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.