It was Dodson's first start since the season opener. He quickly extended UK's streak of 732 consecutive games with a three-pointer with a triple at the 18:19 mark.
Eric Bledsoe was UK's first substitute. Bledsoe had started every game except the Hartford contest, which he missed because of injury.
DeMarcus Cousins got off to a quick start with 13 points in the first nine minutes. Included were four baskets in which Cousins got fouled, three of which he turned into three-point plays. It is the third straight game, and the sixth this season, in which Cousins has reached double-figure scoring in the first half.
Kentucky took the lead at 4-3 and extended it to as many as 19 points at 46-27.
With foul trouble sidelining Cousins, Patterson, Miller, Wall and Orton, UK hung on to a 15-point lead at halftime, 49-34.
Kentucky extended the lead to 69-50, tying its largest of the game, on a DeAndre Liggins three-pointer at the 12:09 mark.
Vanderbilt got a rally going at the 9:40 mark and scored 12 points in the next two minutes to pull within 73-62.
Darnell Dodson hit three-pointers at 6:32 and 4:00 to keep the visitors at bay and the Commodores got no closer than 11 points in the second half.
Kentucky made 12 three-point baskets, most this season against an SEC opponent. The Wildcats also shot 52.2 percent from long range, also the team's best this season vs. an SEC foe.
The Wildcats also did a good job getting to the free-throw line and made 25 of 39, season highs in both categories.
Kentucky dominated the rebounding, 41-22, and second-chance points, 20-2.