Kentucky's road struggles might be undermining its success at home. A visit to Vanderbilt won't be an easy way to end those struggles.
The 18th-ranked Wildcats attempt to avoid their first three-game road losing streak in nearly two years when they face the No. 23 Commodores on Saturday.
Kentucky (17-6, 5-4 SEC) has won 30 straight at home, including all 11 this season by an average of 24.7 points. The Wildcats continued that run Tuesday with a 73-61 victory over Tennessee.
Carrying that success onto the road has been a problem.
The Wildcats are 3-5 away from home overall, and 1-4 in conference play. They've lost their last two away from Lexington, falling 71-69 to Mississippi on Feb. 1 and 70-68 at Florida four days later.
Kentucky hasn't dropped three in a row as the visitor since Feb. 17-March 7, 2009, a skid that started with a loss to Vanderbilt (17-6, 5-4).
"It's that time of the year. Refuse to lose. Figure out a way," coach John Calipari said.
The road struggles appear to be weighing on the Wildcats.
"We definitely think about that," junior guard Darius Miller said. "We played good at home pretty much all through conference play this year, but we have been struggling on the road. We don't really know why. Maybe lack of intensity coming out letting the crowd in it. We need to come out and not let the crowd get involved.
"I don't know why we have letdowns when we play away but I think that we are going to figure it out."
Another strong offensive showing from DeAndre Liggins could help Kentucky solve those problems.
The junior guard, known for his strong defensive play, equaled his season high with 19 points Tuesday. He'd averaged 5.0 over his previous five games.
"I just try to help out my teammates, but sometimes (Calipari) wants me to be selfish," Liggins said.
Freshman Terrence Jones, the Wildcats' leader with 17.6 points and 9.0 rebounds per game, had a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds, but shot just 2 of 9 from the floor against the Volunteers.
Kentucky swept the two-game season series from the Commodores in 2009-10, winning 58-56 in Nashville to end a four-game slide there.
Vanderbilt is 13-1 at Memorial Gym this season, averaging 82.7 points.
The Commodores shot 51.0 percent and made 9 of 19 3-pointers Thursday en route to an 81-77 win over Alabama. That came five nights after they connected on 11 of 20 from beyond the arc in a 78-60 victory over South Carolina to open this three-game homestand.
"We're a really potent offensive team," said forward Jeffrey Taylor, who had 19 points Thursday. "We're capable of putting up a lot of points on the board when things are clicking."
John Jenkins, who scored 20 against the Crimson Tide, is averaging 21.0 points on 53.1-percent shooting over his last 10 games. The sophomore guard leads the Commodores with 19.2 points per game.