No. 21 Kentucky beats Vanderbilt 83-81 in overtime

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No. 21 Kentucky beats Vanderbilt 83-81 in overtime
Kentucky's Kevin Knox (5) drives on Vanderbilt's Payton Willis during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018, in Lexington, Ky. (AP Photo/James Crisp)

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.

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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