No. 6 Vanderbilt 64, Kentucky 54
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ Na’Sheema Hillmon led all scorers with 19 points and tied a career high with four blocked shots Wednesday night as No. 6 Vanderbilt defeated Kentucky 64-54.
Hillmon scored nine points in a 13-2 second-half run that put the Commodores ahead 48-42 with 8:04 to play. Her layup with 9:46 remaining had pushed Vandy into a 42-41 lead. Vanderbilt (12-1, 3-0 Southeastern Conference) didn’t trail again.
Kentucky (8-6, 1-2) closed to three before Nettie Respondek made consecutive 3-pointers, and Jennifer Holmes added a short jumper to stretch the Commodores’ lead to 56-45 with 4:41 to play.
Respondek finished with 12 points. Ashley Smith added 10 for the Commodores.
Kentucky trailed 27-25 at halftime but took the lead at 36-35 on a jump shot by Jaye Barnes with 11:53 to play. Barnes was fouled on the play but missed the free throw. Teammate Katie Vieth rebounded the miss and made a layup that put the Wildcats up by three.
The Wildcats registered 19 offensive rebounds in the contest compared to Vanderbilt’s 14. Vanderbilt posted a 40-37 overall rebounding edge.
Natalie Martinez made a 3-pointer with 10:49 to go that broke a 38-38 tie and gave the Wildcats another three-point lead, their last of the contest.
Barnes led the Wildcats with 12 points. Martinez and Tiffany Wait each added 11.
Vanderbilt made 8 of 11 free throws in the final three minutes and was 23-for-35 from the line for the game. Kentucky attempted only eight foul shots and made four.
Hillmon was 5-for-5 from the line. She also grabbed nine rebounds, as did teammate Lisa Ostrom.