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UK Hoops and other sports coverage
UK Hoops got ANOTHER win tonight, beating Auburn by a whopping 17 points . It was a close game up until the fourth quarter when the Cats went up by 20 at one point. Remember that eight game losing streak? Yeah, me either.
Despite the snow, Maci Morris came out hot, and by hot I mean on fire. In the first few minutes of the game, Morris scored her 1,000th point. That’s a lot of points scored…what a cool moment for the Bell County native. The rest of the Wildcats did need some heating up though, and so did the Tigers. It was a slowwww game plagued with turnovers and bad shooting – not only for us, but for Auburn too. Check out the box score statistic comparison:
Yikes. The only place we really shot well from was the line, but we did manage to capitalize off Auburn’s turnovers – so thanks for those, Tigers. Auburn leads the SEC in free throw shooting, and we did not let them get to the line.
The best part of the game? During the losing streak, the Cats fell apart in the third and fourth quarter but tonight, we went on a 24-3 run in the fourth alone. I’m not sure what Matthew Mitchell is doing but thank the higher power of your choosing that it’s working!
We’re finally learning how to play off our opponents’ weaknesses. Things are heating up y’all.
Maci Morris had a big game tonight, she finished with 18 points, and made five threes. Taylor Murray didn’t get to show off tonight, only playing 12 minutes in the first half due to foul trouble. However, this didn’t stop her from coming alive in the fourth. Murray finished with 14 points and five assists. Alyssa Rice also had a big game with a whopping nine rebounds and 11 points.
What a game. Feel bad that you missed it? Don’t! Just catch the next one! Trust me, you wanna see this team play right now.
The Cats take on LSU in RUPP ARENA at noon on Sunday. Come out before the super bowl!
Looking for a little late night fun this weekend? Come support the UK Hockey team in their final home games.
Tomorrow night — the program’s Senior Night — the Cats will take on Tennessee. On Saturday, they’ll face Georgia in the last home game of the season. Both games will take place at MIDNIGHT at the Lexington Ice Center. Tickets are available for presale and they’re going fast, so get on over to UKHockey.com to snag yours.
Today, the team celebrated the final stretch of the season with a visit to President Eli Capilouto’s office:
Looking good, Pres.
Kevin Knox isn’t the only Kentucky basketball player making headlines throughout the SEC this week. UK Hoops’ Dorie Harrison was named the SEC Freshman of the Week following her career-high performance against Arkansas Monday night.
The freshman was the team’s leading scorer for the first time last night, scoring 16 points and adding four rebounds, two steals and one block in the Cats’ victory over the Razorbacks. The performance marked her second-consecutive career night; she recorded a previous-best 15 points against Alabama last Thursday.
Combining the previous two games, Harrison has scored 31 points while shooting nearly 50 percent from the field. She’s also added a total of nine rebounds, two blocks and three steals. After a rough patch for the Hoops team, Harrison’s strong efforts have helped the Cats’ record bounce back to break-even: the team’s record is now 11-11 on the season and 3-5 in the conference.
The Kentucky women’s basketball team got back on track tonight, defeating the Arkansas Razorbacks 76-65. Dorie Harrison led the fight, finishing the night with a career-high 16 points and adding four rebounds. But Harrison, a six-foot-three freshman, wasn’t alone – Kentucky had five Cats score double-digits in the win: Makenzie Cann (12 points), Taylor Watts (12 points), Maci Morris (11 points) and Amanda Paschal (10 points). Arkansas had three players hit double-digit scoring.
Tonight was Harrison’s third consecutive game breaking her own career scoring record. What’s going right?
“I think it’s just the extra reps and post workouts that Coach Mitchell puts us through,” Harrison said. “It really gets us in game-like situations and it makes it easy on us to transfer that into the game.”
Mitchell agreed the team’s performance in the post has greatly improved throughout the season, and it’s making a difference in conference games.
“Our young kids in the post have really worked hard to develop,” the head coach said. “It has been a lot of hard work, but now we are getting great production from the post, and that has helped.”
It was a game of runs for the Cats, including a 12-0 run in the first quarter, a 10-0 run in the second and another 12-0 run in the third. Although the final score shows just an 11-point victory, the Wildcats dominated on all fronts. They scored far more points off the bench (31 points versus 10); they turned the ball over less (13 versus 18); they rebounded more (35 versus 33); they scored more three-pointers (nine versus five); they scored more points in the paint (36 versus 20). From nearly every aspect of the game, Kentucky performed.
— Kentucky WBB (@KentuckyWBB) January 30, 2018
“Very good win for our team,” Coach Matthew Mitchell said after the game. “I am really proud of their focus and how we prepared for this one.”
Tonight’s win marks the second consecutive conference win for the Wildcats, who defeated Alabama 79-54 last Thursday. This is the first time Kentucky has won back-to-back SEC games this season.
Maci Morris, who had 11 points and two rebounds in the win, is now just four points shy of joining Kentucky’s 1,000 points club. She’ll have her next chance to sign her name with the elites this Thursday at 7 p.m. when the Cats take on the Auburn Tigers inside Memorial Coliseum.
Winning in the SEC is never easy. There is no conference in college baseball that provides the talent and depth that the SEC does every year. 2018 will be no different. The SEC could see as many 11 teams land in the NCAA Tournament this June. It is time to look at who will contend for the SEC Title and what players will lead the nation’s premiere league in 2018.
By Maggie Davis on ©January 28th, 2018 @ 8:00pm
Before the UK women’s basketball team clinched a much-needed win against Alabama Thursday, Coach Matthew Mitchell divulged the secret to this team’s new-and-improved mentality: the word purple.
No, not blue. Purple.
Prior to the the Alabama victory, the Cats had lost nine of their previous ten games. With that disappointing record, the young team had to find a way to stay positive. Under the suggestion of assistant coach Kyra Elzy, the freshmen began using the word “purple” as a codeword for positivity. And what started as a sort of inside-joke between freshmen has turned into a team-wide phenomenon – even Coach Mitchell is in on it.
“They say [purple] and then I started saying it too now because there are a lot of times that I want to go negative because they are not doing what I want them to do,” Mitchell said. “They want me to go positive, then they ask themselves to go positive, everybody needs to go positive.”
But, of course, it hasn’t always been easy.
“There have been days we have gone negative because it’s been a tough go,” Mitchell said. “But what I love about it is they are still coming to practice hungry and that they even care enough to understand that they need to be positive and keep going on. That just tells you about them as kids. They are not where we want them to be skill wise, but you can teach skill, you cannot teach the other.”
The positivity paid off for the Cats, who blew past Alabama 79-54 Thursday night. Now, they’ll have to capitalize on this momentum, as they travel to play Arkansas on the road tomorrow and return to Memorial Coliseum Thursday to face-off against Auburn.
“Very happy for our players. They have been working extremely hard. A lot of hard work went into that one,” Mitchell said of the victory over Alabama. “They’ve been working really, really hard. We need to build on this one.”
It was a MUCH-NEEDED win for UK Hoops tonight! They beat Alabama 79-54 and no one could be happier about it than Matthew Mitchell himself. The man was grinning ear-to-ear.
Man, it feels good to win again. Let’s talk about some key moments from tonight’s game and revel in this victory.
I almost called 911 tonight because this girl was ON FIRE (sorry)! Murray finished the night with 20 points and 10 assists. It’s UK Hoops’ first points-assists double-double since February 2016. So, that’s pretty cool.
“She does a great job of getting the ball out so quick,” said Alabama Head Coach Kristy Curry on Taylor Murray.
She’s also the only player in school history to have 20 and 10 in an SEC game.
“Really proud of her resilience….we need it desperately,” said Mitchell.
We (kind of) have a leader
And her name is Alyssa Rice. Rice only had six points tonight, but she had a big presence on the court! It seems like a leader is FINALLY emerging from this team. It just might be too late.
“It’s been very ugly at times but you’re seeing that this team’s worked so hard,” said Mitchell.
Mitchell noted that he’s working on confidence – especially with the freshmen KeKe and Dorie, and utilizing the older girls to help them.
“We can’t have a glamour player,” said Mitchell.
What’s going right?
Shooting, for one thing. The Wildcats out-shot the Tide like crazy. They were 33-51 tonight, compared to Bama’s 20-51. Overall, They’re playing smarter. Taylor Murray said they’ve really been focusing on execution in practice – and it showed tonight. The Cats really capitalized on Bama’s quick mistakes. Not to mention, their confidence was off the charts.
“We were just all on,” said KeKe McKinney.
Mitchell attributed the win to good hustle and the “reboot” of the bye week. whatever he did, it’s working.
What’s still going wrong?
Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers. Yikes. We need to work on turnovers! And rebounds, too. Our defense is nowhere near where it needs to be. Matthew Mitchell knows there’s a tough road ahead with Mississippi State and South Carolina still on the schedule.
“A win is a win but we still have a long way to go,” said Taylor Murray.
That’s the truth.
Let’s end this on a positive note – we WON tonight. Like I said earlier, it feels really good.
UK Hoops travels to Arkansas on January 29 and will be back in Memorial on February 1 to take on Auburn. Go Cats!
It was a much needed win for UK Hoops on Thursday when they took on Alabama at Memorial Coliseum. Kentucky’s defense had a weak start, allowing Alabama to score eight of their first 13 points in the paint. Like the South Carolina game last week, turnovers were another big issue UK Hoops faced, with seven early turnovers by the end of the first quarter. But the Cats held on, scoring over 60% from the field in the first half, a trend that would continue throughout the game. The score by the end of the first quarter was 17-16, with Alabama holding a slight lead.
Alabama started the second quarter with a 7-2 run, but UK Hoops answered with four straight shots to cut Alabama’s lead from six to two. The Cats took a three-point lead after a 9-0 run, but a three from Alabama’s No. 23 Shaquera Wade brought the game to a tie at 27-27 late in to the second quarter. No. 24 Taylor Murray responded to this and, after scoring a team-high 12 points in the first half, hit a three at the buzzer to give UK a five-point lead. While the Cats still faced a large number of turnovers, Alabama was dealing with their own turnover issues. By halftime, UK Hoops had made 13 points off of turnovers from Alabama. The score at halftime was 34-29.
A three from No. 22 Makenzie Cann and an and-one from Murray helped to increase Kentucky’s lead. While a few turnovers from the Cats helped Alabama on a 5-0 run, UK Hoops still managed to hold the lead, with the score 54-49 at the end of the third quarter.
Memorial Coliseum was filled with deafening roars from excited Kentucky fans as UK Hoops started the fourth quarter on an 11-2 run. A second and-one from Murray and multiple threes from Cann and No. 4 Maci Morris helped secure Kentucky’s victory. Murray was the top scorer for the Cats tonight, hitting a double-double with 20 points and 10 assists. It is UK’s first point-assists double-double since February 2016. Kentucky also ended the game with a season high 64.7% from the field, which is the second best field goal percentage in school history. The final score was 79-54.
“I thought there was some real joy from the players because it’s been a tough road and there’s a tough road ahead. During the bye week, we really had to adjust our attitude and they’ve worked really hard. I’m overjoyed for them because they really worked to earn that victory,” Coach Mitchell said in the post game press conference.
Kentucky plays the University of Arkansas at the Bud Walton Arena on Jan. 29 and 7 pm. UK Hoops will be back in Memorial Coliseum to take on Auburn University on Feb. 1 at 7 pm.
By Alex Holder on ©January 22nd, 2018 @ 10:00pm
There is a reason the Kentucky hockey program calls their home games at the Lexington Ice Center, “Midnight Mayhem.”
During their two-game stand last weekend against cross-state rival Eastern Kentucky, the mayhem was at its finest, as the Cats took on the Colonels in a rowdy atmosphere for the “Battle of the Bourbon Barrel.”
Unlike most other sports, when Kentucky plays Eastern in hockey, it’s a massive rivalry game. That beloved Bourbon Barrel is a prized possession.
The game was so big, in fact, that former Kentucky quarterback Stephen Johnson gave the boys a locker room pregame speech before they took the ice.
Before the first game even started, there was a line out the door to get in. The arena sold out within minutes, and fans had to be turned away. The people that made it in went crazy and stood on their feet for a full 60 minutes of hockey until the final horn sounded.
One of the new additions to the Kentucky hockey team, left wing Patrick Lehmann, got his first taste of the Kentucky hockey crowd on Friday night.
“It was an unreal atmosphere with everyone there and having the fans know my name the first game was so cool,” said Lehmann. “It was awesome to be able to play in front of our great fans.”
— Alex Holder (@Alex_Holder_KSR) January 20, 2018
Head coach of the Wildcats, Tim Pergram, thought the atmosphere this weekend was “electric.”
“The EKU rivalry is great,” Pergram said. “I love the crowds from EKU and UK. The atmosphere is electric. Our players love this game due to both teams calling Lexington Ice Center “home.” I follow EKU and pull for their success, except when they play us.”
— Kentucky Hockey (@Kentucky_Hockey) January 20, 2018
Unfortunately, the Cats took a tough loss in the Friday matchup, despite being up 3-1 at the end of the first intermission. The toughness and rust caught up with the Cats as they lost 6-5.
Before this past Friday against EKU, the Wildcats hadn’t taken the ice in a real game since December 9th due to Christmas break. The Cats added five new faces to the roster over break, which coach Pergram said played a big part in the way Kentucky performed against the Colonels Friday night.
“We were rusty from not playing since the second weekend in December against Youngstown State,” Pergram said. “We added a few new players and we as a coaching staff changed a few of the lines. Our passing and flow of the game were off due to only practicing a few times this spring semester. The chemistry will come. We just need to gel the lines, it will take a little time.”
CATS BEAT EKU!!! ?? pic.twitter.com/43ILPPOvXf
— Kentucky Hockey (@Kentucky_Hockey) January 21, 2018
Good thing the Wildcats got another shot at the Colonels on Saturday night, as Kentucky was absolutely firing on all cylinders. The Cats beat the Colonels 5-1, and coach Pergram was ecstatic with the way his team responded.
“Saturday night we came to play and it showed we didn’t stop till the last ten minutes of the third period, which is expected when you’re up by a few goals. It’s hard to keep that intensity up for 60 minutes,” Pergram said. “I truly feel like we are 85-90% back to our level that we were at, at the end of the first semester.”
Next up for the Kentucky hockey team is the Vanderbilt Commodores in Nashville this Friday and Saturday. This will be the first time Kentucky faces an actual SEC opponent in school history.
“We have SECHC play to finish out the year, so everyone knows every game from this point is for seeding in the SECHC Tournament in Nashville at the Ford Center,” coach Pergram said. “My seniors have about eight games left in their Wildcat sweaters, so it’s truly a special time for them.”
It’s fair to say the Kentucky hockey program is growing and only getting better, as the Cats are off to a 15-7-1 start with heading into the home stretch. Coach Pergram loves where his program is headed.
“We actively are having lots of players contacting us about playing their college hockey for us. That’s a great sign we are doing something to attract new student-athletes to the University of Kentucky,” he said.
By Trey Huntsman on ©January 22nd, 2018 @ 9:00pm
Much like Kentucky Basketball, Nick Mingione and UK Baseball have reloaded. Thanks to a solid recruiting strategy by Nick Mingione, UK is still a contender in 2018. With a handful of talented JUCO transfers and incoming freshman, the Cats have a variety of ways they could fill the shoes of some of the most successful players in UK history. Here is a look at how the Cats will replace the nine players that were drafted in 2017.
The biggest hole UK will have to fill will be at first base. Evan White was the top defensive first baseman in the country as well as a .359 hitter over his three years at UK. There is no team that could immediately fill that offensive hole like UK can. Power-hitting Kole Cottam is expected to move from catcher to first base for his junior season. Cottam proved in the Regional that he can hit for power and spray the ball to all fields. The former catcher will be an anchor in the lineup this season and should equal White’s production at the plate. UK will have a hard time replacing White’s defense at first, though. In his three seasons at UK, White committed only two errors and saved dozens of errant throws from sailing into the stands. T.J Collett is expected to see time at first and at DH as well. Collett may have the most pop of any player in UK’s lineup, but 2018 will prove whether or not he can play first base regularly.
Kole Cottam hits the triple and then shoots a triple. pic.twitter.com/FA6COyfdwT
— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) June 5, 2017
Riley Mahan developed into one of the best hitters for UK in 2017. Mahan led UK with 15 home runs and 67 RBIs before being taken in the third round of the 2017 Draft by Miami. It will be hard to fill Mahan’s spot in the lineup, but Nick Mingione does have some options. D1 Baseball predicts that Luke Becker will move from third to second to replace Mahan and put Luke Heyer at third. The move makes sense, but UK could also use newcomers, Garrett Hastings and Alex Rodriguez, to take some of the load off of Becker.
One of the positions that UK has very little depth is at the six spot. Connor Heady provided range at shortstop as well as power from the nine-hole in the lineup. Nick Mingione brought in a pair of infield transfers that could help to replace Heady. Former LSU shortstop Trey Dawson transferred to UK after hitting .279 for Chipola Junior College. Dawson was one of the jewels of the 2017 recruiting class. A sneaky player to watch at short could be Rodriquez. Another JUCO transfer, Rodriguez hit .372 with 12 home runs and 25 stolen bases for Northern Oklahoma College in 2017. Joey Bellini was expected to compete for playing time as well, but the defensive specialist transferred out in December.
The two corner outfield positions will have newcomers patrolling the lines. With Tristan Pompey most likely moving to center field, transfers Ryan Johnson and Ben Aklinski could fill in the other two spots. There are a handful of talented freshman outfielders that could see time, but it is safe to assume that JUCO transfers Johnson and Aklinski will see the majority of time in the outfield. Johnson started five games for TCU as a freshman in 2016 after being named an Under Armour All-American in high school. He is extremely talented and will play immediately in 2018.
Of the 11 pitchers that saw a majority time out of the bullpen, only four return. One of the biggest surprises of the 2017 season was the emergence of Logan Salow. Salow struck out 73 in 55 innings while posting a 1.95 ERA as the team’s senior closer. Salow gave the Cats a closer that could be trusted in the ninth inning day in and day out. Along with Salow, UK loses flamethrower Zach Pop. The Dodgers selected Pop in the seventh round last year. Pop made 20 appearances out of the bullpen before missing the latter part of the season due to an arm injury. Salow and Pop anchored the backend of the bullpen and solidified a dominant pitching staff. In 2018, sophomore Chris Machamer will be called upon to close out games. Machamer had arm surgery last fall but has been cleared to pitch this month. The Ohio Gatorade Player of the Year in 2016, Machamer struck out 36 batters in 24 appearances last season.
The only hole to fill in the rotation will be on Saturdays. Zach Logue was a heavy strikeout guy, but he allowed too many flyballs to be dominant in the SEC. UK will miss the experience of Logue, but the Justin Lewis will most likely move up to the second spot in the rotation and sophomore Zack Thompson will take over Logue’s spot in the rotation. For more on the Cats’ pitching staff, read our preview here.
Send questions or comments to @TreyHuntsmanKSR on Twitter.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©January 21st, 2018 @ 4:00pm
The Kentucky Wildcats may have lost last night, but one UK cheerleader came away walking on air.
Senior cheerleader Dallas Pringle was surprised on the court following the game when her boyfriend, Jack Ditto, got down on one knee and proposed in front of the Rupp Arena crowd.
Here is the video of the moment:
Our KSR photographer, Dr. Michael Huang, got some close-up shots of the proposal:
In an interview with the Herald-Leader, Pringle said she had no idea the proposal was coming.
“It was the best surprise ever,” Pringle said. “It was awesome.”
UK Cheerleading won their 23rd National Championship last weekend, they were chosen to represent the USA at the Winter Olympics in February, and Pringle recently tried out for the USA Cheer national team.
Not a bad run for the senior Wildcat.
Congratulations to both Dallas and Jack on their engagement!
The crowd at Rupp Arena was excited and energetic on Sunday afternoon as UK Hoops took the floor to play the South Carolina gamecocks. Mackenzie Cann was the first to score for the Cats, hitting a big three halfway through the first quarter. Despite having to stop game play for two separate shot clock issues, Kentucky went on a 5-0 run, preventing South Carolina from scoring for three minutes. The score at the end of the first quarter was 13-12, with South Carolina holding a small lead over UK Hoops.
While the Cats started the second quarter by gaining the lead, it quickly became clear that free throws and turnovers would be the two biggest obstacles UK would face. By halftime, South Carolina had been sent to the line 12 times, making seven free throws, while Kentucky was only one of four from the line. Turnovers were another area UK Hoops struggled with in the second quarter. The Cats average 12 turnovers a game, but already had 14 by the end of the first half. The Gamecocks turned Kentucky’s 14 turnovers in to 12 points and responded with a 20-4 run, taking their biggest lead of the game. The score at halftime was 34-20.
UK Hoops started the second half with significantly better offense. Their free throw percentage raised from 25% to 63% and the Cats only had two turnovers in the third quarter. The crowd at Rupp were on their feet, as No. 24 Taylor Murray, No. 4 Maci Morris, and No. 3 Keke McKinney all scored double figures. After trailing by 18 points early in the third quarter, Kentucky fought to bring South Carolina’s lead down to less than eight. The score at the end of the third quarter was 59-48.
But Kentucky’s comeback with cut short when the Gamecocks scored a three early in the fourth quarter, followed by a 7-0 run to increase their lead by 15 points. South Carolina shot 79% from the field for the second half of the game, securing a victory by the final buzzer. The final score was 81-64. While this is the second loss in a row for UK Hoops, Coach Mitchell remained optimistic about the team’s future in the post game press conference: “I saw some signs of progress for us today. We have to keep going and keep working.”
UK Hoops will be back in Memorial Coliseum to take on the University of Alabama on Thursday, Jan 25 at 7 pm.
By Karly Walker on ©January 20th, 2018 @ 3:00pm
Coach Matthew Mitchell held a press conference on Friday, January 19, to preview Kentucky’s upcoming game against South Carolina. While UK Hoops has struggled this season, Coach Mitchell is looking to the future with hope, and keeping his team focused. Here are three big takeaways from his press conference:
Sunday’s game against South Carolina is going to be a big one
Kentucky’s season has been turbulent, and while a victory against the University of Florida brought the Cats’ eight game losing streak to an end, their recent loss against Vanderbilt did nothing to boost team or fan morale. But Coach Mitchell is still hoping UK Hoops will draw a big crowd to Rupp Arena on Sunday. “We’d love to get a big crowd out there, at Rupp, on Sunday to help us try to earn a victory, but it will be tough game and the team’s working hard to try to get prepared for a good South Carolina team.”
And while Coach Mitchell did not confirm whether No 4 Maci Morris or No 22 Makenzie Cann will play in the South Carolina game, he did say he was “hopeful” and that both girls had been feeling better after battling knee and foot pain.
UK Hoops takes on South Carolina at Rupp Arena on Sunday, January 21 at noon.
The team is not “quitting”
Coach Mitchell made it clear that while UK Hoops has been struggling this season, he has never once felt that the team was giving up. “I have never sensed through all the difficult times that there is quit happening.”
Instead, he pointed to the Cats inconsistent level of play, and the need to push them in the right direction. “As their coach, you just continue to fight every day to make certain they know it is not happening to them. It is difficult for a team that is really relying on people that are in such different roles. It has just not come together the way we wanted it to or expected it to.”
But Coach Mitchell is still looking forward to the future of the team, citing the South Carolina game as a big opportunity for Kentucky to turn their season around. “They practiced extremely hard yesterday and I still believe that our best basketball is in front of us.”
UK Hoops will find success this season
Coach Mitchell is under no false impressions when it comes to his team’s season, but he is looking at the rest of the season with an optimistic attitude. “This has been a challenging time and a difficult time. Anybody that would say you don’t have some doubts during that time or negative thoughts creeping into your mind, they are a better person than I am. At the end of the day, what you have to have come through is faith. I have tremendous faith that we are on the right path.”
While he is “not joyful” about the season Kentucky is having, Coach Mitchell says he understands that this is an important learning process, especially for a team so young.
“We are trying to stay the course and we will be successful with this group of players, it is just taking us some time.”
By Maggie Davis on ©January 15th, 2018 @ 10:00pm
The women’s basketball team suffered another tough loss tonight, falling 70-55 to Vanderbilt. The Wildcats played without the season’s leading scorer Maci Morris, who is still out with a knee bone-bruise injury, and the Cats couldn’t compensate for her missing offensive spark. Tonight’s loss drops Kentucky’s record to 9-10 overall and 1-4 in the SEC.
The Wildcats struggled from the beginning; both teams remained scoreless for the first 5:14 of the game and the Cats failed to get a bucket until only four minutes remained in the quarter. They found a groove by the end of the first quarter, going on a 6-0 run and holding a 10-7 advantage at the end of the period. But it wouldn’t last, as the Commodores responded in the second quarter with a 15-0 run.
Taylor Murray served as Kentucky’s sole offensive power in the first half, scoring 12 of the Cats’ 20 points. She finished the day with a season-high 23 points and a career-high seven steals in her full 40 minutes of play. She was the only player to hit double-digit scoring.
“Taylor was really tough and we need her to play that way,” Coach Matthew Mitchell said after the game. “We will have to see if we can get some [other] players to step up and play that way.”
Freshman KeKe McKinney showed she has the potential to be that player. The freshman added nine points and six rebounds in tonight’s matchup. Senior Makenzie Cann was limited, playing just 15 minutes and scoring zero points. After the game, Mitchell said Cann is dealing with a foot injury, and her reps have been limited.
“You have to congratulate Vanderbilt tonight. They played a tough game and clearly wanted the game more than us and that is disappointing,” Mitchell said. “We have to get back at it and see if we can get better.”
The Cats will look to get back on track Sunday, when Kentucky will host South Carolina at Rupp Arena. Tipoff is set for noon and the game can be seen on ESPNU.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©January 14th, 2018 @ 11:00pm
They did it AGAIN.
The Kentucky cheerleading team just won their 23rd National Championship in school history.
Here is the team posing with the trophy:
— UCA (@UCAupdates) January 15, 2018
— Kentucky Athletics (@UKAthletics) January 15, 2018
Six titles in eight years, 14 since 2000, and 23 overall. The dynasty continues.
We have never seen dominance like this. Ever.
Congratulations to the National Champion Wildcats!
GO BIG BLUE!