Kentucky basketball: Make that 2 straight Wildcat wins by fending off Vandy

Kentucky Wildcats forward Keion Brooks Jr. (Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)
Kentucky Wildcats forward Keion Brooks Jr. (Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports) /
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528. 78. 537. Final. 82

Don’t blink now Kentucky basketball wins again

The Kentucky basketball team always makes games an adventure but instead of panic in their eyes, this team with two straight wins has a more steely-eyed look of confidence after knocking off Vanderbilt 82-78.

Now that doesn’t mean they have morphed into a title contender but smiles, laughter, and hugs of joy in place of consolation are going a long way to finishing the season on a high note.

The Wildcats had five players finish in double figures led by Davion Mintz with 18, and followed by Jacob Toppin (16), Isaiah Jackson (15), Brandon Boston Jr. (12), and Olivier Sarr (10).

Fresh off an 82-81 win over Arkansas last Saturday the Wildcats have now won 2 games in a row and the second time since the start of the SEC regulars season where they beat Vanderbilt in the second of a three-game win streak. They will try to equal that on Saturday at Tennessee.

Toppin was asked about making plays to close out these wins.

"“We’re still learning as a team. I think we’re getting better playing down the stretch. We still make a few mistakes that we need to fix. But with experience, we’re going to fix them. And I believe in this team. I believe this team is going in the right direction. And we’ve just got to keep pushing.”"

Things are getting tighter in the SEC standings as just 2 games separate five times from No. 4 – No. 8 and Kentucky (7-13, 6-7) is right in the thick of it.

Still, the smell of victory didn’t come without some worrisome moments as is usually the case with this Kentucky squad.

Kentucky led by seven points with 3:56 to go in the game but the Commodores made a game of it as usual by making it a one-possession game numerous times. Vanderbilt even cut it to a one-point game twice inside the closing minute.

The four biggest takeaways from the win.