Byars’ putback lifts No. 17 Vanderbilt past Kentucky
Nashville, TN (Sports Network) – Derrick Byars’ rebound putback with under 30
seconds left gave Vanderbilt its first lead of the game, and guided the team
to a 67-65 win over Kentucky at Memorial Gym.
Byars finished with a game-high 26 points and also collected six rebounds for
17th-ranked Vanderbilt (19-9, 9-5 SEC), which claimed sole possession of
second place in the SEC Eastern Division with the win. Shan Foster donated 21
points, seven rebounds and four steals, and was a key factor down the stretch.
Bobby Perry netted 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting and Jodie Meeks scored 15 for
the Wildcats (19-9, 8-6), who have dropped four of their last five
Kentucky held a 32-23 lead at halftime and pushed the advantage into double
digits with about 14 minutes remaining in the contest, but Vanderbilt fought
Foster answered with back-to-back three-pointers to cut the deficit to 46-42,
then converted a layup attempt moments later to pull the home team within
The Wildcats continued to fend off the Commodores in the final minutes before
Vanderbilt finally broke through.
With 29 seconds on the clock and Kentucky clinging to a 65-63 lead, Byars drew
a foul to earn a trip to the charity stripe. His first shot was true but the
second rimmed out. A fortunate bounce, however, allowed Byars to grab the
offensive rebound, and he followed with a one-handed floater in the lane to
give his club a 66-65 advantage.
The defense came up with a turnover on the other end before Foster was fouled
and made 1-of-2 from the line.
The Wildcats got the ball back with nine seconds, but Ramel Bradley’s heave as
the buzzer sounded was off the mark.
The Commodores have won 13 straight at home, and hold a 7-0 mark at Memorial
Gym in league play this season…Kentucky owns a commanding 129-41 advantage
between the two schools. Vanderbilt however, has won the last four meetings
over the Wildcats, including a 72-67 triumph earlier this season in Rupp