UK’s guards lead the way in UK’s overtime victory over Vanderbilt


Quade Green scores the game winning layup in overtime against Vanderbilt in Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky. on Jan. 30, 2018. Photo by Carter Gossett.

Chris Leach

It took a 19-point comeback for Kentucky to beat Vanderbilt in Rupp Arena last season, and on Tuesday night, it would take another comeback for Kentucky to defeat Vanderbilt, as the Cats beat the Commodores 83-81.

The difference from last year’s comeback was it took overtime for the Cats to take down the Commodores. Vanderbilt led for most of the game, at one point leading by 14, but a late comeback led by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander helped push the Cats to overtime and the victory.

Gilgeous-Alexander became the second Cat to score 30 points with a 30-point performance against Vanderbilt. Kentucky had a hard time trimming Vanderbilt’s lead to smaller than four for most of the second half, but a layup from Gilgeous-Alexander’s with 1:15 remaining brought UK within one point of Vanderbilt lead.

Gilgeous-Alexander’s biggest points though came on UK’s final possession in regulation. Gilgeous-Alexander would be fouled with three seconds remaining, and he made both free throws to save the Cats from an upset and send the game into overtime. 

UK scored the first four points in overtime to give them their first lead since the first half. However, Vanderbilt wouldn’t go away easy, as the Commodores used three-point shooting and a Riley LaChance layup to retake the lead with 1:16 remaining.

This was when last game’s hero made his presence felt, as Kevin Knox scored three straight points, including an and-one layup with 16 seconds left to give UK back the lead. Knox would miss the free throw however, and Clevon Brown would score on the other end to tie the game backup.

With 12 seconds remaining, Quade Green would receive the inbounds pass and go coast-to-coast for the game winning layup. Vanderbilt got one last three-point shot off before the final buzzer, but it missed to lock up Kentucky’s sixth SEC victory of the year. 

Green would finish with 12 points on 5-11 shooting. UK also had two other scorers finish with double-digits, with Knox scoring 18 and Nick Richards scoring 10, eight of which came in the first half.

UK will be back on the court on Feb. 3, when the Cats travel to Missouri to face the Tigers, who are 3-5 in SEC play this season. Tipoff is at 2 p.m.