Kentucky was without Quade Green for the third straight game on a night the whistle →
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 Karly Walker on ©January 11th, 2018 @ 9:31pm
It was a narrow, but much needed, win for UK Hoops tonight against the University of Florida. No. 24 Taylor Murray secured an early lead for the Cats, hitting seven of the eleven points Kentucky earned in the first quarter. The score at the end of the first quarter was 11-10.
The second quarter started with the Gators hitting a 10-0 run and gaining their first lead of the game, but a three from No. 22 Makenzie Cann helped UK Hoops go in to halftime on top. By halftime, the Cats were scoring just 32.1% from the field, but still held on to the lead. The score at the end of the second quarter was 20-18.
Florida started the second half by hitting two threes, and reclaiming their lead. While the Gators hit a total of seven threes in the third quarter, Kentucky managed to hang on, only tailing by three points. The score at the end of the third quarter was 36-39.
Although UK Hoops managed to earn a four-point lead early on in the fourth quarter, Florida responded, tying at 46-46 with less than four minutes left in the game. A shot clock violation from the Gators gave the Cats the advantage they needed. Another three by Murray in the last minute of the game only increased this lead, with the score 54-49. A score from Florida managed to cut UK’s lead to 54-51 with less than thirty seconds left in the game. A turnover from Kentucky gave the Gators momentum to score again with 6.1 left in the game, bringing the score to a 54-53. In a nail biting ending, No. 4 Maci Morris was sent to the line, missing her first shot, but landing her second. No. 2 Paige Poffenberger was sent to the line immediately after. Poffenberger also missed her first shot, but landed her second, guaranteeing a victory for UK Hoops. The final score was 56-53.
In addition to this win ending Kentucky’s eight-game losing streak, it was also Coach Matthew Mitchell’s 250th win at Kentucky.
UK Hoops will play Vanderbilt University at Memorial Gymnasium in Nashville, TN, on Monday, Jan. 15, at 7 pm. The Cats will be back in Lexington on Sunday, Jan. 21, at noon, when they take on the University of South Carolina at Rupp Arena.
Finally, the UK Hoops losing streak is over.
Matthew Mitchell’s women traveled down to Gainesville on Thursday to take on the Florida Gators and they will return to Lexington with a win, their first since beating Evansville on December 5.
Taylor Murray was UK’s leading scorer with 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the field. JUCO transfer Amanda Paschal was the only other Wildcat in double figures with her 12 points off the bench.
Kentucky had lost eight straight games before taking down Florida, 56-53.
They will travel to Vanderbilt on Monday to try to start a new streak: a winning one.
By Savannah Patton on ©January 07th, 2018 @ 9:00pm
UK Hoops lost to UGA 56-42 today, making this their eighth consecutive loss in a row. Nope, that’s not a typo, they have lost eight games in a row. And no, we haven’t been just playing UCONN continuously, we’ve been losing to the likes of Florida Gulf Coast and Middle Tennessee. So what exactly is the problem with this team? After today’s loss, I’ve got some ideas.
After coming off an almost win against Texas A&M I expected better today. Maci Morris had a season best 22 points against the Aggies and Cann hit four threes. It seemed like things were going in the right direction. They were not. Today, Morris barely showed up scoring only nine points and going 0-3 on three point shooting. Morris didn’t even play in the fourth, she sat out with ice on her knee due to a knee contusion. Mitchell said they are waiting to see if this is going to be a long term injury or not.
Mackenzie Cann had a whopping 10 points – which makes her the leading scorer.Taylor Murray didn’t show up at all. She only got on the board with 4 rebounds. Yikes.
“We were just missing simple baskets,” said Jaida Roper. “If we make them, that’s game.”
But they haven’t been making them, for eight games in a row now.
“We gotta regroup and try to march forward, it’s not good right now,” said Matthew Mitchell. “We gotta persevere here, and get things turned around.”
Overall, the Cats finished shooting 20%. T-W-E-N-T-Y! TWO ZERO! How? It’s not like UGA was shutting them down, either. They played awful, too. The Dawgs finished shooting 28%, they didn’t win the game, they were just less bad than we were. It was terrible on both sides, which makes this loss even more embarrassing. When your opponent is shooting that bad, and you’re fighting to not lose your eighth game in a row, you should be shooting better than 20%. End of story. It’s as if this team has no fight, no strength or aggression. There’s been a lapse somewhere between the beginning of December and now. Where’s the team that gave Murray and Maci their best scoring games? Where’s the team that killed Evansville on the defensive boards?
The Cats have been notorious during this losing stretch for falling apart in the third quarter. Today, going into the half it was 26-24 UGA. At the end of the third, it was 35-29. Kentucky only scored five points in this quarter. There was point where we were one of 18 and shooting 9%. Against Texas A&M, we got outscored in third 9-4. During the Tennessee game, we came into the third down 31-20, the Vols annihilated us – extending the lead to 20 points just in the third. In the MTSU game, Kentucky only hit five of 17 shots in the third. Why is this team falling apart in the third? When asked about this horrible pattern, Matthew Mitchell didn’t have an answer.
“I will keep searching and trying to figure that out,” said Mitchell “I don’t know what’s happening there but it’s not good.”
Matthew Mitchell is in his 11th season at Kentucky and is the winningest coach in the program. Don’t get me wrong, I love the guy and his love for Kelly Clarkson and fine shoes, but it’s time to stop saying “I don’t know.” If he hasn’t fixed this team yet, when will he? How many losses in a row is it going to take? UK Hoops is now 0-3 in SEC play and with teams like South Carolina and Mississippi State on the schedule twice, it doesn’t look like things are going to look up.
By Maggie Davis on ©January 07th, 2018 @ 6:00pm
Matthew Mitchell said it best: “That was a tough game to watch right there.”
Once again, the Cats couldn’t find a way to win. Coach Mitchell’s Wildcats struggled offensively for the full 40 minutes before finally falling to an unranked Georgia 42-56 today inside Memorial Coliseum.
Now on a eight-game losing streak, the Kentucky women’s basketball team has dropped to 8-9 on the season and 0-3 in the SEC.
The Wildcats played their best basketball in the first quarter, but still shot under 30 percent from the floor while going 1-5 from behind-the-arc. Georgia also saw their best offensive performance during the first ten minutes of action, shooting 41.7 percent from the field. The Cats hit their first – but certainly not last – slump of the game during the first quarter, going scoreless in the final four minutes of the period.
The Cats continued to struggle throughout the second quarter, still shooting under 30 percent and going 1-8 from the three-point line. Foul trouble also began affecting the Wildcats, as Taylor Murray, Dorie Harrison and Alyssa Rice each picked up two fouls. On the other side of the court, the Bulldogs also had three players with two fouls each. The Wildcats were forced to go deep into their bench, with sophomore walk-on Paige Poffenberger and freshman Amanda Paschal each getting minutes in the first half. Despite all of their offensive struggles, Kentucky entered the locker room trailing by only two: 24-26.
And while halftime is supposed to be the time for adjustments, improvements and maybe even a motivational speech, the third quarter was the worst quarter of basketball the Wildcats have played so far this season.
Kentucky hit just one shot during the entirety of the third quarter; they finished the period shooting an abysmal 9.1 percent from the field. There were zero steals, a singular assist, two offensive rebounds and five turnovers. Still, Kentucky escaped the third quarter trailing by an almost impressively-close six points. The saving grace? While the Cats shot under 10 percent, the Bulldogs shot a barely-better 11.1 percent.
Cats are struggling as we head into the 3rd quarter. Down 29-35 and shooting just 22 percent from the field. Good news? Georgia isn’t doing much better at 23 percent.
— Maggie Davis (@MaggieDavisKSR) January 7, 2018
To make matters worse, Maci Morris left the game in pain and watched the entirety of the fourth quarter from the bench with an ice pack secured on her knee. According to Coach Matthew Mitchell, Morris suffered a contusion at practice on Thursday and is currently playing to her “level of discomfort.” Even with her injury, Morris finished as the team’s second-leading scorer, contributing nine points in her 20 minutes of action. Mackenzie Cann led the Wildcats, scoring 10 points and adding five rebounds. Point guard Taylor Murray brought the energy, but finished with a silent zero points, four rebounds and three turnovers.
Left without Morris, the Cats were lost in the fourth quarter. Despite their single-digit shooting percentage in the third quarter, they trailed by just six points. But by the final period, their luck had run out. Georgia outscored Kentucky 21-13 in the fourth quarter, with Kentucky suffering from a massive offensive drought. The Cats failed to score a basket from the 7:00 minute mark in the third quarter until the 4:00 minute mark in the fourth quarter.
Not even Coach Matthew Mitchell could sugarcoat today’s loss.
“It’s not good right now, and it’s not where any of us expected or wanted to be,” Mitchell said after the game. “But it’s where it is. We’ve got to work hard and persevere to see if we could get things turned around this week. [Then] go out and compete hard and see if we can get a victory on Thursday.”
Kentucky will look to shake off today’s loss quickly, as the Wildcats now travel to back-to-back road games. They’ll take on Florida Thursday and Vanderbilt Monday. The Cats will return to Lexington Sunday Jan. 21 at noon against the South Carolina Gamecocks in Rupp Arena.
UK Hoops faced off against Texas A&M today at Reed Arena in College Station, Texas, where the Cats went home with their seventh consecutive loss.
TAMU won the tip and scored 2-0 early in the first quarter. TAMU managed to evade the Cats defense, scoring two threes. Kentucky put up a fight, and by the end of the first quarter, found themselves only 6 points behind, with the score 24-18. UK Hoops continued to battle it out with TAMU during the second quarter. No. 4 Maci Morris scored 14 points in the first half and No. 22 Makenzie Cann hit two threes with less than five minutes left in the quarter. By halftime, the Cats were trailing Texas A&M by only four points, with the score 39-36.
Kentucky took an early lead in the third quarter, with Cann scoring another three at the beginning of the second half. UK Hoops followed by going 1-of-8 from the field, and TAMU reclaimed the lead by hitting back-to-back threes with less than six minutes left in the quarter. While the Cats weren’t landing the shots they needed, they were able to stay in the game with a strong defense. TAMU managed to hold on to the lead, with the score 59-55 at the end of the third quarter.
Kentucky began the fourth quarter by scoring, but TAMU answered with a 5-0 run to take a 64-57 lead. Cann scored another three in the last quarter of the game, but another three by the Aggies gave TAMU a six-point lead. With less than 10 seconds left in the game, No. 45 Alyssa Rice scored, putting the score at 72-70, with TAMU still in the lead. After Texas A&M’s No. 5 Anriel Howard scored both her free throws, the Aggies victory was secured. The final score was 74-70.
Despite the tough loss for Kentucky, Coach Matthew Mitchell remained positive. “The kids got better tonight and worked hard. I told them that if they continue to do what they did tonight good things are going to happen for them,” Coach Mitchell said in the post game press conference.
UK Hoops will be back in Memorial Coliseum to play the University of Georgia on Sunday, Jan. 7 at 2 pm.
By Maggie Davis on ©December 31st, 2017 @ 3:00pm
The women’s basketball team is not leaving 2017 on a high note. The Wildcats were defeated by the No. 7 Tennessee Volunteers 63-49 in their SEC opener. Their record is now 8-7 on the season.
Kentucky lagged behind the Lady Vols early, and they were never able to fully recover. In the first quarter, the Wildcats made just one of their first nine attempts, and senior Alyssa Rice picked up a quick two fouls in the first six minutes. Junior Maci Morris was injured during a run-in with a Tennessee player, and she spent the remainder of the quarter receiving treatment in the locker room. By the end of the quarter, Kentucky trailed 26-7.
“Give Tennessee a lot of credit,” Coach Matthew Mitchell said after the game. “They came out with a lot of energy in that first quarter, and it was something we couldn’t come back from.”
In the second quarter, Morris returned, playing the remainder of the game with a bandage above her left eye. The Cats were able to cut the lead to 16 points, but ended the half down 36-20.
Kentucky never gave up, but they were unable to ever cut the lead to closer than 14 points.
Morris was the only player to reach double-digits in scoring, finishing the game with 16 points. Freshman Dorie Harrison added nine points, while Rice contributed six points and a team-high eight rebounds. Point guard Taylor Murray struggled, finishing with four points on 2-12 shooting along with four rebounds, three assists and two turnovers in 37 minutes.
While Kentucky clearly struggled against a dominating Tennessee offense, there were a few bright spots for the Wildcats. While UK turned the ball over just 12 times , they forced the Volunteers into committing 21 turnovers. Unfortunately, Kentucky lacked the efficiency needed to capitalize off of these mistakes, scoring just eight points off of UT’s 21 miscues.
Despite the disappointment of today’s loss – the team’s sixth consecutive loss – Mitchell believes 2018 will be different.
“I just want to say that it was a very good crowd today and I appreciate everyone for coming out on New Year’s Eve,” Mitchell said. “We didn’t give them much to cheer about, but brighter days are ahead in 2018.”
Kentucky will travel to Texas A&M Thursday at 7 p.m. They will return to Memorial Coliseum Sunday January 7 at 2 p.m. to face-off against the University of Georgia.
By Drew Franklin on ©December 21st, 2017 @ 3:00pm
Things are not going well for the Kentucky women’s basketball program these days.
Today the Cats dropped a home afternoon contest to No. 24 California, 62-52, which makes four straight losses in the month of December. Jen Smith noted that it had been 15 years since UK Hoops lost four straight games to non-conference opponents.
As for today’s loss, Maci Morris scored 21 points and grabbed eight rebounds, and Kentucky grabbed 25 offensive rebounds as a team, in the defeat. Matthew Mitchell said afterwards, “We have to keep our confidence as a team and just go back to work.”
Up next for UK Hoops: on the road at Middle Tennessee State a week from today to hopefully break the four-game losing skid.
By Maggie Davis on ©December 17th, 2017 @ 8:00pm
Despite second-half improvements by the Wildcats, Kentucky could not overcome Louisville’s dominating lead, and UK fell to their in-state rivals 87-53 inside Memorial Coliseum. The unranked Wildcats’ loss to No. 3 Louisville drops their record to 8-4 on the season. For Savannah’s immediate game recap notes, click here. Otherwise, fill yourself in on the top three takeaways from today’s loss.
A Costly Second Quarter
After hanging on throughout the first ten minutes of play – Kentucky trailed by seven at the end of the first quarter – the Wildcats went ice cold in the latter half of the period. Kentucky scored just nine points on 3-13 shooting throughout the entirety of the quarter, while the Cardinals recorded 24 points.
“We let it get away in the last 12, 13 minutes of the first half,” Coach Matthew Mitchell said following the game. “I thought the end of the first quarter was bad and then, you know, obviously the second quarter we didn’t do what we needed to do to hang in there.”
Louisville built their biggest cushion of the half during the final three minutes, increasing their lead significantly during the end of the quarter. Kentucky trailed 47-25 at the half, and they were never able to recover. The 22-point deficit proved to be too much for the Wildcats to make up in the second half.
“After that really tough second quarter, our mind in the second half was trying to come out and get back, chip into the lead, see if we could cut it to ten or so, get it under double-digits and see if we could get ourselves back in a position to win,” Mitchell said.
In trying to chip away this lead, the team got frantic. They committed six turnovers, fouled six times and grabbed only one offensive rebound. Guard Maci Morris recognized this franticness as an issue, but sees it as a learning opportunity.
“I think what we have to learn from is just, when teams go on run, we can’t just panic and try to catch up right then and there,” Morris said. “We have to slow down and just chip away from those leads.”
Two-on-Two, Louisville dominated
All season, Kentucky has shown – and relied upon – the depth of their bench. Today was no different. Nine Wildcats saw the court, and all nine of them scored (eight of which recorded field goals; Amanda Paschal had one point on 1-2 shooting from the free-throw line).
While nine players scored, only two hit double digits. Maci Morris was the team’s leading scorer, finishing with 16 points, followed by Tatyana Wyatt, who added 10 points. Point guard Taylor Murray had a relatively quiet game, contributing eight points and seven rebounds. Jaida Roper had nine points, while Taylor Murray and Alyssa Rice both added eight. Still, UK and UofL finished the game with the same number of bench points: 16.
While Kentucky’s top two scorers combined for 26 points, Louisville’s top two finished with a combined 50 points. Junior Asia Durr scored a whopping 32 points, and senior Misha Hines-Allen added 18.
Limiting the productivity of UK’s typical scorers was obviously a part of Louisville’s game plan, but Cardinal head coach Jeff Walz said other Kentucky players did a good job of stepping up and scoring.
“We doubled on ball-screen when Morris came off of it, and she throws it back and McKinney hits a three. Tatyana Wyatt hits a three. So they had kids step up and make some shots, too,” Walz said. “Which you have to have when you’ve got players of the caliber of Asia [Durr] and Maci Morris that you’re competing against.”
It was a physical one
As a rivalry game, today’s matchup held true to form. Memorial was packed and energetic, and the game got rough. From diving for loose balls to hard fouls and tough rebounds, players from both teams will feel this game tomorrow. Those hard-fought rebounds were tough, but they were the key to success in this game.
“They’re an aggressive team. Their guards rebound the ball so well – I think Taylor Murray had seven rebounds,” said Hines-Allen. “Say we did get the ball, their guards would be right there. I know I got one poked away from me. Their guards are really aggressive; their post players are just so big. We just have to be strong with that ball.”
Despite the physicality of the game, both Morris and Murray remained on the court for the full 40 minutes.
“We were just trying to get better. We had a rough first half there, and we’re counting on those two,” Mitchell said. “They’re also two really strong competitors that want to win, and this is a big game with a lot of pride on the line there. So we were trying to play our very best. Those two never ask to come out, they never ask for a break – that tells you what kind of warriors they are.”
The persistence of Morris and Murray surprised Louisville.
“We were up like 15 or 20 but we had to keep going,” Durr said. “[Mitchell] didn’t take his best two players out for the whole game. He was trying to make a statement.”
But, according to Mitchell, he wasn’t trying to make a statement. He was just trying to win.
“We were trying to get back in the game and win the game – that’s the statement we were trying to make there,” Mitchell said. “We were just trying to play our best basketball. We didn’t today, but there are brighter days ahead.”
Now on a three-game losing streak, the Cats will look to return to the winning path Thursday Dec. 21 at noon when they take on the California Golden Bears inside Memorial Coliseum.
UK Hoops falls to No. 3 Louisville 87-63, making this their third loss in a row. It was the first time Louisville has beaten the Cats at home since 2007. Here’s a quick summary of how it went down.
It was a beating from the beginning, Louisville held the lead the whole time. Cards star player Asia Durr had a whopping 32 points and Myisha Hines-Allen, one of the best players in the country had 18 points. Five Cards players finished in double-digits while UK only had two. The Cats got out-rebounded 36-25, and 22 points off turnovers, UK Hoops only had five.Safe to say, this Louisville team is really good, they’re undefeated for a reason. The Cards really beat us on the defensive boards and that’s all there is to say about it.
Maci Morris had 16 points and five rebounds, while Taylor Murray had a quiet 8 points compared to her career high last year against Louisville. With this loss, UK Hoops moves to 8-4 this season. There’s a lot of work to do before SEC play starts up!
UK Hoops plays No. 24 Cal next on Thursday 12/21 at noon in Memorial.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©December 14th, 2017 @ 5:00pm
Tomorrow is graduation day at UK and 35 current and former student-athletes will take part in the festivities at Rupp Arena. Erik Daniels, Gerald Fitch, and Makayla Epps are three of the six Wildcats – all of whom were All-Southeastern Conference honorees and played professionally – who returned to UK and completed degrees:
- Erik Daniels (2001-04), All-SEC men’s basketball player and a member of two SEC championship teams, was in pro ball for 11 years, including one season for the NBA Sacramento Kings
- Makayla Epps (2014-17), All-America/All-SEC women’s basketball player, currently playing for the WNBA Chicago Sky
- Gerald Fitch (2001-04), All-SEC men’s basketball player and a member of two SEC championship teams, has played professionally for 13 years, including one season with the NBA Miami Heat
- Max Kuhn (2012-14), All-SEC baseball player who played professionally in the minor leagues
- Ryan Wilkes (2005-08), All-SEC baseball player and member of the 2006 SEC championship team who played professionally in the minor leagues
- Garry Williams (2005-08), All-SEC football player and member of three bowl champion teams, who played six years for the NFL Carolina Panthers
Epps was drafted 33rd in the 2017 WNBA Draft by the Chicago Sky and had to leave school early, but she returned to campus this fall to complete her degree in social work.
A complete list of the graduates and their sports:
- Baseball – Max Kuhn, Ryan Wilkes
- Men’s Basketball – Erik Daniels, Gerald Fitch
- Women’s Basketball – Makayla Epps
- Football – David Baumer, Garrett Johnson, Stephen Johnson, Will Mahone, Kyle Meadows, Alex Montgomery, Cole Mosier, Charles Moushey, Naquez Pringle, Garry Williams
- Men’s Golf – Chris Meuth
- Rifle – Jenna Bethea
- Men’s Soccer – Napo Matsoso, Landon Souder, Stefan Stojkovic, Jordan Wilson
- Women’s Soccer – Michaela Dooley, Ayanna Parker
- Softball – Meagan Prince
- Men’s Swimming and Diving – Tanner Anderson, Drew Aviotti, Brandon Flynn
- Women’s Swimming and Diving – Kelly Berger, Ally Dupay
- Men’s Track and Field/Cross Country – Nick Anderson, Michael Iacofano, Raine Wireman
- Volleyball – Kaz Brown, Darian Mack, Anni Thomasson
The party gets started tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. at Rupp. Congrats, everyone!
It was another tough loss for UK Hoops today, when they took on the University of Miami at the Watsco Center. The Cats were off to a slow start offensively but still managed to end the first quarter with a slight lead, up 18-14. Kentucky maintained this lead into the second quarter until guards Taylor Murray and Maci Morris received two fouls each. The Cats still held on to the lead, even as Murray picked up her third foul and had to come out with less than five minutes left in the second quarter. By halftime, the Cats were shooting just 38.2% from the floor, but still managed to hold a 30-23 lead.
Wyatt picked up two fouls 19 seconds in to the second half, while Keke McKinney took the floor to replace her. Miami’s offensive came out strong in the first few minutes of the third quarter, shooting 7-of-9 from the field and taking the lead. By the end of the third quarter, Miami had outscored Kentucky 28-18, and had 12 fast-break points. The score at the end of the third quarter was 48-51. UK Hoops had enough defense to keep Miami from scoring for over four minutes during the fourth quarter, but the Cats just weren’t landing shots. Kentucky was 6-for-25 from the field in the second half, and just 19-of-59 in the game, giving Miami the advantage they needed to win. The final score? 54-65.
While the Cats shot a season-low 31.7% from the field, Morris ended with a game-high 18 points.
“We will take some time this week and look at everything and find out how we can get better. We have to learn from this,” Coach Mitchell said in a post-game press conference.
Following the loss, Kentucky falls to 8-3 on the year.
UK Hoops will be back in Memorial Coliseum to take on the University of Louisville on Sunday, Dec. 17 at 3 pm.
By Karly Walker on ©December 08th, 2017 @ 9:50pm
UK Hoops suffered their second loss of the season 70-64 on Friday against Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Meyers, Florida.
UK Hoops held a small lead in the beginning of the game, but FGCU ended the first quarter with a 14-4 run to grab a four-point lead. The score at the end of the first quarter was 14-18, and the Cats’ struggles only continued from there.
While Kentucky averages 7.8 threes per game, by halftime they were 0-of-4 from the three-point line and had only scored 32% from the field. FGCU ended the final four minutes of the half with a 9-0 run to give them their biggest lead of the game, giving them a 35-26 lead at the break.
A 5-0 run by UK’s Tatyana Wyatt late in the third quarter helped the Cats offensively. Kentucky hit seven of their last eight points in the third quarter, bringing the score to 44-52. It wasn’t until the fourth quarter that Maci Morris hit Kentucky’s first three of the game. A fast-break layup from Alyssa Rice helped UK Hoops tie the game 57-57.
A 6-0 run by FGCU gave them a lead the Cats struggled to catch up with.
In a nail-biting ending, the score was 64-66 with 39 seconds left in the fourth. A missed three from Wyatt gave FGCU the momentum they needed to win the game with a final score of 64-70.
With the loss, UK Hoops is now 8-2 on the season, with both losses occurring on the road.
UK Hoops will be on the road again next Sunday, Dec 10, at 1 pm, when they play the University of Miami.
The Cats will be back in Memorial on Dec 17 at 3 pm to play the University of Louisville.
It was another big win here in Memorial as UK Hoops demolished the Evansville Purple Aces 100-62. Yup, that’s right your Cats scored 100 points tonight. It was a fun game for those in blue, for those in purple? A bloodbath. Maggie’s got a game recap for you here and as usual, I’ve got your leftovers.
1. It was the “Maci Morris Show” again.
I wrote about Maci’s huge game on Sunday and she showed up again tonight. Morris finished with 20 points and only missed one 3 pointer. One of those 3’s right at the buzzer at the half. Maci said she wants this to be a “fun” shooting team.
“I just had confidence in myself that it’ll go in,” said Morris.
Morris shot 9 threes in a row and when she’s open, she wants to knock it down.
2. It was also the “Tatyana Wyatt Show.”
A huge congrats to Freshman Tatyana Wyatt for recording her first UK Hoops double-double tonight. Wyatt finished with and achieved her double-double before the game even ended. Wyatt, who missed the first five games had quite a comeback today.
“Tot’s tough, she gets the ball she’s going to score…she’s going to take someone’s head off,” said Morris on Wyatt.
Freshman Tatyana Wyatt has her first double-double for UK Hoops tonight with 20 points and 10 rebounds…and there’s still five minutes to go. She’s pretty good, I guess.
— Savannah Patton (@savannahpattKSR) December 6, 2017
“I’m so proud of her,” said Mitchell. Wyatt does more than score, he said. “She’s got hustle and relentless effort.”
3. First half vs Second Half
The Cats fell into momentum early, but paid for it a bit in the second half. They started the game on a 16-0 run, not allowing Evansville to score until the end of the first quarter. Alyssa Rice scored 11 points just in the first quarter. The Cats went the full half with 0 turnovers and 0 fouls. Meanwhile, Evansville’s 14 turnovers made way for 20 of UK’s points.
The second half was a bit of a different story. The Cats finally picked up some fouls and turnovers. Still, they kept a huge lead. With five Cats scoring in the double digits, they crushed it offensively. Defensively though, there’s still a long way to go. Coach Mitchell said the main thing he wants this team to work on is perfecting the press before SEC play. He wants the team to be a “press weapon.”
4. What went wrong with Evansville?
For starters, their mascot…the Evansville “purple aces.” I don’t even know what that means. In all seriousness though, they got down early with the 16-0 start and just couldn’t come back. Add in foul trouble for three of their players and 17 turnovers – you’ve got a recipe for a big loss.
Next, the Cats go on the road to take on Florida Gulf Coast on Friday, and then Miami on Saturday. They’ll be back in Memorial on the 17 to (hopefully) beat Louisville! See you there! Go Cats!
By Maggie Davis on ©December 05th, 2017 @ 9:45pm
The Kentucky women’s basketball team never trailed in tonight’s matchup, defeating the Evansville Purple Aces 100-62 inside Memorial Coliseum. The No. 20 Wildcats hit triple digits for the second time this season, and they improved to 8-1 on the season.
The Cats came out blazing, and the Aces were simply never able to catch up after a dominating Kentucky performance in the first half. Strong inside play by Alyssa Rice and successful three-pointers by both Maci Morris and Taylor Murray gave the Cats a 19-0 lead in the first half. Evansville finally got on the board with a trey by fifth-year senior guard Hannah Noe.
“We just came out and we knew what we had to do and we did it,” Morris said of their early, unanswered points. “We were shooting the ball well and we had energy with our defense.”
Still, the Cats were hot. They hit nearly 60 percent of their field goals and 62.6 percent of their three-pointers in first ten minutes of action. Throughout the quarter, Kentucky did not turn the ball over, while Evansville committed eight turnovers. By the end of the first, the Wildcats held an impressive 35-8 lead.
The Cats cooled off a bit in the second quarter, hitting just three of their final ten shots. Still, Kentucky maintained a substantial lead, and a Morris three-pointer at the buzzer sent the Cats to the locker room leading 52-23.
Morris stayed hot – she did not miss a basket until three minutes into the second half. The junior finished the night with 20 points on 8-9 shooting and 4-5 from behind the three-point line.
“My teammates do a great job getting me open shots,” Morris said. “If the [opposing] team is going to leave me open I know I’ve got to knock it down because it isn’t going to happen that much.”
Another major contributor tonight was forward Tatyana Wyatt. The freshman recorded her first career double-double, claiming 20 points and 10 rebounds in the victory.
“We absolutely believe in her talent and her ability,” Matthew Mitchell said after the game. “She’s extremely poised offensively as a freshman [and] she’s getting better defensively… certainly can improve and get better, but we’re glad she’s on our team.”
Mark your calendars: After two road games, UK Hoops will be back in Memorial Sunday Dec. 17 at 3 p.m. against Louisville. Get ready to throw your L’s down.