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Murray scores 33, but Cats fall 74-62 at Vandy

By UKathletics.com

Jamal Murray's 33 points were not enough for UK Saturday. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Jamal Murray’s 33 points were not enough for UK Saturday. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Jamal Murray scored 33 points, but Kentucky could not overcome Vanderbilt’s big second half, as the Wildcats lost 74-62 on Saturday at Memorial Gym in Nashville.

Kentucky struggled from the floor in the seccond half, hitting just seven-of-26 (26.9 percent) of its shots. That allowed Vanderbilt to turn a 39-36 deficit into a 12-point win.

The Wildcats missed their last nine shots and did not score over the game’s last 3:47.
Murray scored 21 of his points in the first half, carrying Kentucky’s offense as he did much of the day. The freshman came up just two points shy of his career high of 35 points.
Vandy fell behind by as many as seven early in the second half before a 10-2 run allowed the Commodores to take a 48-47 lead with 15:29 remaining in the game. Vanderbilt would hold the lead for the remainder of the game.
Kentucky (21-8, 11-5 SEC) had only one other player in double figures in the game. Tyler Ulis had 12 points, along with six assists. Only two other Wildcats scored, with Marcus Lee posting nine points and Isaiah Briscoe adding eight.
Vanderbilt had only five players score in the game, but four of them scored in double figures. Matthew Fisher-Davis led Vandy with 20 points, while Jeff Roberson had 16. Damian Jones added 15 points and Wade Baldwin IV had 14.
While Kentucky went cold in the second half, Vanderbilt improved its shooting percentage, although only slightly. Vandy hit 13 field goals in each half, but needed only 30 attemps in the second half (43.3 percent) as opposed to 32 in the first half (40.6 percent).

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  1. Mike

    Worse part of this loss is that Ullis can’t get on anyone because he didn’t play that well himself. Our bigs are just disgusting. It is a little hard for 1 man to take on and beat an improving Vandy ball team. They will probably beat us if we meet in SEC postseason play. YYYYYYYYYYYY does Cal continue to let Brickster shoot away from the basket? This is an obvious coaching malfeasance call. Why can’t this coaching staff teach these guys to defend at the post without fouling? This is not a team getting ready for postseason play and will not go down as a good coaching season by Cal. Where is the player development? Who has gotten better? Lee has no offensive game cept catching lobs. Briscoe has not improved during the season. Matthews has not shown anything with the time he has been givern. Mulder getting John Hood treatment. Isaac not getting better or showing that muich. Skal is nothing more than an overrated loser. Poythress…..well he is still Poythress…all of that G given talent and posting more fouls than points and more “no shows” than shows. He has been the most under performing player I have seen for the 4 yrs. that he has been here. He does not possess a winning attitude, passion, or have any pride in wearing the UK uniform. Frankly, I liked him more when he was hurt and on the bench. This was a total team and coaching loss and does not bode well for moving forward.

    1. KingGhidora

      Gee Mike it seems to me that when you have your back turned to a player and that player trips over your leg and they call a foul on you that you aren’t really the problem. It’s the zebras. That call was like 2 dozen other bad calls against UK in that game. I could foul out everyone on the other team in 5 minutes with calls like that. Just pick out a player and run past him from behind and be sure to stick your leg out and trip over his as you go by. That was far from the only bad call. Players make zero contact yet get fouls. The refs now know that the UK weakness is they have a limited number of front line players and if you get a couple of them in foul trouble the team is in real trouble. So naturally they get Alex and Lee in foul trouble as fast as possible not to mention Humphries. It’s disgusting what they do to UK. And don’t deny it either. I can go through and record a bunch of bad calls and post them on YouTube for you. It wouldn’t be hard to find them.

      This happens almost every game in the SEC now including home games. I’ll keep saying it until it happens. UK needs to leave the SEC. Not one team could even pay for their stadium without UK filling it for them. Have you checked the attendance for their home games that don’t involve UK? Florida had a championship team return and they couldn’t fill their small arena even though they were on their way to winning another title. The only time their arenas are full is when UK plays. Let them all go bankrupt on their buildings. They deserve it. I’m sick and tired of UK getting the short end of the stick. Normally UK is good enough to win anyway. Sometimes they have what would be a great team for any other SEC school but the refs make it hard for them to win because they aren’t super dominant like last year.

      UK needs some place that will treat them fairly. I don’t know where that would be but it isn’t the SEC.

  2. Mike

    The refs certainly didn’t help us but they weren’t the reason for the 2nd half meltdown and the loss. Our problem with fouls is that we didn’t get enough and couldn’t make those that we got. One of our main problems is that we have very little veteran production and no veteran leadership. Other main thing is that the talent isn’t as good as advertised and hasn’t gotten better during the year. We have the same problem the football team had.

  3. Andy

    Mike we all get it that Skal has not lived up to his potential but to call a 18 year old a overrated loser shows how much of an adult you are. There are decent ways to get your point across but clearly that is a lost concept to you.

    1. Mike

      Andy…..you are probably right. It is very painful when he takes the court, and he doesn’t seem to be improving. Hope he doesn’t room with Poythress.

  4. KingGhidora

    Actually they do have some leadership. But he’s wearing a blow up boot right now. If Ulis isn’t hitting that puts all the pressure on Murray to score and no one can carry a team all night. Teams leave Brisco open hoping he will shoot and his defender is on Murray. And with Alex either getting cheap fouls or just not playing up to snuff they don’t have anywhere to go for points. I knew when Briscoe took that quick shot in the lane that the game was lost. He gave Vandy the idea they could win by doing that. One play can turn a game so easy it isn’t funny. Briscoe has a lot to offer but jump shots aren’t his strong suit especially 3 seconds after they get across the center court line. I had hoped Hawkins would step up and be that other outside shooter but I guess it isn’t going to happen. We need to hope Willis makes it back before the tournament.

  5. Grant

    We all know Cal tries to recruit the best coming out of high school. I’d say he has done pretty good in his tenure here. It is a crap shoot , Mike you know that. None of these guys are guaranteed to be great the first year in college if ever. I am frustrated with Skal, because I don’t believe you have to be a basketball savant at 7 foot to get a rebound. No excuse for that. You roll the dice and let it fly. Would it be nice if every big man came in and played like Anthony Davis? Hell Yes! Davis recently put up 59 points and 20 rebounds. That is not common, by a long shot. Cal rolled the dice with Skal, in that he would come in and produce. Well lady luck isn’t on his side for it. It happens. But he is a good investment. Ok , so it hasn’t worked out that great this year. Just because he is n’t a one hit wonder , is not a reason to give up on him. I think from my perspective in my recliner , it seems to me more than physical , its mental for him. Lacking a mental toughness. He is 7 foot. So there is a natural physical advantage , even though he lacks bulk. You don’t need to be built like Karl Malone to get rebounds. I think he can be good. Later than sooner.

    1. Mike

      Agree with all of that Andy. Cal has been the hottest recruiter in the country since he has been here and certainly has many more hits than misses, but Skal is in the moment and such a visible miss. It has to be both mental and physical, but one would think that he would improve and toughen up during the week in practices. His mental toughness seems to be even a cut below that of Poy and that is pretty bad. Our bigs have not improved, with exception of Derek, and he is now injured and off the floor. My fear is that this season may end in a THUD but the good news moving forward is that next year with start with a BAM.

      1. Grant

        its a miss for this year. long term , who knows. he will have to get confidence and assert himself. the type of kids cal recruits , well , they aren’t looking to come in and ride the pines, they want to play and play now. Skal better be aware that the next class may contain a big man who is not tenative and more than willing to interject himself right in to the limelight. you either improve or get off the tracks . simple as that. see derek willis, under the improvement section.

        1. Mike

          We have no control over who comes and who stays, but I hope that Skal moves on after this year. I really see him as more of a distraction than an asset or a unifier. We have enough apathy from one player for 4 years and really don’t need a 2nd from another. He had the ability to hit a jumper from outside but now can’t even hit those because he doesn’t like contact.

  6. LindaS

    It’s a loss, we can’t do anything about it. Ulis had an off night….first one? So what, he is still the best PG in the nation. Maybe he was sick, maybe he has shoulder problems, he has been rubbing on of his shoulders recently.
    We can analyze and talk about but it is not going to change a thing. Inside shooting, refs who don’t single out Kentucky for fouls that don’t exist, better play from a mature player. Sometimes I think he fouls out because he does not want to play, he does have his degree.
    We are still Kentucky and I would not trade that for anything. Go Cats! Livin’ Blue & Lovin’ It!

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