For the second time this week, Kentucky Women’s Basketball is facing a loss, this time on their home court. After losing on the road to Missouri on Monday, one would assume the Cats would bounce back and give No. 4 South Carolina a fight inside Memorial Coliseum. However, that was not the case as Kentucky fell to the Gamecocks 75-63 tonight. So what happened?
This team does not work if Evelyn Akhator is off
Kentucky’s defense and much of their offense is centered around Akhator, so when she is off, the entire team is off. The senior center averages a double-double with 15.1 points and 10.4 rebounds per game. Tonight, Akhator was far from that with just seven rebounds and seven points in 34 minutes of play.
South Carolina’s height was too much for the Cats to handle
Most of the reasoning behind Akhator’s off night stems from South Carolina’s height. The Gamecocks play with two girls in the front court who are both taller than 6’3 Akhator. A’ja Wilson, 6’5, and Alania Coates, 6’4, ran a drill on Akhator under the basket both scoring 20 points each. To top it off Wilson grabbed nine rebounds and Coates took 18 of her own. On the other end of the court, South Carolina’s front court shut down both Akhator and Kentucky’s other big, Alyssa Rice who only had 10 points and two rebounds.
The Cats could not hit the broadside of a barn
Offense for the Cats tonight was just as bad as their defense. Kentucky shot just 34 percent from the field compared to South Carolin’s 50 percent. The three-point percentage differential wasn’t as gaudy just a five percent difference between the Gamecock’s 37% and the Cats 32%.
The second quarter was a killer
If you watched just the first 10 minutes of tonight’s game you could say the Cats had a chance against one of the most dominant teams in modern day women’s basketball. At the end of the quarter, the Cats only trailed 25-21 and had even held the lead at some points in the quarter. The second quarter was a different story. Just like in Monday’s loss against Missouri, Kentucky could not get things rolling in the second quarter. On Monday, the Cats were two of 12 in the second and tonight they were two for 15 in the second. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the Cats seven minute scoring drought resulted in an 18-0 run for the Gamecocks.
Read Savannah’s recap here.