Mark Stoops said earlier today, “recruiting is going exceptionally well.” Since he can’t get into →
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UK Hoops and other sports coverage
We know who is on the call for the TaxSlayer Bowl
The Thanksgiving “turkey” episode on KSR produced some unusual results. The most unusual was one caller’s disdain for Rod Gilmore. He’s not gonna be happy during the TaxSlayer Bowl. Gilmore will be on the call with Mark Jones and Quint Kessenich on ESPN.
Freddie Maggard is NOT Happy with the All-SEC Selections
Jon Toth and Jordan Jones were the only two on the list, and they were just second team selections. Mike Edwards should’ve been an obvious choice, and you could make arguments for Boom Williams, Benny Snell and Austin MacGinnis. If you want to see the rage, check his Twitter timeline. If you want to hear the rage, we’re recording a new Depth Chart Podcast Thursday.
Individual SEC awards will be announced tomorrow and the All-Freshman team will be released Thursday.
A Few Football Recruiting Nuggets
There hasn’t been any significant news since Stoops wrapped up a huge recruiting weekend, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t doing anything. The Kentucky coaching staff offered four underclassmen on Monday. Normally it’s not worth mentioning, but a pair are from Kentucky.
UK offered sophomore Glasgow High School offensive tackle Tanner Bowles and freshman Bowling Green High School running back Vito Tisdale. You can’t say Kentucky isn’t finding kids early in the process.
Don’t Make the Bull Mad
Best thing you’ll watch all month pic.twitter.com/fQA0thJlv2
— Brad Ballislife (@BradBallisLife) December 6, 2016
The University of Louisville was Ridiculous Today
Where to begin? The biggest side-show university in America produced two more stories that will make you shake your head.
The first is the result of Matt Bevin’s moves to remove the UofL Board of Trustees. The university has been placed on probation for one year by their accrediting agency.
The second story comes from an interview with Tommy Turtleneck. City officials have started discussions to restructure UofL’s deal with the Yum Center. Jurich responded by acting like a 7-year old. “We can’t have all the money? FINE! I’ll make my own arena!” If you don’t want my paraphrased version of his remarks, you can find them here.
Rick Pitino’s response:
"I haven't read the Courier since I've been here," Rick Pitino says when asked about the recent article regarding Jurich/Yum! Center
— Nick Coffey (@TheCardConnect) December 6, 2016
This Happened on UofL’s Official Recruiting Account
Makayla Epps is SEC Player of the Week
This should not come as a surprise. In matchups with two top 25 opponents, Epps averaged 26 points, 9.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 2.5 steals. It’s her first player of the week award of the season, the third of her career. Epps and the Kentucky women’s basketball team return to action Friday night when they host the Blue Radiers of Middle Tennessee State at Memorial Coliseum.
A UK National Champion is Laid to Rest
Lindle Castle was a member of Adolph Rupp’s 1951 National Championship team before coaching the Clinton County boys basketball team for 19 seasons. Castle passed away Sunday at 86. His visitation and funeral services will be held this weekend in the gymnasium that bears his name. You can find more details here.
A Momentous Occasion
Tomorrow marks the 75th anniversary of a day that will in infamy. The number of Pearl Harbor survivors are dwindling, but many are still making the journey to Hawaii to commemorate the infamous occasion.
One survivor, retired U.S. Navy seaman Robert Coles, is traveling nearly 5,000 miles from his home in Maine to return to Pearl Harbor for the first time since the Japanese attack. He told The Washington Post: “I won’t know them, and they won’t know me, but I’ll be with friends,” Mr. Coles said days before he departed for Honolulu. “They were covering my back just like I was covering their back.”
By Haley Simpson on ©December 04th, 2016 @ 5:45pm
For the first time in five years, No. 7 Louisville tops No. 17 Kentucky, 69-67 in an overtime win in the KFC Yum! Center. While the Cats first top-ten test of the season resulted in a loss, there was still much to learn from today’s matchup:
Mackenzie Cann is ready
For the first time in her Wildcat career, Cann earned her spot in the Wildcats starting lineup. Cann has been getting significant minutes off the bench, playing 38 in the Cats rout over Oklahoma on Thursday where she scored 10 points compared to Alyssa Rice’s 14 minutes and 0 points. Tonight, Cann played every minute of the game, coming out with only 3 points, but did a great job on the defensive end, grabbing four rebounds but staying on her mark.
A little adversity doesn’t scare them
The Cats spent almost all of the game trailing Louisville, not gaining the lead until a Makayla Epps and-one with 3:56 left in the game for a two point lead at 52-50. Kentucky fought to keep their lead, but Louisville came back to tie with four-seconds left. It was Rice however, who gave the Cats a chance to tie the game, stealing the ball and handing it off to Epps, who missed the shot for the win.
Alyssa Rice steals from uofl, no good last second shot from Epps pic.twitter.com/v10RXiaGfR
— Haley Simpson (@haleysimpKSR) December 4, 2016
Coming into overtime, Kentucky looked gassed, but continued to battle after getting down early, loosing only because Taylor Murray wasn’t able to get a shot off in time.
“We responded to that well,” head coach Matthew Mitchell said. “I though we came back and really battled.”
Josh Allen’s sister is good
Kentucky Football’s own Josh Allen sister, Myisha Hines-Allen, starts for the Cards and is pretty dag-on good. Hines-Allen led the Cards with 26 points in 27 minutes and was crucial in forcing several of the Cats turnovers.
I bet their house was interesting last weekend.
This team doesn’t work without Evelyn Akhator
An off night for Akhator led to an off-night for the Cats. The senior spent quite a bit of time on the bench because of foul trouble, but the time she spent on the court, was not productive. STATS HERE. In order for this team to work, Akhator has to have a solid presence in the middle, rebounding and making the shots down low. Akhator sat out for almost the entirety of OT, coming in only with less than fifteen seconds left to guard the in-bound pass, fouling the recipient before she crossed half-court.
Kentucky’s problems started in the first period with six turnovers, a number high for Mitchell’s team. Unfortunately, that trend would stick throughout the rest of the game, coming out with 19 overall. Louisville was able to turn the Cats turnovers into 18 points. If Kentucky had just committed one less turnover, that would’ve been the difference in the game. A good portion of Kentucky’s turnovers came off inbound plays, which Mitchell says are 100% because of coaching.
For the first time in five years, No. 17 UK Hoops loses to No. 7 Louisville 69-67 in overtime. The Cardinals fanbase showed up in full force and the true road game was a bit rattling for the Cats in the beginning. In the first half the Cats were really out of sync. Mitchell tried a 2-3 zone and it didn’t work – the Cats got severely out-rebounded in the first half. In the post game press conference Mitchell stressed the importance of the rebounding issue and apologized for his mistake.
“That’s on coaching, that’s my mistake.We gotta grow in that area, we are on this zone defensive journey together,” said Mitchell.
But, once Makayla Epps went full on Lebron and took her headband off things got rolling. Epps had her first double-double of the season with 22 points and a career high 16 rebounds. Taylor Murray also had a career high 21 points. Epps stressed the importance of this game last Thursday after a win against Oklahoma saying that she grew up with this rivalry and needed the win. At the end of regulation, Epps fell short on a jumper that could’ve won the game but continued to play her heart out in OT playing the full 45 minutes of game time.
“Makayla Epps is one of the best guard’s in the country,” said Louisville Head Coach Jeff Walz.
Even though UK Hoops didn’t get the win, Matthew Mitchell isn’t worried – he’s ready to get back and correct the mistakes that were made and continue to get better.
“Louisville played hard, but I’m happy to be driving back to Lexington with my team,” said Mitchell.
Next Friday, UK Hoops takes on Middle Tennessee State at Memorial.
By Haley Simpson on ©December 02nd, 2016 @ 9:00pm
This Sunday at 2 p.m., women’s Hoops will be taking on the birds from down the road in the Yum! Center. The Cats will need all the support you can give them, so get your tickets and come on out, it’ll be a fun time.
To see Louisville get beat on their home court, again
Most of us were unable to get out to Papa John’s last weekend to see the Cats take down the Cards last weekend. But this weekend, you have another chance. Watching Kentucky win on their floor is fun, but seeing them win at Louisville with all the dismayed UofL fans makes victory much sweeter.
This girl is an absolute baller and it’s her last meet up with Louisville, so this should be reason enough to come out to the Yum! Center and cheer on the Cats. Epps has given her all to her team over the last four years and her last game against the Dirty Birds is sure to be a good one.
Wearing blue in the Yum! Center is my favorite thing
There’s no better way to rock Kentucky blue than in a place where you’ll get an endless amount of dirty looks for it. Growing up in Louisville, I’ve grown accustomed to the looks, but it never gets any less funny. So put on all the blue you own, get loud and cheer on the Cats at the Yum! Center.
This team thrives when they have great crowd support
If there’s one thing about Memorial Coliseum, the fans love their Cats and will cheer them on to the grave. Many times I’ve heard players at post-game press conferences talk about how much impact the crowd cheering for them has on the game, and they’re going to need even more support when they travel into a rival arena on Sunday. Come cheer them on to a win.
They’re going for their third upset this year
It’s only the first month of the season but the Lady Cats have already managed to upset two opponents so far. In the Kentucky Classic, the No. 19 woman managed to upset No. 12 at the time, Miami 82-66. Thursday night, a No. 17 Kentucky team topped No. 12 Oklahoma, who they also kicked out of the NCAA tournament in the second round last season. If the Cats pull out the win against No. 7 Louisville on their home court, it’ll be redemption for their loss at Colorado earlier this season.
It’s going to actually be a great game
There’s a lot at stake for the Cards right now. Louisville has lost it last two, albeit, to very good opponents (No. 3 South Carolina and No. 5 Maryland). But head coach Jeff Walz seems to think his team doesn’t have the will to win:
— cn|2 Sports (@cn2_Sports) December 2, 2016
There’s also a lot at stake for the Cats. In Kentucky’s one road trip, they were upset by an unranked Colorado. Going on the road to a ranked opponent will be tough, but if they win on Sunday, this will make up for the lost at Colorado and boost their ranking.
Get yo tickets for Sunday’s game here for 10 bucks a pop. It’ll be the wisest investment of your holiday season (except bowl tickets, you should get those too).
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©December 02nd, 2016 @ 9:00am
The Kentucky High School Football State Championships start today in Bowling Green, and on Sunday, my Danville Admirals will take on Christian Academy Centurions from Louisville in the Class 2A Game. Danville’s got a storied football history — 10 state titles over three classifications — but this is the Ads’ first championship game appearance in ten years, and if they win, their first title in thirteen. In his third year as head coach, Clay Clevenger has restored the Danville program to its former glory, and my Admiral pride is nearing its high school levels, which is saying something. My freshmen, junior, and senior years, Danville went to State, and my friends and I were on the sidelines at the old Cardinal Stadium cheering them on. Junior year we made some people blush:
1. The rest of the State Championship schedule for this weekend
Class 1A, Beechwood vs. Hazard, Friday, 12/2, 7:00 p.m. CT
Class 3A, Central vs. Belfry, Saturday, 12/3, 5:00 p.m. CT
Class 6A, Trinity (Louisville) vs. Lafayette, Saturday, 12/3, 8:00 p.m. CT
Class 2A, Christian Academy-Louisville vs. Danville, Sunday, 12/4, 12:30 p.m. CT
Class 4A, Franklin-Simpson vs. Johnson Central, Sunday, 12/4, 3:45 p.m. CT
Class 5A, Bowling Green vs. Pulaski County, Sunday, 12/4, 7:00 p.m. CT
2. The UCLA game is tomorrow
…Which means today will be mostly game prep around these parts, with a little bowl chatter and Louisville trolling sprinkled in for good measure. The line for the game hasn’t been released yet, but I’d imagine it’ll open somewhere around 12 points. We’ll find out later today.
3. John Calipari and select players will address the media after lunch
Check the site around 2:30 p.m. for a live stream and after that for a full recap of Calipari’s remarks. If you missed it yesterday, Calipari bought each player a bottle of hand sanitizer because people have been getting sick, so hopefully “people” means people around campus and not our beloved Wildcats.
4. Shai Alexander balled out on national TV last night
The future Cat had 20 points and almost 10 assists in Hamilton Height’s 72-64 win over Memphis East. Alexander has been a bit of a mystery, so last night was a good opportunity to get to know him, and I like what I see from his highlights, particularly in terms of speed and control:
SGA just went by FOUR guys, up and under to take an 8-point lead with a minute to play pic.twitter.com/ip9LSRPoNI
— Nick Roush (@RoushKSR) December 2, 2016
Scurrrrrrrt!!!! Shai’s doing em dirty pic.twitter.com/scgu0SGymA
— Nick Roush (@RoushKSR) December 2, 2016
Plenty more where that came from in Nick’s recap from last night, so click here to get to know one of your future point guards. Alexander plays in the Marshall County Hoop Fest tonight.
5. The TaxSlayer Bowl still appears to be Kentucky’s destination
Larry Vaught went as far to call it a “done deal” last night on Twitter, so do yourself a favor and start looking for tickets and hotel rooms in Jacksonville. We’ll officially know Sunday night, and, of course, we’ll still bring you all the chatter from the interwebs until then.
6. UK Hoops put a hurtin’ on #12 Oklahoma
Matthew Mitchell’s squad looked really, really good in their win over the #12 Sooners last night at Memorial Coliseum, winning 82-68. Makayla Epps had 30 points, her fourth 30-point game of her career, followed by Maci Morris, who had a career-high 19 points and eight rebounds. Some highlights:
UK signee Quade Green was watching:
Kentucky girls taking this W tonight 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽
— LiL AI (@Q_Green1) December 2, 2016
The ladies play at Louisville on Sunday. Speaking of the Cards, their coach Jeff Walz had a bit of a meltdown in his press conference last night:
— cn|2 Sports (@cn2_Sports) December 2, 2016
Who’s angrier about participation trophies: Walz or the KSR comments section?
7. The Volleyball team opens NCAA Tournament play tonight
Good luck to the UK Volleyball team as they take on Colorado State tonight at 8 p.m. in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Tonight’s game takes place in Alaska Airlines Arena at University of Washington, and the winner will face either Washington or Texas A&M Corpus-Christi in the second round Saturday night.
8. If you need me, I’ll be watching Tiger
Yesterday, Tiger Woods played his first round of competitive golf in 466 days at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas, and looked pretty good considering. Tiger had three birdies before making the turn, but faltered a bit in the home stretch, double-bogeying two of the last three holes to finish tied for 17th at 1 over. Now, it’s only an 18-man field, but still, it was good to see some flashes of the old Tiger. He tees off today at 11:12 a.m. You can watch on the Golf Channel or follow via @ on Twitter, a must-follow if you’re a Tiger fan.
9. Don’t forget to check out the new episode of The OTT Podcast
Jacob Tamme joined me this week to break down UK’s big win over Louisville and talk all things Danville. He also told us what he’s doing to fill the time as he recovers from season-ending shoulder surgery (spoiler: Everybody, including Jacob, loves Raymond). Come for Jacob’s awesome interview and stay for the music stylings of The Wooks, the bluegrass band that repped KSR while they sang the national anthem before the Austin Peay game.
10. Welcome back, Bobby!
I’ll leave you with this picture of Makayla Epps embracing Bobby Flynn, who was back on the sidelines in Memorial last night. Bobby — who’s worked UK games, Lexington Legends games, Keeneland, and everywhere in between for decades — suffered a hard fall back in January, making his return to UK sports last night very, very heartwarming.
KSR’s live from Kennedy’s in Lexington this morning. You’ve still got time to get down there and register for the chance to win tickets to the UCLA game. So, get going!
UK Hoops took down number 12 Oklahoma tonight in a rocking Memorial Coliseum with an 82-68 victory. Here’s how it all went down:
1. Matthew Mitchell ROCKED the blue suit
First things first, Matthew Mitchell totally pulled off the all blue suit, a look not many people can rock (looking at you Roy Williams). Maybe it was the blue suit or all the UK sports momentum everyone has these days but, the crowd at Memorial was rocking tonight. They were standing, cheering, and booing at the officiating. It was a truly exciting environment and the Cats fed off it big time.
2. Maci Morris had a career high night
Morris had a career high 19 points and 8 rebounds and played 36 minutes. She broke out in the third, scoring 17 points. After a very close first half and with Akhator and Rice in foul trouble, Morris lead the team to a dominant victory. Matthew Mitchell noted that in order to have great games, Morris has to play well.
“I just had a feeling I was going to have a breakout night,” said Morris.
3. Makayla Epps had a season high night
Epps set a season high 30 points tonight. She shot 12 for 19 and made 5 of 6 free throws. Epps got going early with the first points of the game. She came out with an attitude to play after giving her team a “let’s shock the world” speech in the locker room.
“Let’s go knock off number 12, why not, why not us,” said Epps.
4. Akhator didn’t play much
Both Akhator and Rice picked up two fouls in the first period and were benched for most of the second. Akhator picked up her third foul in the beginning of the second half. She played a total of and scored , an unusual low for her.
5. Oklahoma has a 6’9 freshman player
Nancy Mulkey is the tallest Women’s basketball player in the nation, and she’s also a reality TV star. I may have scared press row when I saw her and geeked out a little, because I am an unashamed lover of TLC I recognized her immediately from the TV show “My Giant Life.” But her height wasn’t a disadvantage for the Cats at all. My Giant Life, more like My Giant Loss am I right (sorry)? Mulkey only played 3 minutes and scored 0 points, some could say she came up a little short (sorry again).
You can read Maggie’s game recap here.
On Sunday, UK Hoops takes on Louisville at 2pm. Haley and I are going to venture over to the YUM Center so be sure to tune into our twitter feeds then -I’m sure there will be an “Ls Down” picture.
In an explosive game against No. 12 Oklahoma, the No. 17 UK Women’s basketball team upset the Sooners 82-68 in front of a packed house. The Wildcats are now 6-1 on the season, with all six of their wins coming in Memorial Coliseum.
The first half was a nail-biter. Senior Makayla Epps led the way, as she owned 12 of the Wildcats’ 19 points in the first quarter. By the end of the half, she had recorded 18 points, two rebounds and four assists. Sophomore Maci Morris also had a career-high night, and she added eight points in the first half. Despite these impressive numbers, three-point baskets kept Oklahoma in the game. The Sooners hit 8-17 from behind the arc in the first half, including three straight treys before heading into the locker room, putting them up 39-37.
Whatever Matthew Mitchell said to his team during halftime worked. Kentucky came out ready to fight in the second half, and Morris started the period by immediately draining a three. Morris continued to dominate, finishing the night with a career-high 19 points, while adding eight rebounds and one assist. By the end of the third quarter, UK’s dominance was on full display. The Cats held the Sooners’ field goals to 6-16 (37.5%) during this period, while UK clocked in at 8-16 (50%).
By the fourth quarter, the Cats were rolling, and Memorial was on its feet. Kentucky’s lead continued to grow as UK prepared to hand Oklahoma their first loss of the season, and the Cats outscored the Sooners 19-13 during the last ten minutes of action. Epps put on a show, finishing the night with 30 points, three rebounds and five assists.
“She is the strongest player, physically I’ve ever coached,” said Mitchell of Epps after the game. “It was a lot of fun to watch her tonight. Makayla has had some explosive games, and hopefully she has some more in her.”
Kentucky hopes to see this explosiveness on display once again this Sunday as the Cats take on No. 7 Louisville at the KFC Yum! Center at 2:00 p.m. What does this team have to say about their next matchup?
“Oh buddy,” laughed Epps. “I tell this team, jokingly, all the time that I don’t care if we win a game all year, but that win on Sunday? I need it.”
While most of us were still recovering from the long weekend and a massive win over Loser-ville, the Kentucky women’s basketball team was back at work. The Wildcats crushed the Samford University Bulldogs 80-57 at home. You can read Haley’s game recap HERE. And now, here are five of the most important notes from today’s victory:
1. The Cats’ Offense Dominated
Samford’s defense was no match for Kentucky’s offense today, which ended the game hitting 51.9% from the floor. Just last season, the Bulldogs owned the number three defense in the nation, holding their opponents to just 50.2 points per game. The cats hit that mark by the third quarter, no problem.
2. And the team played with a balanced offense
Four of the eight Cats with minutes in today’s matchup scored in the double digits: Evelyn Akhator (15 points, 13 rebounds), Makayla Epps (20 points, 5 rebounds), Taylor Murray (15 points, 5 rebounds) and Mackenzie Cann (12 points). Two more players, Maci Morris and Jessica Hardin, finished with eight points.
After the game, Coach Mitchell commented on the benefits of having such a well-rounded team.
“When you have people who can score and you can be a balanced offensive team, [opponents] can’t just take that away. Being balanced makes us harder to prepare for,” Mitchell said. “We have a lot of weapons offensively.”
3. The defense held their own – especially in the first half
In a team that has consistently struggled on the defensive end of the ball, today was a different story – especially in the first half. Samford’s leading scorers, Kassidy Blevins and Hannah Nichols, who both average 15.2 points per game, were shut down in the first half. Blevins ended the half with four points, while Nichols had just two. By the third quarter, however, the Cats had a decisive lead, and the defense slowly slipped away. Blevins and Nichols both found their groove, and they finished with 18 and 17 points, respectively.
“We clearly lost some intensity in the second half,” said Mitchell. “We’re going to have to correct that.”
Makayla Epps agreed.
“The energy sort of dropped being up so high,” said Epps. “We kind of put the car in cruise, and that’s something we can’t do.”
4. Taylor Murray continued to shine
Coming off a stellar performance against Morehead State earlier this week, sophomore Taylor Murray had another great game. After scoring a career high 18 points against Morehead, Murray finished today with an equally impressive 15 points and five rebounds.
5. What the team lacks in communication, they make up for in chemistry
All season, Mitchell has pressed the issue of communicating on the court. Although it’s still a work in progress, he recognizes this team is full of high-character girls.
“This particular team has a great spirit about them: they want to please, they work hard in the classroom, they represent us well off the court, there are no complainers,” said Mitchell. “They are great, great, high-caliber young women, and I just have to work really hard to bring out their competitiveness.”
Once again, Epps agreed with her coach.
“This is probably the most cordial, loving, caring team I’ve been on since I’ve been here. I was just saying this in the locker room – we really like each other, but we don’t talk to each other on the court. It’s different,” Epps said with a laugh.
The Cats have two tough games coming up: No. 20 Kentucky vs. No. 13 Oklahoma at home this Thursday, Dec. 1 at 7:00, and against No. 4 Louisville at the KFC Yum! Center on Sunday, Dec. 4 at 2:00.
Hoops moves to 5-1 on the season after picking up a 80-57 win against Samford University in Memorial Coliseum.
It was a solid team effort for the Cats today as four different players scored in double digits and two more were on the brink.
For a while in the first period, it looked like Samford was going to keep up whit the Cats, until they were able to break away after the second media timeout, where Kentucky shut down Samford and broke away with a 22-12 lead at the end of the period.
Kentucky continued to break away with a 6-0 run in the middle of the second period and ran away with the game from there.
Makayla Epps led the team with 20 points and five rebounds with Evelyn Akhator and Taylor Murray trailing behind her with 15 points each. Akhator also grabbed 13 rebounds to record yet another double-double while Murray had five of her own. Mackenzie Cann also scored in double-digits scoring 12 of their own. Maci Morris and Jessica Hardin were so close to getting in double-digits as well, knocking down eight points of their own.
Even though the Cats were on point offensively, head coach Matthew Mitchell was displeased with his teams performance on the defensive end. The Cats out rebounded Samford 36-21 and forced 13 turnovers, the Cats still allowed the Bulldogs to score 25 points in the third period and then 15 more in the fourth period compared to the 17 they scored in the first half alone.
“We just have to try to embrace the defensive end more instead of doing it because you have to,” said Mitchell afterwards.
According to Mitchell, in order to get this team to embrace that end more, he’s going to have to demand it in practice and motivate them to make it their best interest to embrace the defensive end of the court.
The next week will be a tough one for Kentucky as they face two top 15 opponents this week as they face No. 13 Oklahoma on Thursday and No. 4 Louisville on Sunday in the Yum! Center.
Kentucky knocked the Sooners out of the NCAA tournament last year in the second round in a 79-58 win. The Cats also trumped the Cards inside Rupp Arena last year 72-54.
By Haley Simpson on ©November 23rd, 2016 @ 9:30pm
While the rest of her team seemed to be in a pre-tryptophan coma, Taylor Murray was having herself a career night.
For the first 2.5 periods of No. 20 Kentucky’s outing against Morehead State University, the Cats could just not get it together. Luckily, sophomore guard Murray was feeling herself and had a career-high 18 points just after the third period got underway.
A quarter of their buckets coming in the fourth quarter, Kentucky was able to defeat the Eagle’s 74-47.
Before the first TV timeout, the Cats looked to be on fire. Within the first two and a half minutes, Kentucky was already up 11-0. The Eagle’s would soon break through, however, coming out of the timeout and hitting four straight three-pointers to close in within one points of Kentucky at 13-12. Turnovers would soon turn their ugly heads against both team, Kentucky committing five and Morehead committing six of their own.
Leading 20-17 coming into the second period, Kentucky was able to reign in their sloppiness, turning the ball over only four more times the entire game. However, their shooting began troubling them. From the field, the Cats were only able to knock down five out of 16 shots. The Eagle’s would also struggle on the offensive end of the court, only scoring three points the entire period, beginning a nine-minute scoring drought that would end off a pair of foul shots in the third period.
In the ugliness of Kentucky’s first half, Murray was the shining light. While the rest of her teammates, even Makayla Epps struggled to knock one down, the guard was putting on a show. Hitting 16 points two minutes into the third period began, Murray had surpassed her career-high. The sophomore would only make one more basket the rest of the night, but she was able to rake in eight rebounds, one rebound less than Evelyn Akhator.
Halftime seemingly woke the Cats up, and so did Epps and Maci Morris. Out of the break, Epps scored 16 points to break even with Murray for 18 points and nine assists. Morris also added six points of her own for 14 points total along with six rebounds.
The victory tonight moves the Kentucky to 5-1 on the season. The Cats will be back in action against Samford Sunday afternoon at 2 inside Memorial Coliseum.
Happy Thanksgiving and go Cats.
By Nick Roush on ©November 21st, 2016 @ 9:45pm
1. Isaiah Briscoe’s Mysterious Injury
It went unnoticed by many in the second half snoozefest over Duquesne, but Briscoe only played three minutes after halftime. There’s a mystery as to exactly what happened. At first it was described as a pulled muscle, then a foot injury, then a fan behind the bench said they saw him sitting on an icepack (he hurt his butt?). Regardless, it’s no big deal and Briscoe will be back ready to go Wednesday against Cleveland State.
2. A “You People are Crazy” from Cal
Even though he didn’t repeat the Calipari cliche verbatim, he definitely meant it. As he wrapped up his press conference, he asked if there were still fans waiting to hear his radio interview with Tom Leach on the court at Rupp Arena. He couldn’t believe they were still there on a Sunday night.
“Are you kidding me? Go home, folks, it’s really late.”
3. Fox and Wall’s Similar Stats
Nobody knows their Kentucky stats quite like Cat Scratches contributor Corey Price. The following two stats show just how similar Fox is to John Wall.
- De’Aaron Fox has the most assists through a UK player’s first four games (27) since John Wall in 2009-2010 (28).
- Fox is the first UK player with 16 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, and 3 steals in a game since John Wall vs. Mississippi State on 2/16/2010.
4. UK Leads in 4th Down Conversions
You probably forgot the Cats converted two fourth downs against Austin Peay. Now 9-of-11 this season, the Cats 81.1% fourth down conversion rate is the best in the SEC.
5. Tubman’s Return to Commonwealth
Former UK defensive end Lloyd Tubman did not make the stat sheet in his return to Commonwealth Stadium, but he did take the time to pose for a picture with his teammates from the class of 2014. The Twitter caption: “Got mad love for theses boys,It was different being across from em on Saturday. But we all good doe.”
6. Toth Selected to the Senior Bowl
After the UK center concludes his Kentucky career at a bowl game, Jon Toth will attend the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. Overlooked by most of the talking heads, Toth will prove to the NFL scouts he’s worth a large paycheck.
7. Randall Cobb is Still Making Big Plays
The Packers have not been good at football this year. How this happened is a bit of a mystery, but Cobb still found a way to make a big play on Sunday Night Football.
Not going down that easy…
— NFL (@NFL) November 21, 2016
In other news on NFL Cats, Bud Dupree was taken off injured reserve for yesterday’s game against the Browns, although he only played a snap or two in his 2016 debut.
8. Can Trae Young and Quade Green Play Together?
That’s the question everyone’s been asking since Green announced his commitment to Kentucky Saturday night. In theory, they can, but it might not work in practice.
I can imagine a world were the pass first distributor (Green) runs the offense alongside an elusive sharp-shooter on the wing (Young). I don’t have to imagine because the two played together this summer on the the USA’s U18 team. Their stats from the tournament in Chile reveal a few things:
- Young took the most threes on the team, but didn’t make the most (23%).
- Young played almost twice as many minutes (94 to 50).
- Young only had 3 more assists in twice the minutes, but committed 5 less turnovers.
Neither were stars, but Green was more efficient. Playing together is a possibility, but not likely.
9. UK Men’s Soccer Eliminated
For the first time in school history, Kentucky received a national seed. At No. 16, they earned a bye and the right to host a second round matchup. Facing perennial power Creighton, the Cats fell behind 2-0 early. The quickly responded with a goal, but were forced to play the last 20 minutes with only 10 men, eventually falling to the Bluejays 3-2.
The Cats’ first loss of the year at The Bell, it was a sudden end to a great season. The program is in good hands with Johan Cedergren, who’s taken UK to the NCAA Tournament three consecutive years, only missing it once in his five years as a head coach. Hopefully it’s the first of many postseason games to come at The Bell.
10. UK Hoops Dropped in the AP Poll
After taking a tough 79-69 loss in the elevation against Colorado, Matthew Mitchell’s team fell to No. 20 in the AP Poll.
By Haley Simpson on ©November 20th, 2016 @ 5:00pm
An early lead wasn’t enough for the No. 15 Lady Cats last night when they fell on the road to unranked Colorado.
Kentucky started off with an early lead in the first period, leading the entirety of it. At the end of the period, the Cats held a 12-11 lead going into the second period. After the break, Colorado came back strong and went on an 8-0 to stretch a 22-15 lead over Kentucky.
The Cats continued to struggle in the third quarters as they were outscored 25-16 and fell to a 11 point deficit at 62-51, their largest of the season. From there, Kentucky was unable to regain momentum to get them over Colorado.
Overall, it was the usual suspects who led the way for Kentucky. Makayla Epps, Maci Morris and Taylor Murray all three had 14 points with Evelyn Akhator not far behind with 12 of her own. Both teams shot a bit below 50% from the field in the second half, but the Buffalos were just able to get more shots off than the Cats and make more defensive stops.
The loss will likely bring the Cats down in rankings, but they will still remain in the top 25.
Kentucky will be back in Memorial against Morehead State at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.
By Drew Franklin on ©November 17th, 2016 @ 4:00pm
Fans of three-point shooting will enjoy the highlights from today’s UK Hoops win in Memorial. The Cats hit 12 threes in the game to fight off the early start time and get the victory.
By Savannah Patton on ©November 17th, 2016 @ 2:00pm
The Kentucky Women’s team didn’t let an 11 a.m. tip off time slow them down. UK Hoops dominated the University of New Hampshire Wildcats this afternoon with a 92-43 victory.
Mackenzie Cann, Evelyn Akhator, Makayla Epps, Alyssa Rice, Maci Morris and Jessica Hardin all scored double digits. Mackenzie Cann, a transfer student from University of Cincinnati had a career high game with 20 points. She went 6 of 8 from the 3-point line.
“When Cann gets going it really takes the pressure off everyone,” said Coach Mitchell.
When asked about how good this team can be at 3-point shooting Mackenzie Cann said “the sky’s the limit if we put the work in.”
Besides the raining threes, Senior Evelyn Akhator also had a notable game with her third double-double this season. Akhator has been consistently energetic since the season started. This afternoon, she finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Akhator said her early season success comes from the coaches and team – especially Makayla, inspiring her during the off-season.
UK Hoops will travel to Colorado on Saturday to take on the Colorado University Buffs at 9 p.m.
By Drew Franklin on ©November 17th, 2016 @ 12:52pm
Makenzie Cann lit up the scoreboard to lead the Kentucky women in scoring in today’s win over New Hampshire. The Anderson County native connected on six of her eight three-point attempts for a career-high 20 in the Cats’ 92-43 win.
Evenlyn Akhator dropped a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds, while four other Wildcats chipped in double-figure scoring behind Cann and Akhator.