It was a slow start for both teams as it was tied at 4 once we got to the first media timeout.
Vandy would take an 8-4 lead then Cal responded by getting Antonio Reeves in the game and everything changed.
Reeves scored a quick 7 points and the Cats took a 17-15 lead into the under-12 media timeout.
Down the stretch of the first half, the Cats started taking control of the game as a CJ Fredrick three gave Kentucky a 25-20 lead with just over 5 minutes left.
Kentucky closed out the half strong offensively and were able to take a 36-27 lead into the break.
The second half got off to a fantastic start for the Cats as they used a quick 9-0 run to take a 48-30 lead.
Kentucky’s offense was rolling, and the team was having fun as they were starting to dominate the Commodores.
Vanderbilt cut into the lead making it a 12 point game, but the Cats responded and stretch the lead back out to 65-47 at the under 8 media timeout.
It was also a very good performance from Sahvir Wheeler who was pushing the pace during his minutes and getting teammates a lot of open looks.
Down the stretch, Kentucky slowed the game down with the big lead and closed out arguably their best performance of the season with a 69-53 win.
Here is how Twitter reacted to the win.
Our five to start pic.twitter.com/21ZiQ4jF2M— Kentucky Men’s Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) January 25, 2023
Really want Reeves to come back for a super senior season— BEEZY (@Burke_Franklin_) January 25, 2023
That shooting of Fredrick and Reeves would be massive for those freshman next year
Definitely can hear the BBN in Nashville got in— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) January 25, 2023
REEVES IS A BUCKET— Cody Couch (@Couch_29) January 25, 2023
Just came in and already has seven points
Took them 9 minutes to call a foul on Vandy— Dalton Jones ® (@DaltonJJones19) January 25, 2023
Like Wheeler pushing the pace off the bench. A much needed change of pace.— Nick Roush (@RoushKSR) January 25, 2023
Tonight a prime example of Sahvir role on this team. Just come in and change the pace. I love that. Go cats.— Luke troxell (@loutroxell) January 25, 2023
Refs are allowing a lot of holding and blocking on drives, no reason to get beat on a drive when that is the case. Have to adjust on both ends.— Justin Rowland (@RowlandRIVALS) January 25, 2023
Livingston needs to drive the ball and not settle for jumpers, driving is his real strength.— Berkley’s Pops ™️ (@BrandoAKing) January 25, 2023
Man, this lineup just creates so many open looks, when we spent half the season wondering why nobody could get open.— Nick Roush (@RoushKSR) January 25, 2023
Antonio Reeves is getting more and more comfortable with each game.— Tristan Pharis (@TristanUda) January 25, 2023
Starting to look like the guy that averaged 20.1 ppg at Illinois State, scoring in a multitude of ways. pic.twitter.com/dPhqXSI8ER
Don’t look now….but CJ is seeing it go in. That’s big time.— Brandon Patterson (@brandonpatt) January 25, 2023
Hot take....Wallace and Wheeler have both played well.— Justin Rowland (@RowlandRIVALS) January 25, 2023
Wheeler +10 in the first half to lead Cats.— Jeff Drummond (@JDrumUK) January 25, 2023
My favorite part about this game is that there are more Kentucky fans than Vanderbilt fans at a Vanderbilt home game.— Big Blue Nation #BBN (@UKBasketbalI) January 25, 2023
THIS IS KENTUCKY BASKETBALL— Matt Sak (@MattSakBBN) January 25, 2023
THIS IS FUN
Kentucky is breaking through.— Jack Pilgrim (@JackPilgrimKSR) January 25, 2023
LOVE the way this team is sharing the ball and playing right now!!!— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) January 25, 2023
I don’t care if it’s Vandy lol WE LOOK GOOD!!!— Cody Couch (@Couch_29) January 25, 2023
KENTUCKY BASKETBALL IS SO BACK— Big Blue Nation #BBN (@UKBasketbalI) January 25, 2023
Cal got a lot of criticism after South Carolina, deservedly so. Give that man some praise. Pushing all the right buttons right now.— Luke troxell (@loutroxell) January 25, 2023
This kind of Kentucky will beat a lot of teams.— Tres Terrell (@TerrellTres) January 25, 2023
Run em outta the gym, Cats. Want all the good vibes before Saturday.— Brett Bibbins (@BrettBibbins) January 25, 2023
Kentucky basketball right now— Aaron Torres (@Aaron_Torres) January 25, 2023
Go Big Blue chants >>— Kentucky Men’s Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) January 25, 2023
ok I’ve seen enough— Audrey Fowler (@_AudreyFaith_) January 25, 2023
give us the natty
I’M SCREAMIN— Anna Maria Tarullo (@tarullotweets) January 25, 2023
CJ TO REEVES dime
Screamin! Yellin. Cryin!
Whatever this team did from wake up to 9 p.m. tonight, have them do the EXACT same thing on Saturday morning.— Tres Terrell (@TerrellTres) January 25, 2023
Vandy only has 3 fouls in nearly 30 minutes of action. UK has 4 in the last 3 minutes of action.— Larry Glover Live (@larrygloverlive) January 25, 2023
Five assists for Wheeler is exactly what this team needs. Showcasing his playmaking ability tonight.— Ethan DeWitt (@EthanDeWitt1) January 25, 2023
Probably the best "first four out" team I've seen in a while.— Justin Rowland (@RowlandRIVALS) January 25, 2023
Kentucky beat an SEC team on the road by 16 while shooting just two free throws all game— Jack Pilgrim (@JackPilgrimKSR) January 25, 2023
Vanderbilt called for just five total fouls, zero for the starters.
Really impressed with Sahvir tonight. It’s really good to see him out there playing the way he is— Big Blue Nation #BBN (@UKBasketbalI) January 25, 2023
Nice bounce-back game for Wheeler. He's assisted or scored on Kentucky's last 10 points. Cats lead 69-51 with just over 3 to play.— Jeff Drummond (@JDrumUK) January 25, 2023
Hell of a game for Sahvir Wheeler. Dude took adversity to the chin. Didn't know he had it in him. Just what this team needed. Respect.— Nick Roush (@RoushKSR) January 25, 2023
“There’s not one guy on this court that doesn’t feel good about the way they’re playing for the Kentucky Wildcats.” - SEC Analyst Dane Bradshaw— Tres Terrell (@TerrellTres) January 25, 2023
Kentucky is hitting their stride and Rupp is going to be ROCKING against No. 10 Kansas on Saturday.— Tristan Pharis (@TristanUda) January 25, 2023
I missed this.
Bring on the Jayhawks.— T.J. Walker (@TJWalkerRadio) January 25, 2023
Rupp is going to be WILD on Saturday.
A victorious Kentucky team leaves the court after beating Vanderbilt 69-53. pic.twitter.com/cUvMYZvCaS— Tyler Thompson (@MrsTylerKSR) January 25, 2023
This win tonight is as encouraging to me as any this season. It was a game they could have overlooked but they didn’t. Played with high intensity the entire game. Also Wheeler has been able to regain some confidence which will be important going forward.— Big Blue Express (@bigbluexpress) January 25, 2023
Vanderbilt came into tonight ranked second in the SEC in league games, averaging 1.13 PPP. Tonight, Kentucky held the Commodores to 53 points on 32.7% shooting.— TheCatsPause247 (@TheCatsPause247) January 25, 2023
️ KEEP IT GOING pic.twitter.com/XY1A4Avb85— Kentucky Men’s Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) January 25, 2023