Kentucky holds off Vanderbilt challenge, advances to SEC Tournament semifinals

Jr. scored 25 points,  tied a half-century-old school record and No. 5 beat 77-71 in the quarterfinals of the Southeastern Conference Tournament on Friday night.

was at his best during a second-half spurt, scoring eight straight points that helped the third-seeded Wildcats (26-6) create a little breathing room in a back-and-forth game. The freshman hit consecutive 3-pointers from the corner, just a few steps from Kentucky’s bench, and then sank a floater in the lane that barely tickled the net and made it 69-60.

He added four free throws in the final 19 seconds to seal the victory inside a packed, pro- crowd at Amalie Arena. made 8 of 17 shots, including 4 of 5 from behind the arc.

Tshiebwe, a national player of the year candidate, notched his 14th consecutive double-double and 26th of the season with 12 points and 14 rebounds. That matches the single-season mark set by great in 1969-70.

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