It was a bittersweet senior day for No. 15 Jessica Hardin and No. 45 Alyssa Rice, who both started in today’s game against Mississippi State. Unfortunately the game ended in an 85-63 loss to Mississippi State.
The crowd at Memorial Coliseum were on their feet early as UK Hoops started the game strong. The score was 9-3, but Mississippi State took the lead with four straight threes. The score at the end of the first quarter was 21-18, with the Cats hitting 7-of-17 from the field.
While the second quarter started with UK Hoops in possession of the ball, they missed their first two shots. A three and a layup from Mississippi State allowed them to increase their lead to 26-18. The Cats were able to cut this lead to late in the second quarter, but a 6-0 run from Mississippi State put the score at 46-31 at the end of the half. No. 4 Maci Morris hit 16 points in the first half, but Mississippi State, who averages seven threes per game, had already hit six in the first half.
The Bulldogs increased this lead in the third quarter, shooting 10-for-13 from the field and hitting multiple threes. By the end of the third quarter, Mississippi State had hit 8-of-14 in threes, putting the score at 68-49.
While the Bulldogs secured a win in the final quarter, Morris scored 22 points. This game was her sixth-straight 20-plus scoring game, making her the only player in the SEC to do that this season. Seniors Hardin and Rice also found themselves receiving a standing ovation from Memorial Coliseum at the end of the game. The final score was 85-63.
While this is UK Hoops last home game for the season, the first round of the SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament will take place on Wednesday, February 28 at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee.