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UK Hoops Win SEC Tournament Opener

UK Athletics

UK Athletics

UK Athletics

The No. 13 Wildcats took care of business in their first game of the 2016 SEC Tournament. Kentucky defeated LSU for the second time this season, 79-71. This win marks their 7th straight win.

Kentucky started the game off strong, leading for most of the game. A 14-0 run in the first quarter sparked the Cats’ early control of the game. The run was the longest this season against an SEC opponent.

In the first half, Kentucky outscored LSU 24-14 in the paint. After dominating the first half, they went into the locker room with a 41-29 lead.

Evelyn Akhator started the second half off with a hot hand, scoring the first 6 points of the third quarter. Akhator was dominant on the boards and finished with 13 rebounds, seven offensive and six defensive. She would finish with yet another double-double, scoring 15 points to go with 13 boards.

Despite leading by 20 points in the third quarter, LSU fought back and got within nine points in the fourth quarter. The key moment of the game came after a made jumper by Alyssa Rica. Taylor Murray stole the in-bound pass and made a layup to make the lead 13 and ultimately seal the victory.

Kentucky played without Makayla Epps for the final four minutes of the game. Epps left the game with an sore right knee. She said after the game that sitting out was only precautionary and that she will be good to go for tomorrow’s game. Epps finished with 17 points, 14 of those were scored in the first half.

Other top performers included senior Janee Thompson, who finished with 17 points of her own, six assists and four rebounds. Alyssa Rice had one her most productive games. Rice finished with nine points and five rebounds.

Kentucky shot 47.2% from the field and only 9.1% from three-point range. Kentucky’s went ice cold from three point range, only making 1-11 from behind the arc. The only three came from Epps in the second quarter.

Kentucky looked much improved on last second shots. The Cats scored buzzer-beating shots in the first three quarters of the game. The first came on layup from Epps, the second on a layup from Thompson, and third on a jumper from Thompson.

The Wildcats will play Florida tomorrow at 2:30 on the SEC Network.

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Article written by Kindsey Bernhard

Lover of dogs, sports and beer. @kindseybernhard