Kentucky-Alabama Postgame Notes
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL POSTGAME NOTES
SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT SECOND ROUND – GAME SIX
#14 KENTUCKY VS. #6 ALABAMA
THURSDAY, MARCH 2, 2023
BON SECOURS WELLNESS ARENA – GREENVILLE, S.C.
Kentucky 71, Alabama 58 – FINAL
Team Records and Series Notes
- The University of Kentucky women’s basketball program is in its 49th season with an 894-586 (.603) all-time record.
- The Wildcats are now 12-18 overall.
- The Crimson Tide are now 20-10 overall and will await a potential at-large selection in the NCAA Tournament.
- Kentucky has a 43-42 all-time record in the SEC Tournament.
- UK leads UA, 7-0, in all-time meetings in the SEC Tournament.
- UK has a 6-0 all-time record in the SEC Tournament Second Round.
- Kyra Elzy is in her third season as the head coach of the Wildcats, holding a 49-39 overall record.
- She has a 7-1 all-time record in the SEC Tournament.
- Her 7-1 start is the best start for a UK head coach to their tournament tenure in program history.
- Her 7-1 start ties the best eight-game start for a head coach in tournament history, joining Melanie Balcomb (Vanderbilt).
- She concluded the conference season with a 19-28 overall record in the SEC.
- Tonight’s win, extends Kentucky’s SEC Tournament winning streak to six, which is the longest streak in program history.
- The six straight wins is the eighth longest winning streak in tournament history.
- Kentucky remains the leader in the all-time series with Alabama, 36-18.
- UK went 1-1 against the Crimson Tide in 2022-23.
- The Wildcats have advanced to the SEC Tournament Quarterfinals. No. 14 Kentucky will square off against No. 3 Tennessee on Friday, March 3 at approximately 8:30 p.m. ET for Game 10.
- The game will be televised on SEC Network and on the UK Sports Network, with Darren Headrick on the call.
- It will mark Kentucky’s 33rd appearance in the SEC Tournament Quarterfinals.
- UK is 17-15 in the quarterfinals of the tournament.
- Kentucky is the first 14 seed in tournament history to make the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament.
- Kentucky used the starting combination sophomore guard Jada Walker, junior guard Maddie Scherr, graduate guard Robyn Benton, graduate guard Blair Green and graduate forward Adebola Adeyeye for the eighth time this season.
- UK is 5-3 this season when using this starting combination.
- Alabama won the opening tip, marking the 22nd time this season that the Wildcats have lost the opening tip.
- Adebola Adeyeye was the first Wildcat to score in the game, marking the first time this season she has been the first in the box score for Kentucky.
- Ajae Petty was the first sub off the bench for Kentucky for the ninth time this season.
- It was a back-and-forth first quarter full of lots of offense for both teams as Alabama led 15-13 at the first media timeout at 4:04 to go in the first quarter.
- Walker came out extremely strong on both sides of the floor, scoring six points and starting 3-of-3 from the field with three assists and two steals in the first six minutes of the game.
- Out of the media timeout, Alabama outscored UK 5-2 with the Tide holding UK without a field goal for the final 4:27 of the first quarter.
- Alabama was 8-of-12 from the field for 67 percent from the field in the first quarter, while Kentucky was 6-of-14 with 43 percent.
- Alabama was 3-of-4 from 3 in the first quarter, while UK was 0-for-5.
- Kentucky led the paint points 12-10 at the end of the first quarter.
- There was a combined 12 assists in the first quarter with each team having six.
- The field-goal drought for Kentucky was stopped 20 seconds into the second quarter as Walker hit a free-throw line jumper. The total field-goal drought was 4:47 of game play.
- Both teams traded baskets to start the second quarter with UK turnover prone and Alabama going ice cold from the field.
- The Tide started the second quarter 2-of-9 from the field and 0-of-5 from 3.
- UK was 3-of-6 from the field to start the second quarter, but turned the ball over three times in the early going.
- Alabama ended the first half on a 10-5 run to increase its lead to 32-26 at halftime, which was their largest lead of the first half.
- Alabama scored the first four points of the third quarter to take its biggest lead of the game at 36-26, but Maddie Scherr took over for Kentucky scoring UK’s next five points to cut the lead in half. Jada Walker continued the run to 7-0 with a jumper before an Alabama layup ended the run.
- Jada Walker answered on the other end with a 3-pointer, but Robyn Benton picked up her fourth foul on an and-one to swing momentum back to the Crimson Tide at the first media timeout with UA up 40-36.
- A Walker steal and pass to Russell for the score finished off a 14-4 UK run to tie the game 40-40 with just over two minutes to go in the third quarter, but an Alabama 3-pointer pushed the Tide back in front.
- Kentucky won the fourth quarter 18-13 to close the Alabama lead to 45-44 heading into the fourth quarter.
- In the third quarter alone, Walker had nine points and three steals, putting Kentucky on her back. Scherr had five points in the quarter.
- UK was 8-of-14 from the field and 2-of-2 from 3 in the third quarter, while Alabama was 6-of-13 from the field and 1-of-1 from long range.
- Kentucky forced seven Alabama turnovers in the third quarter and scored seven points off those miscues.
- Ajae Petty scored a layup at the 8:01 mark of the fourth quarter, which was the first points of the quarter and gave UK its first lead of the second half. Walker followed with a fantastic one-on-one move and jumper to give UK a 48-45 lead at 7:09 and force a Alabama timeout.
- Between the end of the third quarter and start of the fourth quarter, UK went on a 9-0 run to take a six-point lead, which was stopped by an Alabama 3-pointer.
- Kentucky rolled in the fourth quarter by outscoring Alabama 27-13, shooting 67 percent from the field. Alabama shot 27 percent form the field in the fourth quarter.
- UK’s defense was impressive in the second half, holding Alabama to just 11 field goals in the second half for 34 percent from the field.
- After Alabama scored 20 points in the first quarter, UK limited them to just 38 points the remainder of the game.
- UK won points in the paint battle, 34-28. This was only the third time this season UK won the battle in the paint against an SEC opponent.
- UK won the fast-break battle, 18-4.
- Kentucky forced Alabama into 19 turnovers and scored 22 points off those miscues.
- Conversely, UK had 14 turnovers and only allowed Alabama to score nine points off those miscues.
- Kentucky shot 50 percent from the field in the game, marking the fourth time this season UK has shot over 50 percent from the field. UK is now 4-0 in those games.
- Thursday’s game was only the second time this season UK has shot 50 percent or better from the field against an SEC opponent.
- Kentucky has won back-to-back games for the first time this season since defeating UNC Greensboro and Minnesota in early December.
- Kentucky had 19 assists in the game, which was its most since having 25 against Ohio on December 21.
- In back-to-back games against league opponents, UK has had 18 or more assists. During UK’s 16-game league slate, the Wildcats game-high in assists was 17.
- Kentucky had nine blocks in the game, which was a season high in blocks.
- UK’s nine blocked shots is the most for UK in a SEC Tournament game.
- Sophomore guard Jada Walker scored a career-high 24 points on 11-of-16 shooting, including 2-of-2 from long range. She added three rebounds, seven assists and a career-high tying six steals in 38 minutes of action.
- Walker has scored 20 or more points in four games this season and six games in her career.
- Walker has three or more assists in 14 games this season, including 23 times in her career.
- This was the 10th time that Walker has led UK in assists this season.
- Walker’s six steals set a new career high.
- Walker is the first UK player with six or more steals in a game since Rhyne Howard had seven against Tennessee in February 2021.
- This was the 15th time this season Walker has led UK in steals.
- Walker’s six steals ties the UK single-game record for steals in a SEC Tournament game. Taylor Murray, Valerie Still and Leslie Nichols are the others to accomplish the feat.
- Walker has three or more assists in 14 games this season, including 23 times in her career.
- Junior guard Maddie Scherr scored 19 points with three rebounds, four assists, six blocks and two steals in 40 minutes.
- Scherr has scored 10 or more points in each of her last four games.
- Scherr has scored 10 or more points in 16 games this season, including 20 times in her career.
- Scherr has three or more assists in 21 games this season.
- Scherr’s six blocks was a career best and was a new UK single-game best for a Wildcat in a SEC Tournament game.
- Scherr went 8-of-9 from the free-throw line in the game.
- Junior guard Eniya Russell came off the bench and played 17 minutes – all in the second half – with 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting, including 2-of-2 from long range with an assist, block and two rebounds.
- This was the second time this season she has scored 10 or more points in a game and the first since scoring a career-best 14 against Ohio in December.
- Russell’s two 3s made tied a career high, which also occurred against Ohio.