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John Calipari and Wildcats recap win vs. Vanderbilt, plus postgame notes

Cal’s Cats are becoming a force to be reckoned with.

John Calipari Drew Brown - Sea of Blue

The Kentucky Wildcats traveled to Nashville on Tuesday to face the Vanderbilt Commodores.

Though the Cats had yet to win a road game this season, they still entered this game as a touchdown favorite at 6.5 points.

After the game, head coach John Calipari and select players met with the media to discuss what happened in Nashville. Here is a recap of what they had to say via UK Athletics.

Here are the postgame notes and milestones via UK Athletics.

Team Records, Series Notes, Etc.

  • Kentucky won its second consecutive game and its sixth in the last seven games to move to 13-3 on the season and 3-1 in the Southeastern Conference. Vanderbilt dropped to 9-6 in the league and 1-2 in league play.
  • UK has started at least 3-1 in every season of the John Calipari era but one: the 2010-11 year.
  • The Wildcats improved to 152-47 all-time vs. the Commodores, including 61-29 in games played in Nashville, Tennessee.
  • Kentucky has won 11 straight in the series, its best winning streak vs. Vanderbilt since winning 18 consecutive times from the 1992-93 season to 2001-02. It’s the fourth-longest winning streak against UK’s second-most played opponent.
  • The Wildcats have won the last six games in Memorial Gymnasium.
  • Next up: Kentucky hosts border-state rival Tennessee on Saturday at 1 p.m. in Rupp Arena. ESPN will have the call of UK’s most played opponent.

Team Notes

  • The Wildcats notched their first true road victory of the season in their third opportunity of the season.
  • UK is 2-3 in games away from Rupp Arena this season when factoring in neutral-site games.
  • All 13 of Kentucky’s wins this season have been by double figures.
  • Kentucky controlled the rebounding 42-26 and have won the board work by double-figure margins in 12 games this season, all wins.
  • UK shot 52.5% (31 of 59), the team’s eighth game making at least half of its shots this season, including the second in a row. The Wildcats are 8-0 in those games.
  • Kentucky has shot 50% or better in five of the last seven games.
  • Kentucky dominated in the paint with a 36-18 points advantage.
  • The Wildcats had just nine turnovers, the second straight game with single-figure turnovers.
  • Kentucky led by as many as 28 points in the second half. The Wildcats are 299-12 under Calipari when leading by at least 10 points during the game.

Player Notes

  • Oscar Tshiebwe dominated again with game highs in points (30, also a career high) and rebounds (13), notching his 12th double-double of the season.
  • He is the first UK player with at least 30 points and at least 10 rebounds in a game since Tayshaun Prince recorded 31 points and 11 rebounds vs. North Carolina on Dec. 9, 2001.
  • He is averaging 29.5 points and 15 rebounds over this last two games.
  • His 30 points are the most by a Wildcat since Immanuel Quickley scored 30 at Texas A&M on Feb. 25, 2020.
  • He remains second nationally in double-doubles.
  • The nation’s leading rebounder has grabbed double-figure boards in all but two games this season.
  • It was his sixth 20-point game of the season.
  • He is the first Wildcat with five games of at least 20 points and at least 10 rebounds since Julius Randle did it seven times in 2013-14.
  • Coming off a school-record assists performance (17 vs. Georgia), TyTy Washington Jr. posted 15 points, four rebounds and four assists.
  • It was his 12th game in double-figure scoring, including five of the last six.
  • He is averaging 15.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.9 assists while shooting 54.2% in UK’s 13 wins.
  • Davion Mintz, continued his recent strong play with nine points.
  • Mintz made 3 of 5 from 3-point range and is 11 of 20 (55%) from behind the 3-point line over the last three games.
  • He is averaging 14.5 points per game over the last four contests.
  • Keion Brooks Jr. contributed nine points, five rebounds and two assists.
  • Sahvir Wheeler, who entered Tuesday ranked third nationally in assists per game (7.3), missed his second straight game with a neck injury he suffered Tuesday at LSU. He remains day-to-day.

Coach Calipari

  • John Calipari is now 352-96 at UK.
  • Calipari is now three wins short of career win No. 800 and has a 797-236 all-time on-court record.
  • UK is 288-56 under Calipari vs. opponents ranked outside the Associated Press Top 25.
  • Calipari is now 22-4 all-time vs. Vanderbilt.
  • Calipari has tallied a 370-117 all-time record within conference play as a head coach and owns a 162-51 record since joining the SEC.
  • Calipari improved to 113-55 on the road as Kentucky’s lead man.

In the First Half

  • With Sahvir Wheeler unavailable due to a neck injury suffered last week LSU, Kentucky started TyTy Washington Jr., Davion Mintz, Kellan Grady, Keion Brooks Jr. and Oscar Tshiebwe for the first time this season.
  • Oscar Tshiebwe opened the game by winning the tip and scoring on a turnaround bank shot.
  • UK scored on its first three possessions – including five points by Washington – for a game-opening 7-0 run.
  • Vanderbilt answered with a 6-0 run soon after to cut Kentucky’s lead to 9-8.
  • UK opened it back up with an 8-0 spurt to increase its advantage to 17-8.
  • Washington (nine) and Tshiebwe (eight) combined for UK’s first 17 points.
  • Jacob Toppin was the Wildcats’ first sub at 12:19 for Brooks.
  • With a combination of turnovers and missed shots, UK went more than five minutes without a point, at which point Vanderbilt capitalized with an 11-0 run to tie the game at 22-22 at the 7:08 mark, forcing John Calipari to burn a timeout.
  • Grady snapped the run out of the timeout with a pull-up 3 and continued the game of runs as UK reeled off 14 straight over less than four minutes retake the lead, 36-22.
  • Making 17 of 28 from the floor (60.7%), Kentucky took a 41-28 lead to the halftime locker room. UK is 13-1 this season when leading at the half.
  • Kentucky’s 60.7% mark from the field was a first-half season high.
  • UK was 4 of 5 from 3-point land, including 2 of 2 from Mintz.
  • Tshiebwe led the Wildcats with 15 points on 7-of-8 shooting to go along with seven rebounds.
  • His 15 points are the most by a UK player in the first half this season.
  • Washington performed wonderfully too with 11 points, two assists and a steal.

In the Second Half

  • Kentucky began the second half with the same starting five of Washington, Mintz, Grady, Brooks and Tshiebwe.
  • Kentucky maintained a double-figure lead the entire half.
  • A 14-2 run stretched the UK lead to its largest of the game, 78-50, with six minutes remaining.
  • Oddly, the Wildcats went scoreless the rest of the way as Vanderbilt closed the game with a 16-0 run.
  • Nearly duplicating his first-half output, Tshiebwe collected 15 points and six rebounds in the second stanza.