Date story published: Sunday, January 10, 1999
NASHVILLE - Kentucky beat Vanderbilt with more than long-range bombing yesterday. The Cats also used depth charges.
UK's bench outscored Vandy's reserves 40-20. "That tells me our bench maybe can play with some other teams' starters," freshman Desmond Allison said. "We've been playing well against our starters in practice some. That gives you confidence, and it carries over into games."
UK's reserves, which are freshmen, sophomores or walk-on Steve Masiello, made 11 of 20 shots (10 of 17 from three-point range) and all eight of their free throws against Vandy.
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"If the starters are struggling, we've got other guys we can count on," senior Scott Padgett said. "That does nothing but boost our confidence, especially for them to play well on the road in a hostile environment in the SEC."
That Allison and fellow freshman Jules Camara shot a combined 3-for-4 from three-point range might have surprised many. But it didn't surprise them.
Padgett noted that Camara has proven he's reliable from three-point range even though the freshman had taken only one shot from behind the line this season.
"The other day we had a three-point contest in practice and Jules was the MVP," Padgett said. "He made the most shots."
Asked how many he made, Camara saslug"Ten in a row maybe. I was knocking them down. I can make them."
Allison had hit only two of 10 from three-point range before making two of three against Vandy.
"I've been practicing," he said. "It's been coming lately. You practice well, it carries over in the game."
Padgett near 1,000
Barring a major surprise, Padgett will make Kentucky basketball history in Rupp Arena on Tuesday against Tennessee.
Padgett's 12 points against Vandy increased his career point total to 998. He's on the verge of becoming the 45th UK player to score at least 1,000 points.
"That'd be nice for him to get at home," UK Coach Tubby Smith said. "He and Wayne (Turner) and Heshimu (Evans) have been part of a special era (in Kentucky basketball)."
Padgett said recent UK seasons constituted that special era.
"From '92 on, the program's been on top almost every year," he said. "To have been part of five of those years, that's been great for me."
Vandy's leading scorer, Dan Langhi, a native of Benton, Ky., made only two of 13 shots (one of six from three-point range). He had been averaging 16.9 points.
"I haven't shot the ball well the last two games," said Langhi, who made only two of 10 shots at Florida on Wednesday. "I let my teammates down. Part of the reason why we lost is because I didn't score."
In its first 14 games, UK made 70 of 253 from three-point range (27.7 percent) and averaged five treys a game. In the three games featuring a Twin Towers starting lineup, the Cats have hit 29 of 64 from three-point range (45.3 percent) and averaged 9.7 treys.... Vandy Coach Jan van Breda Kolff fell to 0-11 against Kentucky.... Vandy's record in Memorial Gym fell to 9-1 this season and 541-149 all time. UK has an all-time record of 29-17 against Vandy in the building.... Smith had bemoaned UK's free-throw shooting at South Carolina. The Cats made just four of 10 free throws and complicated a victory by scoring only two of a possible 10 points in the final 63 seconds. So what happened against Vandy? UK shot a season-best 15 of 16 (93.8 percent). Freshmen Tayshaun Prince, Allison and Camara combined to make six of six free throws.
Vandy has enjoyed a reputation for getting to the foul line, especially at home.
In his first season as UK coach, Rick Pitino complained famously - and politically incorrectly - about the calls Vandy got. He said his team would need panty hose to compete in such a delicately called league.
Yesterday, UK played stingy defense without fouling. The Cats held Vandy to 36.4 percent shooting. And the Commodores shot only four free throws, none until the game's final 1:43.
In its previous nine home games, Vandy had averaged 18.3 made free throws on 25.4 attempts.
"We drove a couple times but not that often," van Breda Kolff said. "That had something to do with it."