Kentucky turned up the pressure and Vanderbilt unraveled.
The Commodores never led after the first opening 90 seconds and a late rally wasn’t enough to overcome 24 turnovers in a 71-61 loss on the road to the 13th-ranked Wildcats on Monday night.
Kentucky (22-5, 11-3 SEC) bounced back from a three-game losing streak while Vanderbilt (20-7, 8-6 SEC) lost for just the second time in eight games.
The Commodores, who have dropped five straight to Kentucky, trailed 39-23 at halftime and fell behind by as many as 20 in the second half.
Trailing 61-44 with 6:44 left, Vanderbilt rattled off 11 straight points. Tiffany Clarke, who had a game-high 19 points, made two free throws to cut the margin to 61-55 with 1:21 to go.
Bria Goss responded by hitting a jumper on the next possession, ending Kentucky’s five minute scoring drought. The teams exchanged free throws, keeping the deficit at seven, but Christina Foggie and Jasmine Lister each turned the ball over in the last 30 seconds. The Wildcats hit their last seven free throws to pull away.
Lister committed a career-high eight turnovers. The sophomore point guard had just one assist and nine points.
Foggie, the SEC’s leading scorer, had 11 of her 16 points after halftime. She attempted just three 3-pointers, making only one.
The Commodores were outrebounded 40-29. Kentucky grabbed 22 offensive rebounds for 21 second-chance points. They also turned Vanderbilt’s turnovers into 24 points.
The Wildcats were led by Samarie Walker’s 15 points and 12 rebounds. Kentucky improved to 17-0 at home this season.
Vanderbilt stays on the road to play at LSU on Thursday before wrapping up the regular season at home against Alabama on Sunday.