshiebwe didn't get a lot of touches in the paint but he took advantage of them when he did with 6 points and 6 rebounds in the first 20 minutes. The half ended with a scoring flurry by the Cats. Wheeler pulled up on the break for a short jumper. Then Lance Ware created a steal that Mintz put in for an and one. He hit the free throw for a 37-33 lead at the break.

Vanderbilt went on a 13-0 run at the start of the half to take a seven point lead 47-39. Jordan Wright had eight of the points on two 3 pointers and a shot inside. But Kentucky would use that 15-1 run to reclaim the lead 55-47.

From there they had to hold off a Vandy team playing its third game in three days. TyTy led UK in scoring with 25 points and scored 12 of the final 16 points for the Wildcats. Tshiebwe added his 26 double-double of the season and 14th straight with 12 points, 14 rebounds. Toppin added 10 points while Wheeler flirted with a triple-double with 8 points, 6 rebounds and 11 assists.

The Wildcats advance to play Tennessee in the SEC semifinals at about 3:30 on Saturday. Texas A&M plays Arkansas in the game before that at 1:00.