When asked earlier this season if he saw a correlation between his best games and his Kentucky team playing well, Jacob Toppin deflected the question and said it was a team game. However, the numbers tell a bit of a different story.
Seven times during the regular season, Toppin recorded a double-double in points and rebounds. And UK won all seven of those games.
On Friday night, in the quarterfinals of the Southeastern Conference Tournament, Toppin did it again. However, the Cats were not able to win on this occasion, falling to Vanderbilt 80-73 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.
Toppin had 21 points and 11 rebounds and he had plenty of support. Antonio Reeves had 22 points before fouling out and Oscar Tshiebwe had 19 points and 15 rebounds.
Vanderbilt’s shooting, both from long-range and from the free throw line, was the difference in this game. The ‘Dores made 10 of 25 from three-point land, and made 18 of 20 at the free throw line. Kentucky made 6 of 25 from deep and just 11 of 20 at the charity stripe.