Kentucky shines amidst tears

By BRIAN RICKERD State Journal Sports Writer Published:

LEXINGTON - The Kentucky Wildcats sent out seniors Keith Bogans, Jules Camara and Marquis Estill in great style by demolishing the Vanderbilt Commodores 106-44 Wednesday night at Rupp Arena.

The second-ranked Wildcats won for the 19th straight game, improving to 25-3 overall and 15-0 in the Southeastern Conference. Kentucky has the opportunity to finish the conference season unbeaten with a victory at Florida on Saturday.

The Wildcats have made believers in Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings, that's for sure.

"Our team was obviously overwhelmed, both physically and mentally, from the very beginning," Stallings said after the Commodores fell to 10-16 and 3-12. "Unfortunately it only continued to get worse.

"Kentucky is a terrific team," Stallings added. "They've done a great job all season long. We were outmatched, outmanned and overwhelmed. I was very disappointed in our response to how the fight was taken to us. They are a great team. I think they have a lot of basketball left in front of them."

Stallings refers to both the SEC Tournament next week and then the NCAA Tournament as the Wildcats chase the eighth national championship in school history.

Stallings was asked about Kentucky's postseason hopes, and he hasdthe class to put it this way:

"Will Kentucky win the SEC Tournament? Yeah, I'd pick 'em. The NCAA Tournament? You have to be lucky. I'm not going to put pressure on (UK coach) Tubby (Smith) like that."

For more on this story, see the latest State Journal.

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