KENTUCKY WOMEN’S BASKETBALL POSTGAME NOTES
No. 22 Kentucky at No. 7 South Carolina
Colonial Life Arena
Feb. 26, 2017
FINAL SCORE: #22 Kentucky 87, #7 South Carolina 95
Team Records and Series Notes
– Kentucky ends the regular season 20-9 overall, 11-5 in the Southeastern Conference. South Carolina is 24-4, 14-2 in league play and secured the SEC regular season title with their win today.
o This was the second meeting between the two teams this season, with USC earning a 75-63 victory in Memorial Coliseum on Feb. 2.
o South Carolina has won five straight in the series.
– UK is now 3-5 this season against ranked opponents.
– Matthew Mitchell is in his 10th season with Kentucky. Mitchell is now 269-127 overall as a head coach, and 239-98 during his tenure at Kentucky. He is 102-53 in regular-season SEC games.
– Kentucky now trails 26-34 in the overall series.
– With UK’s win over No. 3 Mississippi State on Thursday, the Wildcats secured either the No. 3 or 4 seed to earn a double bye in the SEC Tournament. Kentucky will play its first game of the tournament on Friday, March 3. The game will be broadcast on SEC Network.
– Kentucky used the starting five of Makayla Epps, Evelyn Akhator, Maci Morris, Alyssa Rice and Taylor Murray.
o UK is now 17-7 this season with that starting-five combination.
– Kentucky had five players score in double digits for just the second time this season (vs. New Hampshire, 11/17/16) and the first time in league play this season.
– The Wildcats’ 87 points marked their second-highest scoring total in league play this season (89 vs. Ole Miss, 01/26/17).
– Kentucky trailed 25-17 at the end of the first quarter, after South Carolina opened the game going 7-of-7 from the floor.
– In the second quarter, UK and USC posted matching 23-point quarters to head to the locker room at halftime with Kentucky trailing 48-40.
o South Carolina led by as many as 14 in the quarter.
– Kentucky cut USC’s lead to five in the third quarter before the Gamecocks went on an 8-0 run to get its lead back to 13.
o UK trailed by 10 (55-65) at the end of the third period.
– Despite USC matching its largest lead (14) in the final stanza (64-78), the Wildcats went on a 10-2 run to come as close as six points.
– Both teams kept the turnovers low, each only turning the ball over nine times.
– UK used quickness to its advantage, posting 17 fast break points to USC’s two.
– The Wildcats’ 26 fouls were the most committed this season.
– Kentucky’s nine made 3-pointers matched its highest total made from beyond the arc in SEC play this season (9-of-19 vs. Missouri, 01/05/17).
– Despite the height disadvantage, South Carolina only outrebounded UK by two, 31-29.
– Taylor Murray led all scorers with a career-high 29 points.
o She also dished out a team-high five assists.
o Set a new career high in scoring for the fourth time this season.
o Matched her career high in made 3s, going 2-of-6 from the 3-point line.
o Has been perfect from the free throw line in ten contests this season, going a perfect 9-of-9 from the charity stripe today.
– Makenzie Cann posted 15 points, two boards and two steals.
o It was the first time she’d scored in double digits since her 11-point performance against Georgia on Jan. 15.
o Her 15 points mark her second-highest scoring performance of the season.
o It was only the second time she’s scored in double figures in league play, and the sixth time overall this season.
– Evelyn Akhator added 14 points, eight rebounds and one assist.
o The senior scored in double digits for the 24th time in her career and the 47th time in her career.
– Maci Morris also scored 14 points and added two rebounds and one assist.
o Morris has now made a 3-pointer in 23-of-29 games this season, going 2-of-6 from beyond the 3-point line today.
– Makayla Epps had 10 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals.
o In her final regular season game as a Wildcat, Epps fouled out for the first time in her career.