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Kentucky women’s basketball falls to Vanderbilt, 70-55

The women’s basketball team suffered another tough loss tonight, falling 70-55 to Vanderbilt. The Wildcats played without the season’s leading scorer Maci Morris, who is still out with a knee bone-bruise injury, and the Cats couldn’t compensate for her missing offensive spark. Tonight’s loss drops Kentucky’s record to 9-10 overall and 1-4 in the SEC.

The Wildcats struggled from the beginning; both teams remained scoreless for the first 5:14 of the game and the Cats failed to get a bucket until only four minutes remained in the quarter. They found a groove by the end of the first quarter, going on a 6-0 run and holding a 10-7 advantage at the end of the period. But it wouldn’t last, as the Commodores responded in the second quarter with a 15-0 run.

Taylor Murray served as Kentucky’s sole offensive power in the first half, scoring 12 of the Cats’ 20 points. She finished the day with a season-high 23 points and a career-high seven steals in her full 40 minutes of play. She was the only player to hit double-digit scoring.

“Taylor was really tough and we need her to play that way,” Coach Matthew Mitchell said after the game. “We will have to see if we can get some [other] players to step up and play that way.”

Freshman KeKe McKinney showed she has the potential to be that player. The freshman added nine points and six rebounds in tonight’s matchup. Senior Makenzie Cann was limited, playing just 15 minutes and scoring zero points. After the game, Mitchell said Cann is dealing with a foot injury, and her reps have been limited.

“You have to congratulate Vanderbilt tonight. They played a tough game and clearly wanted the game more than us and that is disappointing,” Mitchell said. “We have to get back at it and see if we can get better.”

The Cats will look to get back on track Sunday, when Kentucky will host South Carolina at Rupp Arena. Tipoff is set for noon and the game can be seen on ESPNU.


Article written by Maggie Davis

I love sports, podcasts, long walks on the beach and Twitter (@MaggieDavisKSR)

6 Comments for Kentucky women’s basketball falls to Vanderbilt, 70-55

  1. Jonathan40330
    10:17 pm January 15, 2018 Permalink

    The fact that Matthew Mitchell was given an extension by Barnhart is simply indefensible at this point.

    • Rembrandt
      7:22 am January 16, 2018 Permalink

      It isn’t “indefensible”. If you are anti-Mitch, then nothing will convince you otherwise.

      With that being said, the women’s basketball program is in a period of rebuild because last year’s seniors are gone and last year’s recruiting class took a big hit. It remains to be seen where this ultimately leads.

      The rationale for keeping Mitchell was that he earned the extension with his body of work over the course of his coaching tenure at UK. Since he inherited a program in distress and built it into a ranked program, there was some justification for that line of reasoning. His fate now hangs on the rebuild.

      Another point of view would be that last year’s exodus of assistant coaches, younger players, and recruits should have cooked Mitchell’s career despite everything else he has accomplished here. I imagine it was a close call, and that perspective would have prevailed if anyone had put forward a justifiable personal accusation against Mitchell himself. But that didn’t happen. To his credit, Mitch doesn’t abruptly fire veteran UK coaches without a specific reason. The guy in the big chair doesn’t have the luxury of pontification.

  2. BluKudzu
    5:50 am January 16, 2018 Permalink

    Wow. This is bad.
    Vandy, prior to last night, had only won 4 games, and none since December.
    Since the mass exodus of players at the end of the season (two years ago?), The hoops program has been in decline.
    Will Matthew Mitchell be dancing again at the next midnight madness?

  3. channell
    8:50 am January 16, 2018 Permalink

    There is no way to defend a loss to a team that has only won 4 games prior to last night. This was a beatdown by probably the worst women’s team in the U.S.. Go Cats!. This product will not fill the seats at Memorial . Wait till next year, maybe.

  4. Joe DBBK
    5:13 pm January 16, 2018 Permalink

    Embarrassing loss and tougher road ahead for Mitchell and Company this season. I believe Mitchell has assembled a more than capable staff that can effectively develop players within their capabilities – and we have some solid freshmen. How visibly and quickly that development takes place this season and how well Mitchell recruits this year I believe also will factor into the equation as to his future here along with record and attendance. I wish Mitchell and the team well and will continue to support them as an alum and season ticket holder. I can’t quarrel with other folks who feel differently, however, if we continue to produce more bad losses like this one this season.