No. 16 UK at Vanderbilt Game Breakdown

Tyley Ulis calls the team into a huddle after a foul during the first half of the game against Vanderbilt on Saturday, February 27, 2016 in Nashville, TN. Photo by Cameron Sadler | Staff 

Anthony Crawford

After leading in the first half behind the hot shooting of Jamal Murray, UK would fall to Vanderbilt on the road 74-62. Foul trouble and poor outside shooting plagued the team and the Cats would be unable to come back after Vanderbilt took the lead in the second half.

MVP: Jamal Murray

The freshman’s play was the only positive of the game for the Cats. He started hot with four threes in the first half and never cooled off. His 21 first half points were the most in a single half for a UK player in the Calipari era.

He started the second half the same way with a three, but his teammates would be unable to hit a shot to help take back the lead. Murray finished scoring over half of UK’s points with 33 and added nine rebounds.

Game Defining Moment:

With UK down two in the last 10 minutes of the game, Vandy went on a 7-0 run to take a 65-56 lead. From there the young Cats panicked, taking a lot of threes instead of some higher percentage shot inside. The end result was a rather lopsided victory for the Commodores and a poor shooting game for the Cats.

Trending Down: Three-point Shooting

0-12. That’s what every player not named Murray shot from three. To make matters worse, UK started to resort to the three even more after getting down big in the second half.

Tyler Ulis, especially, had an uncharacteristic bad shooting day, going 0-7 from three and missing some crucial open threes that might have turned the tide for the Cats. The point guard for UK is 0-10 in his last two games.

Trending Down: Foul Trouble for UK’s bigs

As it did for UK much in the beginning of SEC play, foul trouble haunted the Cats in Memorial Gymnasium, especially for the big men.

Alex Poythress, Marcus Lee and Skal Labissiere all sat out much of the first half with two fouls. This gave Calipari the opportunity to experiment with the small-ball lineup with Charles Matthews playing the power forward spot.

Going forward, though, this is not the type of position UK wants to find themselves in, and it could of hurt them a lot more if Vandy’s main post presence Damian Jones didn’t also sit out much of the first half with two fouls.

Stat of the Game: 1 Bench Point between both teams

Vanderbilt had one player off its bench score one point. UK had no bench production and only had four of the nine players that played major minutes score.

Murray scored over half of the team’s point and with Ulis struggling shooting, he looks like the team’s only consistent scorer. That is definitely something that will have to change if UK wants to contend in March.