NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Kentucky jumped out to a 10-0 lead on Vanderbilt Wednesday night and led by 17 before holding off the Commodores in Nashville, 82-78.
The fast start began with an alley-oop slam by Isaiah Jackson was was followed by a Mintz lay-up before Mintz and B.J. Boston hit three pointers.
After Vandy scored five straight, Boston matched that with another three and a dunk. He scored eight points in the first five and a-half minutes of the game.
Kentucky quickly built a 17 point lead off an Isaish Jackson jumper. The Wildcats were up 25-8 with 10:15 to go in the half. But the Commodores wouldn't quit. Fighting back to within single digits as Dylan Disu had 17 points in the first half. He scored eight straight to cut the UK lead to 32-25.
Davion Mintz helped close out the half strong with a three and two free throws after an intentional foul was called on Scottie Pippen, Jr. Wildcats were up 42-30 at the half.
Vanderbilt would start the second half on a 10-2 run that was capped off with back-to-back slams. Later, UK was called for a technical foul for having six players on the floor. Disu hit one of the two free throws to tie the game at 46-46.
Olivier Sarr scored six of the next eight points to help Kentucky build the lead back up to 53-49. A jumper by Jacob Toppin extended the lead to 62-53. The Commodores still had the chance to tie or take the lead at the free throw line with :33 left but both were missed. Toppin then hit two free throws for a 76-73 lead. Devin Askew sealed the game with two late free throws for the win.
Mintz led the way with 18 points while Toppin added 16 points. Jackson had most of his 15 points, 9 rebounds in the first half. Boston added 12 and Sarr had 10.
Kentucky improves to 7-13, 6-7 in the SEC. The Wildcats stay on the road in Tennessee on Saturday with their second meeting of the season against the Volunteers. Tip off is set for 1:00 pm.