Wright’s late jumper lifts Vanderbilt over No. 23 Kentucky


LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Jordan Wright hit a go-ahead fall-away jumper in the lane with 2.6 seconds remaining to finish with 23 points, and Vanderbilt topped No. 23 Kentucky 68-66 on Wednesday night for its first win at Rupp Arena since January 2007.

The surging Commodores (17-13, 10-7 Southeastern Conference) earned their seventh win in eight games and are 7-3 since losing to Kentucky 69-53 last month in Nashville. They trailed 26-21 late in the first half before leading 34-30 at halftime and 46-35 early in the second before withstanding Kentucky’s rally for a 66-64 advantage with 1:10 left on Oscar Tshiebwe’s layup.

Wright answered with a drive from the right wing to tie the game with 42 seconds left, and Tyrin Lawrence grabbed Antonio Reeves’ missed jumper with 20 seconds left. Wright got free just inside the free throw line, stopped and fell back with the game winner.

Antonio Reeves’ 3-point attempt missed the rim altogether as time expired. Kentucky had won its previous four and re-entered the rankings on Monday for the first time in seven weeks.

Tshiebwe finished with 21 points and 20 rebounds for the Wildcats (11-6, 20-10).

Wright made all four 3-point attempts and 8 of 12 overall for a season high total. Lawrence added 21 points.

Vanderbilt won without 7-footer Liam Robbins, who injured his lower right leg early in the game after landing awkwardly while going for a rebound. He missed the first meeting with an injury, too.


Vanderbilt: The Commodores didn’t flinch or panic, even after Robbins limped off the floor and didn’t return. They simply started hitting from deep as usual to seize momentum and spread Kentucky out on defense. They also made 8 of 24 from deep.

Kentucky: The Wildcats overachieved just to get their lead, and it just got harder after they yielded it by failing to stop Vandy’s outside game. They missed 10 of their first 11 from behind the arc and finished just 3 of 19 from long distance.

UP NEXT Vanderbilt hosts Mississippi State on Saturday.

Kentucky visits Arkansas on Saturday in its SEC regular-season finale, looking to avenge last month’s 88-73 home loss.

___ AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/College-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

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