Date story published: Thursday, February 9, 1989
NASHVILLE -- C.M. Newton the Vanderbilt coach had to love what he saw: the most lopsided victory over Kentucky in school history. The new mark? An 81-51 rout last night.
Newton the athletic director-to-be at UK and Cat coach Eddie Sutton could only cringe.
UK, which fell to 11-12 overall and 6-5 in this possibly pivotal Southeastern Conference showdown, suffered its worst defeat of this long season. The previous worst came way back in the opener on Nov. 19 when Duke pasted the Cats 80-55.
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It was also the second-worst defeat suffered by Sutton at UK. Only the 76-41 loss to Louisiana State at Rupp Arena Jan. 18, 1987, had a wider margin.
Horrendous shooting from unrecognizable offensive patterns -- to use that term loosely -- helped doom UK. The Cats shot 32.8 percent (19-58), tying the season-low percentage (22 of 67) in the loss at Bowling Green.
Derrick Miller, who had 27 points in UK's 70-61 victory over Vandy last month at Rupp Arena, suffered most. Miller missed his first eight shots, which included a layup, an 18-foot air ball and assorted bricks.
While Kentucky sailed toward oblivion, Vandy cruised into SEC contention. The Commodores improved to 13-10 overall and 7-4 in the SEC.
Thanks to seven three-pointers and UK's cold shooting, the Commodores led 39-18 at halftime. Vandy's largest margin of victory over a UK team before last night was a 97-79 victory in Lexington in 1965.
UK tried to use its usual away-from-home strategy. The Cats spread the floor and tried to take the crowd out of the game by milking the shot clock.
Missed shots and turnovers put UK in a catch-up mode. The Cats made only six of their 22 first-half shots (27.3 percent). None of the five three-point attempts went in.
UK's starters, who hit but five of 19 first-half shots, got the Cats in trouble. UK missed five of its first six shots and had five turnovers at the 14:42 mark.
By then, Vandy had established a 10-5 lead that expanded through much of the half.
After using an active man-to-man through much of the half, Vandy switched to a trap and took its first double-figure lead.
The Commodores got two quick turnovers from the trap. Reggie Hanson threw a pass away and Derrick Miller walked.
Vandy converted each time. Derrick Wilcox took Hanson's wayward pass and drove for a layup that made it 17-7 at the 11:47 mark.
Center Frank Kornet, the Lexington Catholic High graduate, slammed in a rebound one-handed to make it 19-7.
Charles Mayes' three-pointer widened the lead to 22-9.
UK rallied to within nine, 22-13, and trailed 27-17 when its final rush was repelled.
Hanson's three-point play underneath cut the deficit to 10 and the Cats had a chance to get closer when Mayes missed a three-pointer from the corner.
But Chris Mills rushed a three-point attempt and Barry Booker drilled one at the other end.
Booker's three-pointer began a 9-0 run that buried UK underneath a 36-17 deficit.
Barry Goheen, who finished the half with 13, hit a three-pointer and drove for a layup off his steal in the rush.
Goheen finished the half's scoring with a three-pointer of NBA proportions. The shot put UK behind by 21 points as the second half began.
It didn't get any better early in the second half.
Vandy ripped off an 8-2 run to start the half, opening up a 47-20 lead.
UK missed four of its first five shots, while Vandy couldn't miss. Kornet, not the most graceful SEC player, took a lob slightly behind his body and banked it in.
Seconds later, Kornet and Booker combined on a give-and-go that netted Booker a driving dunk.
When Hanson's baseline pop went in and out and Kornet converted a fast- break layup, Sutton had seen enough. UK called time at the 17:22 mark, trailing 47-20.
Still, it did not get better for UK.
Miller, who missed his first seven shots, couldn't hit a jumper. Goheen drilled a three-pointer: 50-20.
Mike Scott missed a foul-line pop. Wilcox rebounded his own miss -- while three UK players watched -- and flipped it in: 52-20.
Vandy's lead grew to 57-24. Kornet, who scored seven straight points, hit a turnaround over LeRon Ellis to set the 33-point bulge.