Kentucky Basketball: Cats fight off pesky Vandy advance to SEC semis vs Vols

Keion Brooks Jr. of the Kentucky Wildcats. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Keion Brooks Jr. of the Kentucky Wildcats. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /
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Kentucky basketball
Kentucky Wildcats guard Kellan Grady (Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports) /

Any run you can make we can make one too  was the theme of this game

Every college basketball game has some runs in it, but this one felt more like a tug-of-war. For every run you make I’ll see that and see you one better.

It started with a bizarre timeout in the first half that resulted in a net being needed to be replaced. Kentucky had just watched Vandy bolt back with a 7-0 run. Calipari must have said something because UK answered coming back from the delay with a 12-0 run as Kellan Grady drained a three in transition and Mintz followed it with another bomb from downtown.

The end of the first half was odd as well with UK trailing by a point with 22 seconds to go,  Grady faked a three and drove connecting on a finger-roll. The ensuing inbounds pass was swiped by Lance Ware, who kicked it out, and Mintz for a three-point play.

Vanderbilt opened the second half on a 13-0 run for a 46-39 lead but that didn’t last as Mintz drove the baseline and found Grady for a side-step 3 pointer as the clock expired. Keion Brooks followed with a runner and Wheeler followed pushing the ball down the middle, kicking it to Tshwiebwe who found and sank the free throws.

Vandy rallied back only to be derailed by their own coach Jerry Stackhouse who got called for a technical by referee Pat Adams when he made contact with him on the sideline and Kentucky led 51-47.  Tshiebwe with a rejection and Washington buried a 3 pointer for a 15-1 answer and it was UK surging ahead again.

Vanderbilt would keep it under double digits down the stretch but Kentucky has an answer every time keeping the Dores at arm’s length away.