No. 15 UK Hoops bounced back after tough loss to Louisville last Sunday with a 61-48 win over Middle Tennessee tonight. If you missed the game, here’s the rundown:
We saw Jaida Roper tonight
The freshman from Memphis played a total of 18 minutes and scored 7 points tonight. She subbed in for Makayla Epps in the second period, a player who needed some rest after playing the entire Louisville overtime game on Sunday.
“She had her best game of the season, she gave our team confidence,” said Matthew Mitchell.
Roper has been working hard in practice, coming in early and staying late for extra workouts. Mitchell said this game was no surprise and that she has been “building up to this.”
Akhator is back
Akhator got in some foul trouble against Louisville and didn’t play much. But, tonight the senior came back with another double-double. Akhator had 13 points (2 of which came from an impressive left-handed hook) and 12 rebounds in her 30 minutes of playing time. Akhator, Roper and Murray all had to step up when Epps was on the bench in the second period.
“We could’ve panicked then but we didn’t. we were able to go into halftime with the lead,” said Matthew Mitchell about Makayla Epps sitting out.
MTSU came out hot…then fizzled out.
The Middle Tennessee State University Blue Raiders came out really hot. Senior Ty Petty had 5 3-pointers in the first half alone. But, when Jaida Roper and the Cats started getting hot, MTSU fizzled out. With only one senior on the team, the young players felt the pressure and got out-rebounded 44-22.
Taylor FREAKIN Murray
Murray has been on a roll! After a season high 21 points on Sunday, she lead the team and scored 16 points and had 7 rebounds tonight. The sophomore guard was electric tonight and gave the team energy especially throughout the second half.
“When someone’s out it’s my job to step up and make sure the team is relaxed,” said Murray.
Get to Rupp on Sunday
UK Hoops takes on Arizona State this Sunday in Rupp Arena at 1pm. If you’re looking for a BBN-related activity before the Men’s team takes on Hofstra – come to this. If you haven’t been to a Women’s game yet – come to this. Last season, UK Hoops got an exciting overtime win over Arizona State so it should be a good game.
In the words of Matthew Mitchell: “If you need a warm place to go on Sunday come to the game because Rupp Arena will be on FIRE!”
Let’s pack the house on Sunday! Tickets and info can be found here