Vanderbilt basketball can't finish comeback vs Kentucky despite Dylan Disu's 29 points
Abysmal 3-point shooting nights for Vanderbilt basketball mean trouble.
Wednesday’s 2-for-13 start against Kentucky created an early 10-point deficit that Vanderbilt could not overcome.
Kentucky’s Davion Mintz and Isaiah Jackson combined to score 30 points, and Vanderbilt lost its 10th straight game to the Wildcats, 82-78, at Memorial Gym.
Vanderbilt (6-11, 2-9 SEC) missed its first 10 3-pointers and had 10 first-half turnovers. Sophomore guard Scotty Pippen Jr. did not score a point in the first half, but forward Dylan Disu’s 17 first-half points on 6-for-12 shooting kept a comeback manageable against the Wildcats (7-13, 6-7).
But it was not to be.
Vanderbilt tied the game at 46 with 13:54 to play, but Kentucky’s 12-7 run in the next three minutes secured a lead until the end.
Pippen finished with 21 points and Disu had a career-high 29. No other Vanderbilt player scored in double digits.
"They had five guys in double figures," Vanderbilt coach Jerry Stackhouse said of Kentucky. "I think if we get another guy in double figures, we win the game. It's just as simple as that."
Vandy's 3-point shot hits season-low
The Commodores shot 4-for-23 from 3-point range. That's one less shot made than in their game against Tennessee on Jan. 16.
However, Stackhouse said plenty of Vanderbilt's opportunities to shoot were clean. But a Kentucky lineup ranging from 6-foot-3 to 7-foot, meant a quicker release, which largely did not happen.
"I think some of (Kentucky's) length bothered us on a couple of those 3s," Stackhouse said. "They got their hands on a couple of them and they're extremely long — (Isaiah) Jackson and those guys.
"We were pretty good when we really moved the ball quickly, but we got in trouble when we started trying to over-handle it a little bit. They're so long that spinning back and over-dribbling is a recipe for disaster against that team."
Scotty Pippen Jr. scoreless in first half
Pippen, with the second-best scoring average in the SEC (20.3 points per game), was 0-for-5 in the first 20 minutes and did not record an assist. He accounted for five of Vanderbilt’s first half turnovers.
He converted 10 of his 11 free throws down the stretch. Pippen Jr. finished 5-for-19 shooting in the game,1-for-7 from 3-point range.
Early turnovers hurt comeback
Vanderbilt had five turnovers in the first five minutes.
In the first half, Kentucky scored 16 points off of Vanderbilt’s giveaways. In the second half, the Commodores turned the ball over just four times. Simultaneously, their shooting improved to aid Disu in keeping a comeback in sight.
"We just came out flat. There's nothing to elaborate with on that," Disu said of Vanderbilt's turnovers. "Obviously, you saw our game against Mississippi State. We came out hot. We were playing our defense, running around trapping. So I think we have to get back to that for the next game coming up against Alabama."
Disu and Clevon Brown do their part
Disu scored a career-high 29 points, and he also snagged a career-best 16 rebounds.
"I knew they weren't really boxing out too well. I had eight rebounds in the first half," Disu said. "Coming down the stretch, when guys get tired, I knew their boxing out would get worse. So I just kept crashing the glass and it benefitted me."
Wednesday was Brown’s third straight start, after being out with an injury since Jan. 23. He scored 15 points on Saturday against Mississippi State. He finished with eight points against Kentucky.
For sports stories, contact Drake Hills at DHills@gannett.com. Follow Drake on Twitter at @LiveLifeDrake.