Comeback Cats top Vandy 83-81 in OT

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) – Quade Green’s layup with five seconds remaining gave No. 21 Kentucky an 83-81 overtime victory against Vanderbilt on Tuesday night.

Kentucky (17-5, 6-3 Southeastern Conference) overcame a 57-46 deficit with 9 ½ minutes left to tie it on Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s two free throws with three seconds left. The freshman then opened OT with a jumper, PJ Washington made two free throws and Kevin Knox hit a 3-pointer for a 78-74 lead.

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Vanderbilt (8-14, 2-7) rallied for a 79-78 edge before Knox finished a three-point play, and that was answered by Clevon Brown’s layup. After Green found open space for the winning layup, Peyton Willis fired a 3-pointer that bounced off the rim and sparked a dog pile at midcourt for the Wildcats.

The win comes a day after Kentucky returned to the Top 25 following its win at then-No. 7 West Virginia in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge.

Gilgeous-Alexander scored a career-high 30 points for Kentucky, while Knox had 18 and Green 12.

Jeff Roberson had 23 points for the Commodores, who looked to string together consecutive wins for the first time since late last month. Vanderbilt was coming off a win over TCU in the Challenge.

BIG PICTURE

Vanderbilt: Once again, the Commodores positioned themselves to beat the Wildcats but couldn’t close the deal. Saben Lee’s foul that led to Knox’s three-point play was especially costly. It wasted a game in which they led by 14 and then again by 11 and seemed headed toward a season split.

Kentucky: The Wildcats got off the mat to gut out another win. They went cold for stretches, looked beaten at other times and were outrebounded 37-35. Yet they found the resolve just as they did in upsetting then-No. 15 West Virginia on Saturday.

UP NEXT

Vanderbilt: Visits No. 11 Auburn on Saturday night.

Kentucky: Visits Missouri on Saturday.

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Alex Risen joined the ABC 36 News team in October of 2011 as ABC 36’s Weekend Sports Anchor/ Sports Reporter. Alex can also be seen Friday nights co-anchoring the Highschool Highlight Reel. Alex started out in the broadcast business while still in college at the University of Kentucky, heading up the school’s daily student news network as the Sports Director. He made his commercial televsion debut in May of 2011 while at WYMT in Hazard, Kentucky as co-host of a weekly, half-hour high school sports program previewing area schools’ games on Friday nights and as a morning sports anchor. Alex has also spent time as an intern at ESPN in the Statistics and Analysis department, as a production assistant for NBC Sports horse racing and Sunday Night Football productions, and as an intern for WLKY in his hometown of Louisville, KY. Alex graduated from Saint Xavier High School in 2007 and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism and Political Science from the University of Kentucky in 2010 where he graduated magna cum laude from the Honors Program. He’s excited to be covering his passion in his home state and make Central Kentucky his home for years to come. Alex can be reached at ARisen@wtvq.com