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Vanderbilt fights, but loses to Kentucky 71-62

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The Commodores’ losing streak in SEC games reaches a conference-record 25.

NCAA Basketball: Vanderbilt at South Carolina Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Coming into Wednesday night’s game at Rupp Arena against the Kentucky Wildcats, the Vanderbilt Commodores had made just 20 three-pointers in 131 attempts in the five games since star player Aaron Nesmith went out with a stress fracture.

So, naturally, the Commodores — who entered the night having lost 24 consecutive regular-season SEC games, tying a record set by Sewanee in the 1930s — needed just 53 seconds to sink their first. Vanderbilt took a 20-18 lead with 7:33 left in the first half on a three-pointer by Dylan Disu, one of five for Vanderbilt in the opening frame, and surprisingly, the Commodores didn’t relinquish the lead for quite a while. Vanderbilt went into the half with a 35-28 lead, and survived a few early haymakers from Kentucky in the second half before E.J. Montgomery finally put the Wildcats ahead on a putback with 9:27 left in the game. And yet, in spite of some, ahem, questionable officiating, Vanderbilt hung around until the bitter end.

The final was 71-62 in Kentucky’s favor, extending Vanderbilt’s SEC losing streak to a record 25 games. But with more efforts like what we saw tonight, that losing streak won’t last too much longer. Saben Lee led Vanderbilt with 21 points, while Dylan Disu had a monster game with 13 points, 11 rebounds, and 5 blocks.