LEXINGTON, Ky. — Davion Mintz hit a left-corner 3 with 47 seconds to play at Rupp Arena on Tuesday to lift Kentucky past Vanderbilt 77-74.
The Commodores had a 3-pointer out of the hands of Maxwell Evans at the buzzer that would have tied the game and sent it to overtime, but the ball rolled around the rim and out.
Vandy had four players combined for 70 of the team’s 77 points. Scotty Pippen, Dylan Disu and Jordan Wright all scored 18 each while Myles Stute added 16.
Pippen had eight rebounds and eight assists while Disu grabbed 10 boards and blocked two shots.
Vanderbilt (4-4, 0-2 SEC) returns home at noon Saturday to face Mississippi State (6-4, 1-1 SEC).
Tied at 64-64 with five minutes left Tuesday, Vandy found themselves down 68-64 before a Stute triple and then trailing 70-67 before a Disu long ball tied the score with 3:52 to go.
The Commodores could never eek back in front after tying the game at 72 and 74. And after a timeout by Kentucky with a minute to play, the Wildcats got the ball to Mintz who drained what turned out to be the winning shot.
Kentucky took the victory thanks in large part to going 26 of 32 from the line.
Vanderbilt started the contest by going 4:20 between field goals and found itself down 8-4 before a Stute 3 closed the gap to one. But the Wildcats scored five straight after that to extend the lead to 13-7.
The Commodores began 3 of 10 from the field before heating up. Down 17-11, back-to-back triples from Stute tied the score at 17-all and then consecutive Pippen layups and a Disu 3 gave Vandy a 24-19 advantage and completed a 13-2 run.
After the two squads traded scores from there, Vanderbilt exploded with an 11-2 run that included three 3s from JWright. Brandon Boston’s layup before the buzzer made the score 40-33 at the break.
Vandy shot 8-for-17 from distance in the first 20 minutes and 48.4 percent overall. The Dores also held a 22-14 rebounding advantage and had 10 assists on 15 made shots.
Kentucky opened the second half with a 7-0 run to knot the score at 40-40, but Vandy answered with five points in a row to regain control.
The Wildcats (3-6, 2-0 SEC) edged back in front 50-49 thanks to a jumper by Jacob Toppin with 13:27 to go. And then after Vandy went up 57-53, Kentucky clawed back ahead 59-57 with 8:14 to play.
Wright tied the contest at 62 with a three-point play and a Pippen layup knotted the score at 64-all. That set up the dramatic final five minutes.
Olivier Sarr had 24 points and seven rebounds for the Wildcats who were out-rebounded 42-29.