After losing their first game of the season to Illinois at the Paradise Jam in the Virgin Islands, the 9th ranked Kentucky women’s basketball team came back from down eight points with 1:24 to go to defeat the Oklahoma Sooners 92-88 in overtime. Sophomore Makayla Epps led the way with a career high 29 points and 10 rebounds for the Wildcats in a topsy-turvy affair that featured various nine point leads for both teams before knotting up at 79 at the end of regulation. The Cats are now 5-1 on the year.
For the most part, Kentucky has looked pretty discombobulated in the Virgin Islands, with poor defense, a lot of fouls, and confusion on offense, but Epps and fellow sophomore Linnae Harper have been the bright spots for Kentucky, as Harper also added a career high 23 points and 12 rebounds in the win tonight. Oklahoma had the eight point lead with under 90 seconds remaining but were unable to seal the game with free throws, and a crazy double-foul call with 1.1 seconds left helped the Cats tie it up. Nicole Kornet was running down the court as the Sooners held a 79-78 lead when Harper pulled her jersey, getting called for an intentional foul. As her jersey was getting pulled, Kornet slammed the ball into the ground, resulting in a technical foul. Epps hit 1-2 free throws to tie the game, while OU missed both of theirs and bam. Overtime.
A win is a win and Mitchell and Co. will be happy and relieved to walk out of the gym tonight with a W, but it’s certain Kentucky will need to clean things up to have continued success this season. The Wildcats return for their third and final game of the Paradise Jam tomorrow evening against the South Florida Bulls at 8:15.