LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Amber Smith's career day helped Kentucky beat Vanderbilt (No. 16 ESPN/USA Today, No. 17 AP) for the first time in 11 years.
She scored a career-high 20 points, and Amani Franklin had 11 points and 11 rebounds to help the Wildcats knock off the Commodores 63-53 Sunday.
"I think it's particularly important to give credit to my players, particularly [Smith]," said Kentucky head coach Matthew Mitchell. "We didn't make many adjustments in the game. They were just determined."
Smith scored 17 of her points in the second half and sparked a 21-7 run that erased a Vandy's 10-point lead.
"Smith, she's our energy player," Mitchell said. "And it caught on."
The Wildcats (13-2, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) shot just 31 percent from the field, but their defense forced 26 Vanderbilt turnovers and kept the Commodores to 40 percent shooting.
Junior guard Jence Rhoads had 17 points for Vanderbilt (12-4, 1-2), which turned the ball over 16 times in the first half alone.
Vanderbilt took its first lead of the game at 25-24 off guard Meredith Marsh's layup with six seconds left in the half. They extended that lead to as many as 10 through the middle of the second half.
"I wouldn't say we thought things were hopeless at that point, but we were down," said Kentucky forward Victoria Dunlap, who finished with 12 points.
Kentucky picked up its defense, though, limiting the Commodores to making three shots in the final eight minutes.
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