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Updated: Saturday, January 31, 2004 4:02 PM EST
NCAA BASKETBALL RECAP
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Vanderbilt 66, (5) Kentucky 60

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Ticker) -- Matt Freije and Vanderbilt earned some sweet revenge.

Freije scored 20 points and led a charge down the stretch as the Commodores ended No. 5 Kentucky's 10-game Southeastern Conference road winning streak with a 66-60 victory.

Kentucky (14-3, 4-2 SEC East) had won 22 of the previous 23 meetings and looked to be headed for another triumph over Vanderbilt, taking a 58-52 lead on Erik Daniels' foul shot with 4:29 to go.

But Vanderbilt (14-4, 3-4) had other ideas and closed the game on a 14-2 tear, holding Kentucky to one basket in the final five minutes. Freshman Dan Cage's 3-pointer gave the Commodores the lead for good at 61-60 with 2:18 left.

The preseason SEC Player of the Year, Freije was held scoreless in the first half of a 75-63 triumph in Lexington on January 10. But he scored five points in the decisive spurt.

The Wildcats finished the game with a series of empty possessions, and Russell Lakey came up with a key steal with 20 seconds to go and Vanderbilt holding a 62-60 edge.

"Winning against Kentucky feels great," Freije said. "It would have been easy for us to have hung our heads after we got down. I think that's the most adversity we've faced, and then come back to win."

The Wildcats had been 3-0 on the road, with a pair of one-point SEC wins at Mississippi State and Tennessee. There was no magic left Saturday as they shot 37 percent (25-of-67) from the field and were burned by Freije.

"We've gotten lucky on a couple of situations on the road this year," Kentucky coach Tubby Smith said. "We just have to be sound fundamentally."

Freije grabbed 11 rebounds, helping Vanderbilt stay within 41-34 on the glass. Polish reserve Dawid Przybyszewski scored 11 of his 13 points in the first half.

"I was fortunate to get a chance to come in," Przybyszewski said. "I was still so hot from the warmups, and it showed up on the court."

The Commodores won despite playing without swingman Corey Smith, who was suspended for Wednesday's fight in a game against South Carolina. Scott Hundley, a former Mr. Basketball in Kentucky, got his first start in Smith's place and had four points and five boards.

Kentucky's Chuck Hayes, who averages 11.9 points, was 1-of-7 from the floor for four points in 23 foul-plagued minutes. The Wildcats never got the Commodores in foul trouble and were outscored at the line, 19-7.

"Chuck didn't play well, but we didn't as a team," Smith said. "He had his hands full and he got into some foul trouble also."


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