It was an odd afternoon for Kentucky’s women’s basketball team, but it all worked out in the end: the No. 11 Cats defeated the Georgia Bulldogs 56-51 in Athens. The win finished out UK’s regular-season schedule, giving them a final record of 11-5 in the SEC and a No. 4 finish in conference standings. Their fourth-place seed will also give the Wildcats a double-bye week for the SEC tournament.
The Cats found themselves with little output from the season’s three highest scorers: Rhyne Howard, Maci Morris and Taylor Murray finished with a combined 16 points. Howard had seven points, Morris had six and Murray had three. Without strong contributions from Kentucky’s typical offensive leaders, other Wildcats had to step up, starting with Tatyana Wyatt. The sophomore forward finished with a season-high 17 points. Amanda Paschal and Jaida Roper finished with eight points apiece, while Blair Green added five of her own.
On the game, Kentucky shot 37.5 percent from the field (21-56) and 46.2 percent (6-13) from deep. The Bulldogs had the advantage at the end of every quarter, excluding, of course, the final one. UK’s offense found its groove early in the fourth period, and a 9-0 run cut a five-point deficit into a four-point lead for the Wildcats.
But the Bulldogs didn’t go down without a fight – Georgia answered with a short 6-2 run and a three-pointer. But Kentucky’s Roper drained a three-pointer of her own to give the Cats a 55-51 lead with under a minute remaining. And even though she struggled offensively, Maci Morris once again showcased why she’s so special to this team: she’s absolutely clutch. She nailed her final two free throws, as did Wyatt, to give the Cats a ‘W’ in their final game of the regular season. In the fourth quarter, the Cats went 8-16 from the floor to outscore Georgia 23-14.
With the loss, Georgia falls to 18-11 on the season and 9-7 in the SEC. The Bulldogs were led by Gabby Connally, who finished just ahead of Wyatt for a game-high 18 points.
Here are the highlights:
Kentucky returns to action Friday for the SEC Tournament. Their opponent hasn’t been decided at this time, but tipoff is set for around 2:30 p.m. The matchup will take place in Greenville, South Carolina, and the game can be seen on the SEC Network.