Women's Basketball
Kentucky Holds Off Florida on Sunday

Kentucky Holds Off Florida on Sunday

In the midst of a six-game losing streak, the Kentucky women’s basketball team needed something positive to happen. And on Sunday, it did.

In front of more than 90 women’s basketball alumnae, Kentucky snapped it’s skid by beating Florida 81-77 at Rupp Arena.

“I’m just so proud of the fight of this team,” said UK head coach Kyra Elzy. “We talked about one stop at a time, get a rebound and let’s run the other way. I was proud of our defense. It held today when we had to have it.”

Eniya Russell led the way with a career-high 24 points for Kentucky. The Baltimore native added five rebounds and three assists.

Maddie Scherr had 14 points before fouling out in the fourth quarter. Ajae Petty had her 14th double-double of the season with 10 points and 13 rebounds. Sophomore Amiya Jenkins had 10 points and seven rebounds for the Cats.

Florida scored first, but Kentucky tied the game on a Petty basket. After Florida took a 4-2 lead, UK got a three from Emma King and an Eniya Russell layup to lead 7-4. The Gators would score the next five points to lead 9-7 before Kentucky got a layup from Brooklynn Miles and a basket from Janae Walker.

Florida would score four in a row before Maddie Scherr hit a three to give the Cats a 14-13 lead. After Florida took a 15-14 lead on an Alberte Rimdal basket, Miles hit a three to give UK a 17-15 lead. The Gators got the last basket of the period and the game was tied 17-17 after one quarter.

In the second quarter, Florida took the lead on a Rimdal three and the Gators would hold that advantage until the Cats got layups from Jenkins and Petty to lead 27-25. Florida took the lead back and led 31-29 before the Cats scored five in a row, including a Russell three, to lead 34-31. Kentucky would lead 36-34 at the break.

Florida opened the third quarter with a 7-0 run to take a 41-36 lead. Kentucky would answer by scoring the next nine points, including a pair of Saniah Tyler baskets, to lead 45-41. The back and forth continued with the Gators scoring the next 10 points and grabbing a 51-45 advantage. UK got back within one, 51-50, on a Russell putback. But Florida would make six of its last seven shots in the period and led 60-54 after three quarters.

In the fourth quarter, Florida would lead 65-58 when Kentucky made its run. The Cats went on a 7-2 stretch that got them within two, 67-65, with 6:09 to play. UK continued to fight back, eventually tying the game at 69-69 on a Scherr bank shot. But Florida took the lead back on the next possession. Again, the Cats would not go away, tying the game at 71 apiece before a Tyler layup gave UK the lead with 3:21 to play.

Tyler added a free throw to make it 74-71 before Florida got a Jeriah Warren basket to get back within one, 74-73. UK got a Petty basket inside to extend the lead to 76-73 with 2:06 remaining. A Russell free throw extended the UK lead to 77-73 with 34 seconds remaining.

Florida got back within two, 77-75, on a Zipporah Broughton layup with 26 seconds left. Russell hit two free throws with 24 seconds left to make it 79-75. A Miles free throw made it 80-75 with 15 seconds left. The Cats would hang on from there.

Kentucky returns to action on Thursday, visiting Starkville to face Mississippi State. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET and the game can be seen on SEC Network Plus.

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