NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- DeMarre Carroll scored a career-high 22
points, and Vanderbilt held on for an 84-81 victory over Kentucky
Saturday to sweep the season series from the Wildcats for the first
time since the 1973-74 season.
The Commodores (13-8, 4-6 Southeastern Conference) won the
league title the last time they swept Kentucky. This time, the
victory merely snapped a four-game losing skid for a team that had
lost six of its last seven since beating the Wildcats in Rupp Arena
on Jan. 10.
Kentucky (15-9, 5-5) nearly rallied from 10 points down in the
final 90 seconds. But Rajon Rondo missed both free throws on an
intentional foul after being tackled by Vandy guard Alex Gordon
with 24.7 seconds left, and Rondo missed a 3-point attempt with 5
seconds to go.
The Wildcats got the rebound with 2.1 seconds left after a
timeout. Ramel Bradley's hurried 3-pointer never came close to the
basket at the buzzer.
Patrick Sparks led Kentucky with 17 points, Bradley finished
with 14 and Ravi Moss had 12. Randolph Morris, coming off a
season-high 20 points, finished with eight points after playing
only five minutes in the second half because of foul trouble.
Kentucky led for the last time when Sparks hit a 3-pointer with
9 minutes left. Byars came back with a 3 that put Vanderbilt up to
stay at 63-61.
The Commodores took control when Terrell scored underneath,
Bradley missed for Kentucky and Byars grabbed the rebound before
tossing the ball downcourt to Gordon who scored on the easy layup
to make it 74-67 with 5:25 left.
The game started with a sizzling first half in which neither
Vanderbilt nor Kentucky seemingly could miss. Vanderbilt hit
18-of-28 for 64.3 percent in the half and used a 17-7 run for its
biggest lead of the half at 41-34 in a spurt keyed by a pair of 3s
But the Commodores, scoring the most points in a half this
season, took a 47-44 edge into halftime when Sparks bounced a shot
off the front rim at the buzzer.