Nashville, TN (SportsNetwork.com) - Willie Cauley-Stein had 15 points and six rebounds as No. 14 Kentucky defeated Vanderbilt 71-62 on Saturday afternoon.
Aaron Harrison netted 14 points, while heralded freshman Julius Randle scored just seven points on 3-of-10 shooting, but grabbed 11 rebounds for Kentucky (12-3, 2-0 SEC), which has won four straight.
"You have to understand, he's in a dogfight. I think right now that he's the only college player that when he catches the ball, he's got 3 guys on him," Wildcats head coach John Calipari said of Randle's struggles. "And they're being physical. So he's not just running down the court, he's like in a football game."
The Wildcats pulled down 18 offensive boards and outrebounded Vanderbilt 41-28.
Damian Jones had 18 points and 11 rebounds, while Dai-Jon Parker and Kyle Fuller scored 17 points apiece for the Commodores (8-6, 0-2), who have dropped three of their last four tilts.
"We played hard enough, we didn't play well enough," Vandy head coach Kevin Stallings said. "They really dominated us on the boards."
Kentucky led 65-52 with 2:50 left after Cauley-Stein's slam, but Rod Odom and Fuller nailed back-to-back triples to whittle the deficit to 65-58 with 2:00 on the clock.
Vanderbilt, though, never got any closer.
Alex Poythress missed the front end of a 1-and-1 on Kentucky's ensuing trip down the floor, but James Young came down with the offensive rebound. Cauley- Stein then threw down Andrew Harrison's lob for a 67-58 lead with 1:12 to go to essentially seal the outcome.
The Wildcats raced out to a 15-6 start midway through the first half after Harrison nailed a 3-pointer.
Parker's trey pulled the Commodores within 23-20 late in the period, but Jarrod Polson knocked down a pair of triples during a 7-0 spurt as Kentucky extended its margin to 30-20 before heading into the break with a 30-22 advantage.