NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Oscar Tshiebwe scored 15 points and grabbed 13 rebounds as Kentucky beat Vanderbilt 69-53 Tuesday night for the Wildcats’ longest winning streak this season at four straight.
Kentucky (14-6, 5-3 Southeastern Conference) also won its 14th consecutive game in this series with coach John Calipari improving to 25-4 against the Commodores.
Antonio Reeves added 16 points for Kentucky. Jacob Toppin finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds and CJ Frederick and Cason Wallace each had 10.
Vanderbilt (10-10, 3-4) kept it tight much of the first half with five ties and six lead changes. The Commodores took their last lead at 20-19 on freshman Malik Dia’s 3-pointer. Then Tschiebwe dunked, starting a 15-7 run for the Wildcats to finish the half with a 36-27 lead.
The Wildcats picked up where they left off, opening the second half with a 12-3 spurt with Toppin’s layup with 15:46 putting them up 48-30. Vanderbilt struggled to knock down shots, missing six of their first seven.
Dia led Vanderbilt with a career-best 14 points, and Tyrin Lawrence added 12.
Kentucky took advantage of its size advantage by dominating on the boards (37-24) and outscoring the Commodores 36-22 in the paint.
Vanderbilt couldn’t match up inside with both 7-footer Liam Robbins out at least three more weeks with an injured ankle while 6-10 Lee Dort has a stress fracture in his foot that will be re-evaluated in four weeks. It didn’t help that fifth-year forward Quentin Millora-Brown was held scoreless for the third time this season.
Kentucky hosts ninth-ranked Kansas on Saturday in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge.
Vanderbilt starts a two-game road swing Saturday at Texas A&M.
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