Vanderbilt 72

(13-6, 3-2 SEC)

(25) Kentucky 67

(15-4, 4-1 SEC)

    3:00 PM ET, January 20, 2007

    Rupp Arena, Lexington, Kentucky

    1 2 T
    VAN 32 4072
    #25UK 33 3467

    Top Performers

    Vanderbilt: D. Byars 23 Pts, 8 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Kentucky: B. Perry 13 Pts, 3 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl

    Vanderbilt 72, No. 25 Kentucky 67

    Associated Press Writer

    LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) -- Two games have gone a long way toward erasing three decades worth of struggles for Vanderbilt at Rupp Arena.

    The Commodores used outstanding 3-point shooting to stun No. 25 Kentucky on Saturday -- their third straight victory against the Wildcats and fourth win of the season against a ranked opponent.

    Before last year's win in Lexington, the Commodores (13-6, 3-2 Southeastern Conference) had never beaten the nation's all-time winningest team in 28 meetings at Rupp Arena. Now they've won two straight in the building to snap Kentucky's 11-game winning streak -- third longest in the country.

    "You just have to accept you're going to come up here for 40 minutes and get in a bar fight with the Kentucky Wildcats," said Dan Cage, whose 3-pointer with just over a minute left put the game out of reach.

    The teams traded leads until the end of the physical game, but Vanderbilt hit the key shots down the stretch.

    With under 3 minutes to go, Ramel Bradley hit an off-balance jumper to give the Wildcats (15-4, 4-1) their final lead at 59-58. However, Shan Foster answered with a layup, then got a steal to feed Derrick Byars, who led all scorers with 23, on another bucket.

    Cage then stretched the lead to nine on one of his two 3-pointers as the Commodores went on a 10-0 run to pull away.

    "When Dan Cage shoots it, if he's open, there is not one ounce in my entire body that says, `Oh no!" Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings said.

    Kentucky had a 32-27 edge on rebounds, even though star center Randolph Morris wasn't much of a factor until late in the first half. He didn't get his first point until making a free throw almost 15 minutes in and finished with 11 points.

    "Everybody knows we're undersized," Byars said. "We don't have a Randolph Morris we can dump it to underneath."

    Instead, Vanderbilt won from outside. The Commodores were 11-for-23 on 3s, one game after making a season-high 15 on Wednesday in a victory over No. 10 Alabama.

    Besides the Wildcats and Crimson Tide, Vanderbilt has also knocked off then-No. 16 Tennessee and then-No. 25 Georgia Tech. The Commodores' only loss against a ranked opponent came against then-No. 8 Georgetown in the season opener.

    Kentucky never trailed by double-digits, but every time the Wildcats started to make a modest run, Byars or one of the other Vanderbilt outside shooters seemed to answer with a 3.

    After starting 2-0, the Wildcats didn't lead again until the end of a sloppy first half, when Bobby Perry's 3 gave them a 33-32 edge at halftime. However, Vanderbilt immediately answered with back-to-back 3s -- one each by Byars and Ross Neltner -- to start the second half.

    Although the Wildcats were only 6-of-22 from 3-point range, they dominated inside with season-best performances from forwards Perry and Sheray Thomas. Perry led five double-digit scorers for Kentucky with 13 points, and Thomas had 12 -- one point shy of a career best.

    Foster had 16 points and Cage added 10 for Vanderbilt.

    Afterward, Morris put things in perspective for the Wildcats, whose one-week return to the Top 25 will likely end Monday.

    "We just know we're not where we need to be, but a lot of teams have more than one loss in the league," Morris said. "It's not the end of the world."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 72 67
    FG Made-Attempted 24-48 (.500) 26-60 (.433)
    3P Made-Attempted 11-23 (.478) 6-22 (.273)
    FT Made-Attempted 13-20 (.650) 9-11 (.818)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 16 (0/0) 17 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 9 2

    2006-07 Season

    » Jan 20, 2007 VAN 72, @UK 67Recap
    Feb 25, 2007 @VAN 67, UK 65Recap