LEXINGTON, Ky. – In the regular season rematch, Vanderbilt fell to Kentucky 69-65 inside Memorial Coliseum on Thursday night.
Jordyn Cambridge’s career night consisted of reaching 200 career steals with, 96 of which have come this season alone, and a career-high of 21 points. She added five rebounds, six assists, and five steals.
Vanderbilt (12-15, 3-10 SEC) outscored Kentucky (12-11, 5-8 SEC) in the opening quarter 18-17. The teams traded 3-pointers to commence the ball game with Rhyne Howard seeing hers fall with 30 seconds off the game clock. Brinae Alexander responded for the Commodores within a matter of seconds with her signature long ball to even the score. Vandy’s disruptive defense kept the Wildcats on their toes as the visitors reached their largest lead of the night at seven points. With time quickly running out, an outlet pass from Alexander to Cambridge netted the final point of the first period. Six different Commodores contributed offensively in this period with Alexander leading the way with five points.
The second stanza was much of the same with the visitors scoring 18 points and holding the home team to 17 points, again. The teams traded baskets with this period seeing several ties, the final coming at 33 all. Cambridge’s driving layup led to an and-1 play putting Vanderbilt up 36-33 over Kentucky. Treasure Hunt’s split trip to the free throw line trimmed the Commodore lead to 36-34 heading into halftime.
The Wildcats responded in a monumental way and held Vandy to single digits in the third, only allowing the Commodores to score nine points. The home team tacked on 16 to their total and entered the fourth with a lead of five, 50-45.
In the final period of play, the teams went a few possessions without scoring until Dre’una Edwards’ jump shot netted around the nine minute mark. Cambridge struck yet again for Vanderbilt, responding immediately with her signature floater and drawing the foul. Later, Alexander’s jump shot brought the Commodores within striking distance by trimming the Wildcat lead to one. However, Kentucky mounted a 10-0 run that spanned several valuable minutes until free throws from Iyana Moore broke the drought for Vanderbilt. A made basket by Edwards kept the Wildcat lead in double-digits, at 10.
Down the stretch, the Commodores battled back into contention with a rally of their own. Vanderbilt went on a 10-4 to close out the contest and bring the deficit from 10 points to four.
Vandy (36) scored more points in the paint than Kentucky (30), while both teams produced 21 points off turnovers. The game was tied eight times and saw eight lead changes.
Alexander ended the night with 14 points, four rebounds, three assists, a steal, and a block.
The Wildcats ended the contest with four in double-figures led by Edwards’ 20-point night.
Vanderbilt will return to Memorial Gymnasium to face Ole Miss on Sunday at 2 p.m.