Women's Basketball

No. 22 Kentucky vs. No. 3 Mississippi State
Memorial Coliseum – Lexington, Ky.
Feb. 23, 2017
Attendance: 5,244

FINAL SCORE (OT): #22 Kentucky 78, #3 Mississippi State 75


Team Records and Series Notes

– Kentucky has now won five in a row and is 20-8 overall, 11-4 in the Southeastern Conference. Mississippi State is 27-2, 13-2 in league play. 
o The Wildcats have now had eight straight 20-win seasons.
o This is the first season UK has had more than 10 conference wins since the 2012-13 season when Kentucky went 13-3 in league play.
– UK is now 3-4 this season against ranked opponents.
– In eight straight seasons, the Wildcats have won on Senior Night.
o UK has now won 12 of its last 14 games on Senior Night. 
o The Wildcats are 32-10 overall in regular-season home finales. 
– This was Kentucky’s first overtime win of the season.
o The Wildcats are 1-2 in overtime games this season.
– Matthew Mitchell is in his 10th season with Kentucky. Mitchell is now 269-126 overall as a head coach, and 239-97 during his tenure at Kentucky. He is 102-52 in regular-season SEC games.
– Kentucky extended its lead in the overall series to 27-17.
o The Wildcats have now won 11 straight contests against the Bulldogs.
o UK is 12-8 in games played in Memorial against MSU.
– The Wildcats will wrap up the 2016-17 regular season on the road Sunday against No. 7 South Carolina at 2 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast live on ESPNU and will also be broadcast live on the UK Sports Network with Neil Price on the call.

Team Notes

– Kentucky used the starting five of Makayla Epps, Evelyn Akhator, Maci Morris, Alyssa Rice and Taylor Murray. 
o UK is now 17-6 this season with that starting-five combination.
– It was Kentucky’s highest ranked win since the Wildcats downed No. 2 South Carolina 67-56 in Memorial Coliseum (03/01/2015), which was also on Senior Night. 
o It was UK’s first win over a top-10 opponent since the same contest.
– The victory marked the second win over a third-ranked opponent all-time (vs. Louisville, 12/01/13).
– Despite a slow start, UK scored 17 of its 19 first-quarter points in the last 4:55 of the quarter to trail by just one (19-18) leading into the second.
o Mississippi State started the game on a 7-0 run.
– Both teams were scoreless in the second quarter until Jaida Roper’s jumper fell with 7:11 to go in the first half. 
o The teams then went shot for shot, as each team scored 12 in the stanza.
– Fueled by Makayla Epps’ hot shooting, Kentucky opened the third quarter on an 8-0 run, but MSU answered back and each team again posted matching 13-point quarters.
o Kentucky led by as many as seven in the quarter.
– In the fourth quarter, the Wildcats were able to score one more point than the Bulldogs, taking the game to overtime.
o It was UK’s third overtime game of the season, and its first overtime victory this year.
o It was Kentucky’s first overtime win since Nov. 15, 2015 when the Wildcats defeated No. 15 Arizona State 68-64.
– With eight seconds left in overtime, Epps had a put back to put the Wildcats up two. Maci Morris would then make a free throw, putting Kentucky up three and Mississippi State would not be able to answer.
– On their Senior Night, Epps and Evelyn Akhator combined for 49 points, 18 rebounds, six assists and four steals.
o Both seniors played 44 of 45 minutes in tonight’s game.
– Kentucky forced 22 turnovers from MSU, a team that was only committing 13.2 turnovers per game before tonight’s game.
o Kentucky scored 16 points off those 22 turnovers.
o UK committed just 9 turnovers in the game.
– The Wildcats won the battle on the offensive boards, 12-8.
– UK outscored the Bulldogs in the paint, 42-28.

Individual Notes

– Evelyn Akhator led the way with a game-high 27 points and 16 rebounds for a double-double.
o It was her 15th double-double of the season and the 29th of her career – both marks ranking fourth in the UK record book.
o The performance was her 9th time leading the team in scoring this season and 15th overall.
– Makayla Epps added 22 points, five assists, two rebounds and two steals.
o The game marked her 11th this season with 20 or more points.
o Her 1,686 career points rank fifth in school history.
o Her 394 assists rank eighth in school history.
– Taylor Murray was the third Wildcat in double-digit scoring with 14 points, two boards, two assists and two steals.
o It was her 16th game with double-figure scoring this season and the 26th of her career.
– Maci Morris had eight points, two rebounds and one block.
o Morris got in foul trouble early, but still added important minutes including a free throw that put UK up three in the final seconds.

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