Murray Named to Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Watch List
LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky women’s basketball senior guard Taylor Murray, who leads the Wildcats and ranks top-10 nationally with 68 steals this season, has been tabbed one of 15 players to the Naismith Women’s Defensive Player of the Year Midseason Watch List.
Murray is one of four players from the Southeastern Conference on the list, joining last year’s recipient Teaira McCowan (Mississippi State) along with Anriel Howard (Mississippi State) and Caliya Robinson (Georgia). Players not on the midseason watch list are still eligible to be selected as award semifinalists, which will be announced in February.
Murray is having a great season for the Wildcats, averaging 12.7 points per game while leading the team with 70 assists and 68 steals. In just 19 games played this season, Murray already has more steals in 2018-19 than she had in 32 games played last season (67). The strong defensive performance by Murray has moved her up the career steal lists, sitting seventh all-time in program history with 252 career takeaways. The senior needs just 20 more steals to enter the program’s top 5 all-time in steals.
The native of Odenton, Md., who was named to the SEC All-Defensive Team last season by league coaches, is coming off an incredible performance Thursday night against top-25 ranked Missouri, scoring a game-high 21 points with four rebounds, four steals and two assists. Murray scored 19 points in the second half alone with all of her steals coming in the final 20 minutes. The quick guard has posted three or more steals in 14 games this season and has accomplished the feat in 45 career games. Murray has led Kentucky in steals in 67 of her 114 career games played, including 14 times this season.
For more information on the Kentucky women’s basketball team, visit UKathletics.com or follow @KentuckyWBB on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, or Kentucky Women’s Basketball on Facebook.