Taylor has 23 as Vanderbilt downs Tennessee 65-47
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|men's BASkEtBALL RESULTS
|Vanderbilt 65, Tennessee 47
|Kentucky 57, Georgia 44
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Jeffery Taylor scored 15 of his 23 points in the first half, and the Vanderbilt Commodores bounced back Tuesday night by routing their instate rival Tennessee 65-47 for their ninth win in 10 games.
The Commodores (15-5, 5-1 Southeastern Conference) had an eight-game winning streak snapped with an overtime loss to then-No. 20 Mississippi State. This time, they scored the first nine points of the game in rolling to another win.
The loss ruined Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin's debut in the orange blazer made famous by Ray Mears, then Bruce Pearl. The Vols (9-11, 1-4) fell to 0-6 in true road games, had a season-low point total and looked nothing like the group that upset defending national champion Connecticut 60-57 last weekend.
John Jenkins, the SEC's leading scorer, had 16 points.
Jeronne Maymon led Tennessee with 15 points. Freshman Jarnell Stokes had 10 rebounds but only six points in the fourth game of his very short career. It was his second straight start.
These teams are the SEC's stingiest scoring defenses with Vandy holding opponents to 59 points and Tennessee allowing 60 points in league play. The Vols couldn't slow down Vanderbilt and especially Taylor. After being swept by Tennessee in two of his first three seasons, Taylor scored six of Vanderbilt's first 11 points, and he also had seven rebounds in the first half.
Even with the Commodores comfortably ahead, Taylor kept playing hard. He stole the ball from Wes Washpun and tossed it to Jenkins before going out of bounds, and Taylor finished the possession with a 3-pointer with 6:50 left.
Vanderbilt led by as much as 54-27 on a 3-pointer by Dai-Jon Parker. The Commodores shot 8 of 18 (44.4 percent) from 3-point range against a Tennessee defense that had been holding SEC teams to 25.8 percent beyond the arc.
Tennessee couldn't have been much sloppier with 10 turnovers midway through the first half, and the Vols also struggled to shoot. They hit just 7 of 24 (29.2 percent) in the first half. They also finished with a season-high 25 turnovers that Vanderbilt turned into 30 points.
The Commodores had no such problems against a Tennessee defense that held Florida, Kentucky and UConn to its lowest scoring games this season.
Jenkins hit a 3, then Lance Goulbourne added another to push Vanderbilt's lead to double digits for the first time at 20-8 with 10:37 left. The Commodores looked ready to run Tennessee out of the gym, jumping out to a 30-10 lead on a putback by Taylor with 5:46 left.
The Vols showed some signs of life when officials called senior Festus Ezeli for a flagrant foul with an apparent blow to Stokes' head, and the freshman hit a pair of free throws. The two drew a technical apiece in the second half when Stokes bumped into Ezeli after drawing a foul from the senior.
Maymon scored, then stole the ball from Goulbourne and passed it to Trae Golden for a dunk. Brad Tinsley brought the crowd to its feet with consecutive dunks 17 seconds apart late in the half, the second as he drove past Skylar McBee.
That was the Vols' best spurt as Vanderbilt cruised to the win and had the student section chanting in celebration with plenty of time left in the game.
No. 1 Kentucky cruises to 57-44 win over Georgia
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ATHENS, Ga. (AP) -- Darius Miller came off the bench to score 19 points and Kentucky cruised in its first game since returning to No. 1 in the rankings, beating Georgia 57-44 on Tuesday night.
Miller, who had started eight of the previous nine games for the Wildcats (20-1, 6-0 Southeastern Conference), returned to the sixth-man role he had played earlier in the season. It didn't really matter. The senior made 7 of 8 shots, including all four from 3-point range.
Kentucky used spurts of 10-0 and 10-1 to build a 38-26 halftime lead. The Bulldogs (10-10, 1-5) never threatened in the second half, even though the Wildcats cooled off considerably. They went more than 5 minutes without scoring and made just 7 of 23 shots over the final 20 minutes.
Kentucky, which had been No. 1 in The Associated Press rankings for two weeks early in the season, returned to the top spot after Syracuse lost last weekend.
For one half at least, the Wildcats lived up to the billing against a rebuilding Georgia team that has lost five of its last six, but did start out with some inspired play before its first home sellout of the season.
Led by Nemanja Djurisic's 10 points, Georgia kept it close for much of the opening half. The Bulldogs withstood that 10-0 run by Kentucky and trailed only 23-22 with less than 6 minutes to go in the period.
Suddenly, the Wildcats turned it on. Kyle Wiltjer knocked down a 3-pointer, then passed to Michael Kidd-Gilchrist for a dunk. Dustin Ware answered for the home team with a 3-pointer, but that jumper with 5:01 remaining was Georgia's final field goal of the half.
Kentucky scored 10 of the last 11 points in the half, with Miller scoring seven straight on a 3-pointer and two jumpers from inside the arc.
Wiltjer added his second 3-pointer of the half, and the Wildcats went to the locker room with a comfortable 12-point lead. The Bulldogs staggered toward their tunnel with heads down, knowing they had given Kentucky their best shot and still faced a double-digit deficit.
In the second half, neither team played with much intensity and the crowd amused itself with dueling chants of "Go Big Blue!" vs. "U-G-A!" There certainly wasn't much to cheer about on the court, with Kentucky appearing to play down to its competition and Georgia never mounting much of a run.
Still, the Wildcats made it look easy with their 12th straight victory since their only loss, a 73-72 setback to Indiana on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer. They have won by an average of 17.3 points during the streak.
Kidd-Gilchrist was the only other Kentucky player in double figures with 14 points.
Ware led Georgia with 12 as Djurisic failed to score in the second half.