Kentucky holds Off Vanderbilt in Nashville

The Wildcats have won back-to-back games for just the second time this season.

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Courtesy: UK Athletics

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UK Athletics) – Davion Mintz had 18 points, Jacob Toppin scored 12 of his 16 points in the second half and Kentucky blew a 17-point lead before holding on to beat Vanderbilt 82-78 on Wednesday night.

Isaiah Jackson had 15 points and nine rebounds, Brandon Boston Jr. added 12 points and three steals and Olivier Sarr had 10 points and four blocks for Kentucky (7-13, 6-7 SEC).

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Scotty Pippen Jr. scored six points and Dylan Disu added five in an 11-5 spurt that pulled Vanderbilt (6-11, 2-9) within a point with 26 seconds left but Toppin, Boston and Devin Askew combined to go 8 of 8 from the free-throw line from there.

Disu had career highs of 29 points and 16 rebounds for the Commodores and Pippen finished with 21 points.

Kentucky scored the first 10 points and never trailed. Boston hit a 3-pointer and then took a steal coast-to-coast for a dunk 17 seconds later to spark a 15-3 run that made it 25-8 midway through the first half.

Issac McBride hit a 3-pointer to trim the Commodores’ deficit to 12 at halftime and Vanderbilt scored 16 of the first 20 points of the second half to tie it at 46-all but Mintz answered with a 3-pointer and Kentucky led the rest of the way.

The Wildcats have won back-to-back games for just the second time this season. They won three in a row in early January.

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Bryan Kennedy hails from the Bluegrass State. He was born and raised in Owensboro, KY where he graduated from Apollo High School in 2006. Bryan graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Spanish in 2010. He also received his master's degree in Sports Media and Branding from Western Kentucky University. While at UK, Bryan was the general manager of the on-campus TV station. He also did sports reporting, anchoring, producing and even the weather for UK Student News Network. While working for UKSNN, he also had the pleasure of covering Coach John Calipari's first press conference when he was introduced as the new head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats; easily one of his favorite moments as a young sports reporter. Before coming to ABC 36, Bryan was a morning anchor and reporter at WXXV News 25, our sister station in Gulfport, MS. He anchored more than four hours of news every day, including morning shows on NBC and Fox. While down south, Bryan had the opportunity to cover the Sugar Bowl, New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans. After spending a little more than two years at WXXV, Bryan is extremely excited to return home. In his spare time, Bryan enjoys playing sports, especially rugby. He also enjoys crossfitting and watching sports (obviously). He's extremely excited to cover Central Kentucky. Feel free to say hello and send story ideas toBKennedy@wtvq.com