By: Sean Cartell
SEC Digital Network
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DULUTH, Ga. – A’dia Mathies scored a team-high 16 points and DeNesha Stallworth added 14 as second-seeded Kentucky defeated seventh-seeded Vanderbilt 76-65 on Friday in the Southeastern Conference Tournament quarterfinals at the Arena at Gwinnett Center.
Kentucky advances to face the winner of the Georgia vs. LSU quarterfinal on Saturday. Tip-off in Saturday’s second semifinal is slated for 6 p.m. ET on ESPNU.
The Wildcats (26-4), who punched their spot in the SEC Tournament semifinals for the sixth time in the last eight tournaments and the fourth consecutive year, capitalized by scoring 24 points off of 23 Vanderbilt turnovers. Kentucky shot 45.3 percent (24-of-53) from the field in the game, while Vanderbilt shot 47.3 percent (26-of-55).
Mathies’ game-high 16 points came on 7-of-12 shooting, including a pair of three-pointers, and a season-high five steals. It was a balanced scoring effort for the Wildcats who featured six players with seven or more points in the game.
Vanderbilt (20-11) was led by a game-high 24 points and 12 rebounds from Tiffany Clarke.
• Vanderbilt is now 20-11 on the season, 45-28 all-time in the SEC Tournament
• Senior forward Tiffany Clarke recorded her 10th double-double of the season and 22nd of her career with a team-leading 24 points and 12 rebounds.
• The game was Clarke’s 25th in double digits in points on the year and the 11th with 20+ points.
• Clarke pulled down double-digit rebounds for the 10th time on the year.
• Junior guard Jasmine Lister scored 17 points, her 20th double-figure game this season and ninth in her last 10 games.
• Kentucky improves to 26-4, 26-34 all-time in the SEC Tournament.
• The Wildcats sweep the season series with the Commodores after a 75-53 win in Nashville on Feb. 10.
• Kentucky advances to the SEC Tournament semifinals for the fourth-consecutive season.
• After allowing Vanderbilt to score the initial basket of the game, Kentucky uncorked a 13-1 run over the next 6:08, giving the Wildcats a lead they would not relinquish.
• The Wildcats forced 23 turnovers, the 146th-consecutive game UK has forced double-digit turnovers.
• Kentucky scored 24 points off of the 23 Vanderbilt turnovers.
• The UK bench outscored VU’s bench, 32-12, running Kentucky’s record to 21-0 on the year when it outscores its opponent’s bench
• A’dia Mathis led Kentucky with 16 points, the 15th time this season she has paced the Wildcats and the 28th time this season she has score in double figures.
• DeNesha Stallworth scored 14 points for her 23 double-figure effort of the year.
• Stallworth also pulled down six rebounds to lead UK in the category for the seventh time this season.