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  • Missouri Tigers - February 21, 2017 - 9:00 PM EST - Mizzou Arena, Columbia, Mo. - SEC Network

Briscoe, Fox recap UK win over Vanderbilt

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Kentucky guards Isaiah Briscoe and De’Aaron Fox spoke to the media Tuesday night following No. 6/6 Kentucky’s 87-81 win over Vanderbilt at Memorial Gymnasium. Briscoe scored a game- and career-high 23 points on 10-of-18 shooting, grabbed a team-high tying seven rebounds and dished out a team-high five assists. Fox added 22 points on 11-of-17 shooting, five rebounds and two assists. Video is courtesy of Kentucky Wildcats TV.

Isaiah Briscoe

On whether he likes physical, gritty games like this one …
“Yeah, and I knew it was going to be a tough game when we came out and the ref was calling easy fouls on De’Aaron (Fox) and Malik (Monk). So I knew when those two guys went out that’s a big part of our team, but we had guys come off the bench and step up. We held it down until the second half and then we won.”

On the importance of winning more of a half-court game …
“I just think that today we showed people that not only are we a transition team, but we can play in the half-court also.”

On whether he expected Fox to emerge as a shooter …
“He’s fine. We’re actually—we stay after practice, shoot every day. He’s in there before practice working on his shot. When you work hard, you don’t really worry about missing shots or anything like that. He knows how hard he works and, like he said, he’s been working hard. He was due for a good game. He deserved it.”

On how he was able to consistently get to the rim …
“When he played off of me, I just gave a full head of steam going towards him and just changed directions and got in the lane. It’s just something I’ve always known how to do.”

On whether he ever loses sight of the rim on his drives …
“No, I know where the rim is. It’s been in the same spot for 20 years.”

On starting to shoot the ball higher on drives per Calipari’s instructions …
“I shot one high layup and it went in. The rest of them were just my regular layups.”

On whether Calipari losing his mind about fouling …
“I mean, no, because they were calling the game so tight and in the first half I think they made like 14 free throws or something. So he just didn’t want me to foul. I didn’t have any fouls, but I wasn’t going to foul. But that’s just him being on us and just coaching. He really didn’t want us to foul because that’s the only way they were scoring was free throws in the first half and that was keeping them in the game.”

De’Aaron Fox

On the importance of winning more of a half-court game …
“It was extremely important, just being able to show people even if we’re not out and running that we can execute in the half-court. I think that’s what we did in the second half.”

On his mid-range jumpers …
“It’s just things that I’ve been working on the last few weeks. It’s a lot of shots that teams are giving me and I just have to knock them down. Nothing more, nothing less I can say about that.”

On adjusting to tight officiating …
“Just, start off not picking up those silly fouls early. Me and Malik, we both had two fouls in the first four minutes of the game. It’s just, once you pick up that first one you can’t pick up a second one. Usually Coach Cal doesn’t play you the rest of the first half, but he let us play and it was something we needed. I feel like we gained discipline when we picked up those two fouls and had to play through it. So it was a game that we needed just to show that we could adjust. We gotta get disciplined quickly.”

On why they only had two steals …
“They played a slow, half-court game. They were extremely disciplined and we just didn’t get those steals. At the same time, when they miss those shots we were out and running. Usually our defense translates to our offense, but if you miss a shot or even if you miss a shot we can still run.”

On their late-game execution …
“We need close games. It’s just important for us to show people that we can win these tough games. We had a tough game against North Carolina and it’s just something that we need to build towards. We’re a young team, so people think they can get us in a close game and we don’t have the experience to be able to win games like that. I think down the stretch, we executed all our players. We got layups, mid-range shots that we needed and we made some tough free throws. So it just showed people that even in a close game we can still execute.”