Kentucky jumped out to a 21-point lead. I didn’t think UK would win the football →
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Coach Matthew Mitchell got his 200th win with Kentucky this afternoon in Memorial Coliseum when the Hoops squad beat Jackson State, 92-24. Today’s win marks the first time Kentucky has won a game by 60 or more since the Grambling State game in 2013.
Both teams struggled in the first quarter, with Kentucky only making 6 out of 19 of their shots. Towards the end of the second period, the Cats went on a 24-0 run, the largest of the year, extending the lead to 28 points with 3:25 to go in the half. Makayla Epps made her first basket of the afternoon at the halftime buzzer to give the Cats a 30 point lead. At the break, Kentucky had two players in double-digit scoring, Taylor Murray with 11 and Akhator with 13. Kentucky demolished JSU in the paint, outscoring them 26-2. The Cats forced 24 TO’s in the first two quarters alone, converting 28 points off of them.
Kentucky cruised through the second half, shooting 45.2% from the field. The Cats continued to dominate the Lady Tigers defensively, forcing 13 turnovers in the second half, and holding them to 4.2% from the field (yes, you read that right.) Evelyn Akhator ended the game with a double-double, 20 points and 13 rebounds, joining four other UK players in double-digit scoring: Jennings with 10 points and 9 rebounds, Janee Thompson with 15 points and 7 assists, Makayla Epps with 12 points and 9 assists, and Taylor Murray with a career high 13.
Here’s Kentucky’s box score:
The Cats will now look to Northern Kentucky on Wednesday in Highland Heights, KY at 7pm. The game after that will be against UofL in Rupp on the 10th. Be there or be square, BBN.
By Haley Simpson on ©November 25th, 2015 @ 3:30pm
Matthew Mitchell’s Cats beat the Eastern Michigan University Eagles 89-67 today. Coming back from a three point deficit at the end of the first period.
Kentucky struggled at the start, getting up with an early 8-4 lead, but lost it quickly with EMU first tying it at 13 and then Getting as far down as 22-19 at the end of the first period. The Cats and Eagles went back and forth for the remainder of the first half. But thanks to a 15-2 run in the second period Kentucky went into half time with a 2-point lead at 37-35.
The Cats were able to pull away in the second half due to a 24-4 run at the end of the third period that extended the lead to 66-47. With a comfortable lead, Kentucky went into the fourth period and continued to stretch the lead 86-67 at the end.
Makayla Epps lead the team today with 21 points and eight assists. Janee Thompson also became the fourth player to reach a double-double this season with 16 points and 10 assists just after narrowly avoiding one against Morehead State earlier in the season. Freshman Maci Morris also had a career day collecting 17 points, six rebounds and two assists and going 5-6 from behind the line.
Kentucky also shot a 59.6% field-goal percentage, the best they’ve had since playing Arkansas in 2007 at 60.7%, while holding EMU to just 33.7%.
The Cats next game will be Sunday against Jackson State at 2 in Memorial Coliseum.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©November 25th, 2015 @ 10:45am
What’s better than spending time with your family over the holidays? Spending time at UK games with your family over the holidays. UK is rolling out some big deals for you to make that happen.
Use the promo code SAVE for $7 off select men’s and women’s basketball games in Rupp Arena and gain access to buy 1, get 1 free savings on tickets to the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Regional and the NCAA Division I Volleyball Regional, hosted by Kentucky. Save big on the following games:
Kentucky Men’s Basketball vs. Illinois State – $30 ($7 savings)
Kentucky Men’s Basketball vs. Eastern Kentucky – $30 ($7 savings)
Kentucky Women’s Basketball vs. Louisville – $2 ($7 savings)
Kentucky Women’s Basketball vs. Duke – $2 ($7 savings)
NCAA Women’s Basketball Regional – ($7 savings)
While it was a little bit chilly here in Lexington today, the Hoops were hot, taking down the Colorado Buffaloes, 86-61.
After a momentary delay due to smoke on the court from the intros, Colorado came out with defensive force, slowing down the Cats considerably to start the first quarter. Even though the Buffaloes size proved a little difficult for the Cats to see over, Kentucky was able to turn the tables on Colorado’s defense, forcing the Buffaloes to turn it over 4 times in the last 5 minutes of the half. At the break, Kentucky led, 42-21. In the first two quarters, the Cats shot 46% from the field, and made half of their 3 pointers.
The Cats continued to run away with the score in the second half. After a quiet first two quarters, Maci Morris caught fire from the three point range, scoring back-to-back three pointers in the third quarter, and accumulating 8 out of her 13 points in the second half alone. “I think my best attribute is my shooting, but I’m working on my defense every day,” Morris said in her post-game comments. Janee Thompson also had a great second half, getting 8 out of her 17 points and 5 of her assists in the last two quarters. Even after Colorado’s Beard-Fails went down with a face injury, the Buffs continued to fight on, scoring 15 points in the final 4 minutes of the game, but Kentucky was too much for them. Cats win by 25.
Kentucky forced 21 turnovers in the game, converting 22 points off of them. The Cats had an unbelievable shooting game, hitting 49% from the field, and 61% from the three point range. The Cats’ 11 for 18 three pointers is the most 3 point FGs made since hitting 12 against Auburn in 2013. “It was a good offensive day,” Matthew Mitchell said. “We just really try to work on our poise and our timing. Sometimes when you play at a frenetic pace, it’s hard to slow down.” Kentucky also had five players in double-digit scoring: Thompson (17 points, 7 assists), Morris (13), Akhator (10), Jennings (10), and Taylor Murray with 10. Akhator was only one rebound away from a double-double. Makayla Epps had 7 points, 6 assists, and 4 rebounds.
The Cats will face Eastern Michigan on Wednesday at noon in Memorial Coliseum on the SEC Network+. See you then! Go Cats.
Before Matthew Mitchell’s team took the court to prepare for tomorrow’s home game against Colorado, they delivered Thanksgiving food baskets around Lexington.
It doesn’t end there. Ahead of the holidays, they want to help feed as many as possible. If you bring in a canned good for their “Thanks for Giving” promotion, you’ll receive a $2 general admission ticket to tomorrow’s 2:00 game.
Help others and watch some Hoops…my kind of Sunday.
No. 13 Women’s Hoops defeated the Morehead State Eagles 112-57 tonight, making history along the way.
Despite the ugly play for both teams on both sides of the ball, Kentucky came out and got an early lead. Getting up 27-12 thanks to Evelyn Akhator who played viciously, gathering six points and eight rebounds in just 10 minutes of play.
The Cats continued to stretch the lead in the second quarter, getting the lead to 54-32 at the half. The Cats out-rebounded the Eagles’ 32-22 and held them to 33% from the field, something they aren’t used to since they averaged 111 points before coming to Memorial Coliseum tonight.
The second half was much of the same story. The Cats continued to dominate both offensively and defensively. Doubling the score right before the end of the third period at 82-40 just before Morehead State responded with a three. Kentucky eventually hit the century mark in the fourth quarter, getting up 106-54 with 2:11 in the game.
Junior guard Makayla Epps was without a doubt Kentucky’s hero tonight. In her first game back in Memorial since serving her suspension and suffering a concussion before her first game Sunday against Arizona State, Epps played all forty minutes and had a triple-double.
The initial plan was not for Epps to play the entire game. It wasn’t until junior Kyvin Goodin-Rogers was unable to play due to a concussion and freshman Maci Morris fouled out in the second half that Mitchell decided to do that, claiming he didn’t want to put that much pressure on senior Janee Thompson since she is still overcoming a brutal ankle injury.
“Makayla needed to carry the heavy load tonight because she can, she’s in fantastic shape and is a smart basketball player and she can do it. We may need her to do it again,” Mitchell said.
Epps also made history tonight, becoming only the second person to hit a triple-double in Kentucky women’s basketball history. She is however the first one to do it with a combination of points, rebounds and assists (the other was points, rebounds and steals). Epps had 21 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists tonight, leading the team in assists.
The most exciting part for Epps about her triple-double? Getting to tell her father, Anthony, who is a former men’s basketball player at Kentucky. Forget about making history.
“Now I’ve got one up on my dad. I’m going to text him because he is always on me, but I’m going to tell him ‘but you’ve never got a triple-double,’” Epps said.
Besides Epps, three other players had double-doubles, for the first time in school history since 1989. Evelyn Akhator had 12 points and 16 rebounds; Alexis Jennings had 28 points and 13 rebounds; and then Epps. Janee Thompson came up one assist short of a double-double with 22 points and 9 assists. Had Thompson gotten that tenth assist it would have been the first time that women’s hoops had four players hit a double-double ever.
When it comes to other records, Kentucky tied their school record for the most rebounds in a game at 67. They also were one away from the assist record at 32.
Depsite first half woes, Kentucky still dominated on both sides of the court. The Cats outscored the Eagles in the paint 70-22 and out-rebounded them 67-42. They also forced 26 turnovers overall, turning them into 25 points.
However, Mitchell and his team are adamant that they still need to improve. Mitchell was unimpressed with his teams performance in the first half. Asserting that Morehead was playing more aggressively than they were.
“I really challenged the team to come out in the second half and be more aggressive and compete with more intensity,” Mitchell said.
And they did.
Akhator, who went down hard in the second half on her leg, will be fine after tweaking her ankle a bit. She had it wrapped tightly with ice around it and Mitchell expects to see her in practice tomorrow.
The Hoops Cats next game will be this Sunday at 2 p.m. in Memorial Coliseum against Colorado.
By Nick Roush on ©November 18th, 2015 @ 8:45pm
The last time a women’s basketball player at the University of Kentucky recorded a triple-double, it was 1986. Tonight in her first game back at Memorial Coliseum since serving a suspension, Makayla Epps recorded a triple-double with 16 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.
The third quarter just ended, leaving her time to add more to the stat sheet.
Haley Simpson and J.C. Ausmus will have more from Memorial after the game.
Women’s hoops proved just how resilient Matthew Mitchell has said they are all season tonight, fighting back from a double-digit deficit at halftime to defeat Arizona State in overtime 68-64.
The 15th ranked Sun Devil’s seemingly ran away with the game in the first half. Even though the Cats were up 12-10 at the end of the first quarter, Arizona State got hot from behind the three point line and spread the lead to 29-17 at half time. The Sun Devil’s also closed the half with a 20-5 run, while three Cats (Makayla Epps, Kyvin Goodin-Rogers, and Maci Morris) were benched with two fouls each, an issue when your bench only runs four deep.
Batouly Camara went off in the third quarter, scoring all 10 of her points. This, along with a Janee Thompson three pointer at the last second to bring the Cats within one point at 39-38 at the end of the quarter.
Kentucky battled in the fourth quarter, tying the game at 54 with 40 seconds remaining off an Epps layup and an Evelyn Akhator steal and put back to Taylor Murray. Arizona State responded and sent Epps to the line where she would hit both her free throws to keep the game tied at 56.
During overtime, the Cats and Sun Devils went back and forth until Epps made a jumper inside the arch with 30 seconds left to give them a two point lead at 66-64. After Arizona State missed a three, they sent Epps to line where she made both her free throws to seal the win at 68-64.
Tonight was also Epps first night back since serving her suspension and suffering from a concussion last week. She started both halves, totaled 20 points and five rebounds and was a major contributor to the Cats fourth quarter rally.
Also, even though JC and I were not there, Devin Booker made an appearance at the game.
— Devin Booker (@DevinBook) November 15, 2015
Women’s Hoops next game will be Wednesday against Morehead State at 7 in Memorial.
By Miss J.C. Ausmus on ©November 13th, 2015 @ 9:57pm
As the men dominated the floor in Rupp Arena this evening, the UK Hoops team squared off against Rice University in their season opener in Memorial Coliseum. Kentucky came out with the victory, 72-39.
It was a slow start offensively for both teams, but Rice really seemed to struggle against Kentucky’s size and defense. In the best UCLA impersonation I have ever seen, the Owls didn’t get a basket that wasn’t from the free throw line until 6:06 left in the first half, but by then it was too late; Kentucky was was up 18 at the end of the half and didn’t let their foot off the gas. The Cats shot 48% from the field and 33.3% from the three point range in the first half, along with 10 steals, 10 blocks, and 13 turnovers. At the half, Maci Morris (Bell County, represent!!) and Taylor Murray both led the team in scoring with 10 points each. Evelyn Akhator had nine rebounds.
Rice started the second half by missing all but one of their first six field goals, allowing Kentucky to extend the lead by 33 points at the end of the third quarter. In the second half alone, the Cats shot 51.7% from the field and made 5 out of 8 of their three point shots. Four Cats ended the game in double digit scoring, Maci Morris and Evelyn Akhator with 16, Alexis Jennings with 10, and Taylor Murray, who Coach Mitchell said had a heck of game, tallied 12 points for her Kentucky debut. Janee Thompson led the team with six assists.
With such a short bench, foul trouble may be a issue this team faces this year. Mid-way through the third quarter, three of Kentucky’s eight available players had three fouls. “We knew it was going to be a difficult night just from the numbers standpoint,” Coach Mitchell said after the game.
Mitchell also complimented the game’s leading scorer, Maci Morris (16 points) after the game. “[Maci] is a good player, she is a tough, tough kid and has a great attitude and is very resilient. She doesn’t hang her head. She got physically dominated on some toughness plays [because of] her youth and inexperience. I challenged her at halftime, since she turned it over four times in the first half, and she only turned it over twice in the second half. She is a really, really mentally tough kid. ”
Evelyn Akhator ended the game with a double-double, 16 points and 17 rebounds “Evelyn was upset in the hallway,” Matthew Mitchell said. “She wanted 20 rebounds and only came up with 17. So we’ll work on that.” During player interviews, Akhator said she wasn’t joking, 20 rebounds a game was her goal–5 rebounds every quarter.
Although her suspension is now over, Makayla Epps is still in the concussion protocol, but Coach Mitchell said if everything goes smoothly in the upcoming practices she will be available for the game on Sunday against Arizona State.
The Cats will face the Sun Devils on Sunday at 5:30 pm est in Tempe. The game will be televised on the PAC-12 Network.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©November 11th, 2015 @ 4:26pm
Last week, Bullitt East star Lindsey Duvall committed to Kentucky, giving UK Hoops a major boost. The 2017 guard is a a top 10 recruit in her class, but today, some really unfortunate news just broke. Jason Frakes is reporting that Duvall will miss her junior season after a tumor was found near her left knee.
Duvall will have surgery in Louisville tomorrow, after which doctors will determine whether or not the tumor is malignant. If all goes well, she’ll be ready to go for her senior season next year.
Best wishes to Lindsey and her family in this difficult time.
Kentucky secured the win early on, leading 24-13 at the end of the first quarter. Janee Thompson, who returned for the first time after brutally breaking her leg last year, and freshman Maci Morris came out hot putting up early points on the board with a couple of threes and field-goals.
At the half, the Cats led 44-27 and ran with the game from that point on. The third quarter opened with UK going 5-6 from the field and closed the game with a 10-0 run that put them just five points shy of the century mark.
Union didn’t want to go down without a fight though. A team who lead Division-2 women’s basketball in three’s last year made 17 tonight with 24 out of 27 of their second half points coming from three-pointers. The Lady Bulldogs challenged Kentucky’s perimeter defense all night, but the Cats dominated in the paint out-rebounding them 23-14 and out-scoring them six to 50.
Alexis Jennings (20), Thompson (17) Batouly Camara (15), Evelyn Akhator and Kyvin Goodin-Rogers (12) and Maci Morris (10) all scored in the double-digits tonight. Jennings also would have gotten what would have been her second career double-double if it had not been an exhibition game as she had 12 rebounds.
Matthew Mitchell commended his teams effort tonight and the past week. Noting that the last week had been fun and that they have progressed a lot. Ranked 17 in the USA Today/Coaches Preseason Top 25 and 18 in the Associated Press Top 25, he says that while they have quite the distance to go as a team, they have great attitudes and as long as they stay coachable they will go far.
“We have a long way to go as a team, but I feel really good about their effort, attitude and energy,” Mitchell said.
The last twenty days have been nothing but normal for Matthew Mitchell’s squad with three people leaving the program (Chrishae Rowe, Linnae Harper and Morgan Rich) as well as an injury that will leave Alyssa Rice out for over a month. Mitchell is proud, though, of how his team has reacted and responded to the adversity that has faced them. They’ve been able to block all of negativity that has been surrounding them in the pre-season and not let it enter the building.
“I really credit the players for being resilient. That’s one of the things that we want this team to embrace is having that quality of resilience as a team,” Mitchell said.
While for the freshman and Akhator it was their first game in a Wildcat uniform, Thompson suited up for the first time since missing the last 17 games of last season after a nasty leg injury against South Carolina. She now has a piece of metal in her leg that, according to Mitchell, she is having to adjust to, but she was excited to get back on the court tonight with her team.
“I had some nerves because it’s been so long. But it felt good. Everything felt normal. I mean, I’ve been playing for all my life, pretty much. So everything pretty much came back to me easily, and it was just basketball,” Thompson said.
While the Cats had a good showing tonight, this is just the tip of the ice-berg for them. Mitchell believes that they have a long way to go before they reach their full potential, plus they’ll have all of their players back and healthy. Akhator had her hand wrapped tonight due to a hand-sprain that occurred in practice this week so she wasn’t 100%. Also, Makayla Epps will return at Arizona State on Nov. 15. However, she was noticeably absent from the bench tonight because she is on concussion protocol after getting an elbow to the face this week that resulted in a possible broken nose according to Mitchell.
UK Hoops’ next game will be Friday against Rice at 7pm in Memorial Coliseum.
And we’re down to eight players for the exhibition game on Sunday. Jen Smith of the Herald-Leader is reporting that UK Hoops sophomore Alyssa Rice, who averaged 2.9 ppg and 2.7 rpg, will be out at least a month with a stress reaction in her right foot.
With Makayla Epps out for the first two games of the season serving her suspension, only eight players will be available for Sunday’s exhibition against Union and next Friday’s game against Rice: Maci Morris, Taylor Murray, Batouly Camara, Evelyn Akhator, and Ivana Jakubcova, along with Janee Thompson, Alexis Jennings, and Kyvin Goodin-Rogers.
If all goes well, Alyssa Rice will be back on the floor for the Cats in early December.
The Cats will face Union University in Memorial on Sunday at 5pm.
Preseason needs to end now.
There’s been a mass exodus around the women’s basketball program this preseason, but Matthew Mitchell got some good news late tonight. Class of 2017 guard and Mount Washington native, Lindsey Duvall, committed to the Cats.
The Bullitt East Charger is not only one of the best players in the state, she’s ranked as the #3 point guard in the nation and #10 overall. Coach Cal got Derek Willis out of Bullitt East a few years back, but Matthew Mitchell might have the better deal with Ms. Duvall.
The third player in as many weeks is transferring out of the UK Hoops program. Morgan Rich, a freshman guard out of Scottsville, KY and Allen County High School has requested a transfer, per a release from UK Athletics.
As a senior at Allen Co., Rich averaged 20 points and 7 rebounds and was the high school’s all time leading scorer. According to ESPN, she was the 93rd best player in the 2015 class. Like Makayla Epps, Rich also sat out of Big Blue Madness because she had not met certain program standards.
“We appreciate Morgan’s work while she was part of our program and wish her nothing but continued success,” said Coach Matthew Mitchell.
This is following news released today that the Hoops received a #17/18 ranking in the two preseason polls.
Kentucky will only have nine available players for their first exhibition game on Sunday, as Makayla Epps is still out on suspension.
The Hoops will face Union University in Memorial on Sunday at 5 pm.
Ladies and Gentlemen, we are under a week away from the first game of the UK Hoops season! News just came out that the UK Hoops are ranked in the top twenty in both of the major preseason polls, #17 in the USA Today/Coaches Preseason Top 25 and #18 in the AP Preseason Top 25.
These rankings mark the sixth straight season that Kentucky has been in the top 20 of both major polls to tip off the season. Other SEC teams included in the preseason polls are #2/2 South Carolina, #4/4 Tennessee, #13/11 Mississippi State, and #16/13 Texas A&M. Kentucky will also face ranked teams #8/8 UofL, #12/14 Duke, and #15/15 Arizona State.
The Hoops’ first game is this Sunday at 5pm in Memorial Coliseum against Union University. The Cats’ regular season begins on November 13th vs. Rice in Memorial at 7pm.