LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Willie Cauley-Stein scored 20 points, and his two crucial blocks and key rebound in the final 34 seconds helped Kentucky outlast Vanderbilt 74-70 Wednesday night for its first win without injured star center Nerlens Noel.
Cauley-Stein, a 7-foot freshman manning the post for Kentucky (18-8, 9-4 Southeastern Conference) with Noel sidelined, blocked attempts by Kyle Fuller and Kedren Johnson 9 seconds apart before grabbing Johnson's missed 3-pointer with 17 seconds left and drawing a foul.
Cauley-Stein made 1 of 2 free throws for 74-67 lead that offset Sheldon Moats' 3 for Vanderbilt (10-15, 4-9) with 3 seconds remaining. Cauley-Stein finished 8 of 10 from the field and grabbed seven rebounds to provide Kentucky a sorely-needed victory after the Wildcats were shellacked 88-58 Saturday at Tennessee in their first game since Noel sustained a season-ending left knee injury at Florida on Feb. 12.
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