Both teams started the game strong, with UK Hoops starting 4-of-10 from the field, while Mizzou scored 5-of-8. Kentucky found themselves lacking defensively shortly in to the first period and the Tigers were able to take their biggest lead of the game at 18-11. Mizzou scored 11-of-14 during the first period, while the Cats found themselves only scoring two field goals in the last five minutes of the quarter. The score at the end of the first period was 26-15.
The second period started with the Tigers gaining a 16-point lead over Kentucky, but the Cats were able to turn up the heat defensively. The Tigers had a clear advantage in paint points at the beginning of the second quarter, going 14-4 against the Cats, but by halftime, UK Hoops had brought that number to 16-12. A shot from No. 24 Taylor Murray at the buzzer cut the Mizzou’s lead to 9. Mizzou was 16-of-25 from the field, while Kentucky was 13-of-29 by halftime. The score at halftime was 41-32, with the Tigers still holding the lead.
No. 45 Alyssa Rice started the second half with her second block of the game, ranking her at the 10th all-time in program history in career blocks with 81. The Cats trimmed Mizzou’s lead to five with a 4-0 run early in the quarter, but the Tigers responded with a 10-2 run that put the score at 51-38 halfway through the third period. The Tigers found success with scoring in the third quarter, hitting 63% of their shots. The score at the end of the third period was 59-46.
It was another nail biting finish for UK Hoops. Kentucky was trailing 73-65 with two minutes left in the game, but a free throw from No. 4 Maci Morris cut Mizzou’s lead to seven. Three free throws from No. 14 Tatyana Wyatt, along with two free throws and a three from Murray, helped the Cats to hang on in the final moments of the game. With 7.2 seconds left, the score was 81-78 with the Tigers holding a small lead. Two free throws from the Tigers helped Mizzou secure their win. The final score was 83-78.
The Cats will be on the road again to play Mississippi State University on Sunday, Feb 11 at 2 pm. UK Hoops will be back in Memorial on Thursday, Feb 15 at 7 pm to take on the University of Arkansas.