Kentucky heads into Vanderbilt with a full head of steam - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Kentucky heads into Vanderbilt with a full head of steam

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(RNN) - Vanderbilt, which has lost its last three games to dip to 8-5 overall and 0-1 in the SEC, returns home to face a No. 14 Kentucky team that is playing its best basketball of the season.

The Commodores will go into the game short-handed after leading scorer Eric McClellan's suspension for the rest of the season for a violation of school academic policy. McClellan was averaging 14.3 points per game, and did not travel with his team to their 68-63 league loss at Alabama last Tuesday.

McClellan, a transfer from Tulsa, apologized for his errors in a public statement and is expected to return to the program in the summer. The Commodores have just seven scholarship players on the roster.

The Wldcats crushed Mississippi State 85-63 in their league opener, which came 11 days after a 73-66 win over defending national champion Louisville back on Dec. 28.

The Cats (11-3;1-0) started slowly against the Bulldogs, but buried the visitors under a dominating 27-6 second-half run and hit 65 percent of their second-stanza shots.

Freshman James Young scored 26 points, Alex Poythress and Willie Cauley-Stein added 12 each to lead scoring. During the decisive run, Young tossed up three assists for dunks, knocked in a 3-pointer and made a couple of free throws

Julius Randle missed a double-double, scoring only eight points, but he was a terror on the boards, grabbing 14 rebounds. Young had 10 boards.

The game will air at 3:30 p.m. ET on CBS Sports.

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