Kentucky Rally Comes Up Short at Missouri
COLUMBIA, Mo. – Robyn Benton scored 22 points and Jada Walker had 15 but a late rally came up just short as the Kentucky women’s basketball team lost at Missouri 74-71 on Thursday night.
Blair Green had 13 points for the Cats and Maddie Scherr had 11 points, five rebounds and three assists.
Kentucky (8-5, 0-1 SEC) used its pressure defense to force 25 Missouri turnovers and the Cats turned those into 36 points. However, Missouri was able to control the boards, grabbing 41 rebounds compared to just 27 for Kentucky. The Tigers had 19 second-chance points compared to just five for the Cats.
Things started well for the Cats early in the game. After Missouri scored first, Kentucky went on a 15-2 run, fueled by a pair of threes from Blair Green. Kentucky would extend the lead to 17-5 on a Green layup and the Cats led 19-10 after 10 minutes of action.
The second quarter saw a run of its own, this one by Missouri. The Tigers started the second period with a 17-6 run to lead 27-25. Kentucky tied the game at 27-27 on a pair of Robyn Benton free throws, but the Tigers closed the half on a 12-3 run to lead 39-30 at the half.
Kentucky came out firing from long range in the third period. The Cats got a three from Maddie Scherr, a pair of threes from Benton and one from Green, which brought Kentucky within one, 49-48. But Missouri answered with the next seven points to maintain the lead, which was 58-52 after three quarters.
The Cats would fight back in the fourth quarter. Trailing 66-56, the Cats got a three from Jada Walker, a pair of free throws from Benton, a three from Scherr and a Walker layup to tie the game at 66-66 with 3:13 to play. However, Missouri went on a 7-1 run and despite some late heroics from Walker and Benton, the Cats would come up short.
Missouri (12-2, 1-0) got 20 points from Hayley Frank and 18 from Lauren Hansen.
Kentucky returns to action on Sunday, hosting Arkansas at Memorial Coliseum. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. ET and the game can be seen on SEC Network Plus.