Kentucky’s season continues to slip away following last night’s loss in Nashville. The Wildcats were looking to build momentum after defeating Auburn on Tuesday night, but their efforts fell short.
Krya Elzy had to manage a limited roster as Kentucky was without Dre’Una Edwards, Robyn Benton, and Treasure Hunt for the game. This meant the Wildcats were down to six players for the night. While Vanderbilt did ultimately play nine players on the evening, it is worth noting that only six played more than five minutes. With both teams basically having a shrunken roster, the game was well within reach for either team.
The game was close throughout the night as each team traded blow after blow. Unfortunately for Kentucky, Vanderbilt was able to consistently punch just a little harder and extended some of their leads before Kentucky would make a comeback.
Brinae Alexander had a huge night for the Commodores. The 5’10” senior turned in a 26 point performance, including six three pointers made on 11 attempts. Kentucky got a similar performance from Rhyne Howard, who turned in a double-double with 25 points and 10 rebounds and 4-8 shooting from outside.
The stars showed out for both teams, but it was Vanderbilt’s supporting cast that had just enough more than Kentucky to get them over the hump when the buzzer sounded. The Commodores did not have another player reach double digits, but they didn’t need to in what was another defensive struggle that Kentucky was involved in. Vanderbilt’s role players averaged 8 points (not including those who played five minutes or less) on the night while Kentucky’s averaged 6.4 points.
With a 57-55 deficit late in the fourth, Kentucky was very much in this game. Vanderbilt ended the game on an 8-2 run and essentially slammed the door on Kentucky’s tournament hopes barring an unforeseen turnaround in the last month of the season. BBN is starting to get loud on the status of Kyra Elzy’s job, and last night‘s loss against a bottom tier SEC teams was not a good look for her resume.