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Vanderbilt at Kentucky
44 - 106
March 5, 2003
Lexington, Ken.

 

Final Box Score

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) -- No. 2 Kentucky looks simply invincible as it closes in on a perfect run through the Southeastern Conference.

Erik Daniels scored a career-high 20 points and freshman Kelenna Azubuike added a season-high 16 as the Wildcats rode another dazzling defensive performance to its 19th straight win, beating Vanderbilt 106-44 on Wednesday night.

Marquis Estill added 17 points and nine rebounds and Gerald Fitch had 15 points and five assists for Kentucky (25-3, 15-0), which held Vanderbilt to seven field goals and 15 points in the second half.

The Wildcats play at No. 4 Florida (24-5, 12-3) on Saturday and can become the first team since the 1995-96 Wildcats to go through the SEC regular season without a loss. That Kentucky team went on to win the program's sixth NCAA championship.

Matt Freije, the SEC's fourth-leading scorer, had nine points to lead Vanderbilt (10-16, 3-12), which lost for the eighth straight time. The Commodores went 19-of-62 from the field (31 percent), committed 23 turnovers and was outrebounded 56-34.

Most of the drama occurred during a pre-game ceremony honoring Kentucky's three seniors -- Estill, Keith Bogans and Jules Camara.

The school also honored John Stewart, a 7-footer who signed with Kentucky in the fall of 1998 but died of a heart ailment during an Indiana state high school playoff game in March 1999.

Kentucky coach Tubby Smith sobbed at midcourt during a video chronicling Stewart's career. Smith embraced Stewart's parents, John and Feleica, before giving them flowers and a framed jersey.

The game itself was a mere formality.

Kentucky opened with a 15-2 run, scoring on eight of its first nine possessions.

Eight minutes into the game, Vanderbilt had twice as many turnovers (6) as it had field goals (3) and trailed 23-7.

Kentucky extended the lead to 36-14 before Freije had nine straight points.

But Bogans scored on a drive with 5:26 left before halftime and the Wildcats stayed in control, rebuilding the lead to 19 points.

Kentucky started the second half with a 14-2 run capped by Estill's unlikely 3-pointer from the top of the key with 15:58 left. The 6-9 Estill had attempted only four 3-pointers all season and missed them all.

By the midpoint of the second half, Smith had sent seldom-used freshmen Azubuike, Bernard Cote and Brandon Stockton into the game.

The 6-5 Azubuike, averaging only eight minutes, made a steal at midcourt and streaked in for a two-handed dunk and an 85-40 lead with 8:16 left. The 5-9 Stockton swished a 3-pointer from the top of the key a minute later to increase the lead to 38.

Bogans left the game with 6:31 left to a standing ovation. He scored only nine points, but moved past Kevin Grevey into sixth place on the school's all-time scoring list.

The Wildcats gathered at midcourt, arm-in-arm, after the game and led the crowd in singing ``My Old Kentucky Home.''

 

 









 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Vanderbilt Athletic Department
2601 Jess Neely Drive
Nashville, TN 37212
615-322-GOLD (4653)