Highlights, Interviews, Quotes & Photos
Feb. 12, 2008
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Audio: Fisher's Interview with Coach Stallings
Audio: Thompson's Interview with R. Neltner
Audio: Kentucky's Press Conference with Coach Gillispie
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Box Score | Quotes | Notes | Season Stats
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Just when it looked as if Kentucky
was turning its season around, the Wildcats were handed their
worst conference loss ever.
|COMMODORE POSTGAME COVERAGE|
Vanderbilt's 41-point win was its largest ever against the Wildcats, topping a 30-point win (81-51) on Feb. 8, 1989 in Memorial Gym. The margin of defeat was Kentucky's largest since Dec. 9, 1989 when the Wildcats lost by 55 to Kansas. In fact, the loss tied for the fifth-biggest loss in Kentucky history.
QUOTE OF THE GAME
"I didn't think we could be ahead of someone 41-11 if those guys were playing us coaches," Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings said. "It was just our night. I don't know how to explain it. It just happens sometimes when you least suspect it."
With 20 points in the game, Shan Foster outscored Kentucky until the 13:08 mark of the second half. Foster was not the only Commodore outscoring Kentucky. Having scored the final two of his 15 points at the 18:06 mark of the second half, Ross Neltner outscored the Wildcats until the 15:35 mark of the second half.
Vanderbilt's 41-11 lead at the half brought back memories of the Commodores' visit to Gainesville, Fla., just a few weeks ago. In that game, VU trailed Florida 34-6 at one point in the first half. However, unlike the game at Florida, where the 'Dores were able to cut the Gators' lead to 15 at the half (46-31), Kentucky was never in the game after a Ramel Bradley three-pointer tied the score at three at the 18:17 mark of the first half.
Vanderbilt has made great strides in limiting turnovers in recent games and tonight was the Commodores finest example of that. Through the first half, Vanderbilt had just one turnover compared to 12 by the Wildcats. VU finished the game with a season-low six turnovers. In their last three games, the Commodores have 25 turnovers and hasn't committed more than 10 in a single game.
Rightfully overshadowed by the score of the game was the fact that A.J. Ogilvy posted his third double-double of the season and his first since Jan. 5 against UMASS. Ogilvy finished with 19 points and a career-best 12 rebounds. "I really like how A.J. played tonight," Stallings said.
Vanderbilt was the only team in the SEC to play six of its first nine league games on the road. The difference between home games and road games has been drastic.
Average scoring margin: +11.57 per game
Points per game: 87.07
Average scoring margin: -4.5
Points per game: 69.50
"To have them to stomp us into the ground like that, it's horrible," freshman Patrick Patterson said. "They played like men, and we played like boys."
Kentucky thought it had fixed the problems that led to a 6-5 start under first-year coach Billy Gillispie, which included an 84-68 loss to Gardner-Webb at Rupp Arena and a 70-51 loss to Indiana that had been the biggest margin in a loss by the Wildcats. They had won five straight, including a victory over Tennessee, before Tuesday's blowout.
The Commodores (21-4, 6-4 Southeastern Conference) started a four-game homestand by winning their fourth straight. The only SEC team to open league play with six of their first nine away from home had lost 79-73 in double-overtime at Kentucky on Jan. 12.
"They took us to the woodshed," Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings said of that loss. "We didn't want that to happen again."
They more than got their revenge before a sold-out crowd.
It was the worst loss for Kentucky (12-10, 6-3) since losing by 55 to Kansas on Dec. 9, 1989.
Making it sweeter for Vanderbilt? This 41-point margin matched a 52-11 loss to Rose Polytechnic on Feb. 10, 1910, as the fifth-biggest loss in Wildcats' history and their worst loss in SEC history. LSU had a 35-point win over Kentucky, 76-41, on Jan. 18, 1987.
"I didn't see this coming in any way, shape or form," Stallings said. "Not of this magnitude."
Vanderbilt had never beaten Kentucky by this big a margin. The Commodores' previous best was an 81-51 victory Feb. 8, 1989, and now they have won three straight in Memorial Gym and five of the last six in this series.
Gillispie tried to downplay the defeat as only one loss.
"We just got our tail kicked. That's all there is to it. It's one loss, and we got our tail kicked severely. Congratulations to Vanderbilt. They played fantastic. We'll move on. We'll make a positive out of it someway," Gillispie said.
Ramel Bradley, who had 18 of his 21 in the second half, said it felt pretty bad.
"Nobody wants to lose like this, on the road or at home, regardless. This is just embarrassing," Bradley said.
Kentucky native Ross Neltner added 15 points for Vanderbilt,
and Jermaine Beal had 10.
Joe Crawford had 11 for Kentucky, and Patterson finished with 10.
The Commodores led 41-11 at halftime and led by as much as 43 several times, the first when Ogilvy hit two free throws with 11:36 left at 66-23.
Kentucky had held its last eight SEC opponents below 70 points in regulation. The Commodores hit that on a free throw by George Drake with 9:27 left -- 10 seconds after Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings subbed out all five of his starters leading 69-30.
The Wildcats looked lost from the start. Kentucky struggled to find the basket, hitting only 3-of-15 from the floor with more turnovers (12) than points (11) in the first half. It was their fewest points by halftime since scoring 11 against Cincinnati on Dec. 20, 1983.
Patterson, the freshman who had been averaging 17.2 points per game, struggled in his first visit to Memorial Gym. He missed his only shot of the first half, turned it over under the basket and picked up two fouls within 50 seconds. His third came with 6:34 left in the first half.
The Wildcats finished with more fouls (26) than made shots (17).
By the time Crawford scored on a drive to get the Wildcats to 10 points with 2:21 left in the first half, fans serenaded Kentucky by chanting "Double digits."
The second half only got worse.
Crawford was called for a charge, negating a bucket with 16:31 to go. Kentucky coach Billy Gillispie grabbed the ball and started toward the bench, picking up a technical foul.