Vandy Deals UK Third Straight Loss, 84-81
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 the second free throw 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.
Derrick Byars added 17 for Vanderbilt, Shan Foster had 16 and Julian Terrell 11 as the Commodores shot a season-high 58 percent (30-of-51).
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 from Foster.
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.