Murray scores 33, but No. 16 Kentucky upset 74-62 by Vandy


By Teresa M. Walker - AP Sports Writer



NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Kentucky coach John Calipari wants more from his big men Alex Poythress and Marcus Lee, especially with Derek Willis missing another game with a sprained right ankle.

Calipari didn’t get nearly enough Saturday.

Poythress fouled out without scoring a single point in his second game back from an injured right knee, and Lee had nine points and six rebounds as the 16th-ranked Wildcats lost for the second time in three games with Vanderbilt upsetting Kentucky 74-62.

“Our bigs were better than their bigs at our place and their bigs were better than ours here, and took it right at us,” Calpliari said. “And we did not fight back.”

Freshman guard Jamal Murray scored 33 points, two off his career high. But the Wildcats needed more help with Tyler Ulis shooting only 5 of 20 for 12 points. No other Wildcat scored in double figures, and Calipari wasn’t happy with how they passed up driving to the basket late in the game.

Kentucky (21-8, 11-5 Southeastern Conference) lost for the second time in three games and for the first time to Vanderbilt since 2013. Kentucky hadn’t lost at Memorial Gym since 2011, so John Calipari sent most of his bench to the locker room with 34 seconds left anticipating fans rushing the court.

“I’m not going to get anybody hurt,” Calipari said. “I look at the coach, ‘Peace brother. Good win.’ And I run.”

Matthew Fisher-Davis tied his career-high with 20 points, and Vanderbilt won its third straight in its first home sellout at Memorial Gym since Kentucky last visited in January 2014.

“The fans were loud and great and into it the entire game,” Fisher-Davis said. “There were times we were tired out there, and they gave us the energy to keep pushing forward. I think their energy helped to wear down Kentucky.”

And about those Wildcat fans?

“I didn’t even hear people who were wearing blue,” Fisher-Davis said.

The Commodores (18-11, 10-6) have won six of their last eight to move closer to the top of the SEC standings with two games left in the regular season. Vanderbilt came into this game tied with LSU for fourth place and now is just a loss behind Kentucky for the league lead.

Jeff Roberson scored 16 points, twice scoring just before the shot clock expired in the second half, Damian Jones added 15 and Wade Baldwin IV had 14.

Kentucky missed its final nine shots and went scoreless over the final 3:47 of a game that pitted the SEC’s two best shooting teams and stingiest defenses. The Wildcats shot very well in the first half but hit only 7 of 26 (26.9 percent) in the second. That’s when Vanderbilt took over on a court they play so very well on this season.

The Wildcats never led by more than eight points but were up 45-38 on a basket by Isaiah Briscoe.

Vanderbilt answered with a 13-2 run capped by consecutive 3-pointers by Fisher-Davis putting the Commodores up 51-47 with 14:38 left and prompting Calipari to take a timeout. Fisher-Davis’ first 3 gave Vandy its first lead since midway through the first half.

Kentucky last got within 58-56 on a jumper by Briscoe midway through the half before going cold. Vanderbilt padded the lead at the free throw line in the final minute before the celebration began.

The Wildcats led 39-36 at halftime with Murray scoring 21 points in his 18 minutes.

TIP-INS

Kentucky: Poythress, who went to high school in nearby Clarksville, Tennessee, started in his second game back from an injured right knee. But he fouled out with 6:26 left. … Nobody scored off the bench for Kentucky.

Vanderbilt: The Commodores had lost 13 straight games against Top 25 teams since upsetting then-No. 1 Kentucky in the SEC Tournament final in 2012 before knocking off then-No. 8 Texas A&M on Feb. 4. The Commodores wrap up the regular season visiting Texas A&M on March 5. … The Commodores have won seven straight at home and improved to 13-2 this season at Memorial. … Vandy had a 19-11 edge in second-chance points.

RUSHING THE COURT: Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings said he knew exactly what Calipari was doing, trying to protect his players. Stallings said he’d be happier if fans waited until the Wildcats cleared the floor.

MURRAY’S HALF: The Kentucky freshman had 21 points in the first half, the most points in the first half during Calipari’s tenure at Kentucky. Murray was 8 of 11, including 4 of 5 beyond the arc. When Murray knocked down a 3 with 2:23 left, that gave him 21 points and tied the Kentucky freshman record set by Brandon Knight with his 14th 20-point game this season.

UP NEXT:

Kentucky: Visits Florida on Tuesday.

Vanderbilt: Hosts Tennessee on Tuesday.

By Teresa M. Walker

AP Sports Writer

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