LEXINGTON, Va. - VMI basketball plays it second road game of the year against national power Kentucky Sunday night at Rupp Arena almost ten years to the day after shocking the Wildcats 111-103 in the 2008-09 season opener at Rupp Arena. On Tuesday, the Keydets return to Cameron Hall and take their 3-0 home mark against Kentucky Christian in the first meeting between the two teams.
Last Time Out: VMI 78, USC Upstate 72 (Wed., Nov. 14)
Freshman center Jake Stephens scored a career-high 20 points and the Keydets iced the game from the free-throw line Wednesday night as the VMI men’s basketball team defeated USC-Upstate 78-72 in non-conference play. Stephens had 12 first-half points as the teams were tied at 31 entering the second half. VMI led 68-64 with less than 1:30 remaining on the game clock when junior Garrett Gilkeson drilled a three-pointer to put the Keydets up seven. The Spartans were forced to foul in the game’s final minute, and VMI responded by making 7-of-8 from the free-throw line to seal the win. Sophomore guard Bubba Parham sank all four of his attempts down the stretch, scoring 12 of his 14 points in the second half to go with a game-high seven assists. Stephens was nearly perfect from the floor, hitting all four of his three-point attempts and 6-of-7 overall in just 20
minutes. Greg Parham posted 12 points, and Myles Lewis had eight points and a game-best eight rebounds. Tyler Creammer added eight points and six rebounds and Sarju Patel nailed 3-of-4 three point attempts and finished with 11 points.
Last Meeting with Kentucky: Nov. 14, 2008
Behind a career-best 30-point performance by senior guard Travis Holmes, VMI scored its first win over an SEC program in 32 years, stunning Kentucky, 111-103 in front of 22,579 fans at Rupp Arena. The Keydets matched
a facility record with 14 three-pointers, including five by sophomore gunner Austin Kenon, now a VMI assistant coach. Kentucky got a valiant effort from junior Jodie Meeks, who poured in a career-best 39 points in leading a massive second-half comeback. Down the stretch, VMI had solid free-throw shooting throughout the contest, ending the evening with a 77% clip from the line. The Keydets shot 45% from beyond the arc, including 53% in the first half, and 49% from the floor for the game. The Keydets had six players in double figures for the night, with Travis Holmes and Gabriel leading the way. Senior Willie Bell had 12 points and eight rebounds in the win, while senior Chavis Holmes contributed 16 points, two rebounds and six assists.
A Win over Kentucky would ...
Give VMI its first win over an SEC program since the November 2008 upset over Kentucky in Rupp Arena and only the second since the 1975-76 season.
SERIES HISTORY – VMI vs. Kentucky
This will be the ninth meeting between the schools that first met in 1914. Kentucky leads the series 5-3. VMI will be making its third appearance overall at Rupp Arena with the two prior appearances in 2001-02 and 2008-09. The teams also met in the 1977 NCAA East Regional at College Park, Maryland in the Sweet 16 with Kentucky prevailing, 93-78.