After an exhilarating come back victory against Tennessee at home on January 25th, UK Hoops have struggled to find the winning column since. Losing to unranked Vanderbilt, #22 Florida, and #2 South Carolina, the Wildcats needed something good to happen for them when they returned home to face a struggling LSU team.
The Wildcats responded extremely well for 3 quarters, ultimately defeating the Tigers by a final score of 70-58. However, LSU owned the 4th quarter nearly cutting the UK lead in half, which was very disappointing to head coach Matthew Mitchell. But at the end of the day Kentucky gets an impressive win to right the ship.
It all began with some hot shooting from Kentucky, especially Pineville, KY native Maci Morris who led the team with 7 opening quarter points. Morris would end the game with a solid 14 points, only 2 behind leading scorer Janee Thompson.
The Kentucky defense was solid for nearly the entire game, holding LSU at one time in the 2nd half to under 30% shooting. But it was the defense that relaxed down the stretch, allowing 50% shooting from the Tigers in the final quarter, but it was too little too late for LSU.
Kentucky came into this game knowing that they held a size advantage. Alexis Jennings, who has emerged as UK’s premier post presence, was able to take advantage of the undersized LSU squad, adding 11 points of her own to go along with 5 rebounds.
Superstar Makayla Epps took on a more subdued role for most of the game, finishing with 5 points on only 2-9 shooting. She did add 5 assists and 3 rebounds to help the cause. When Epps is on, UK is as tough as any team in the country. It’s a good sign for the Cats that they can win big without Epps putting up high numbers.
Senior Janee Thompson led the Cats with a double double, 16 points and 10 assists. In fact, Kentucky had a total of 17 assists on 27 made baskets. With Thompson controlling the offense the Wildcats looked very sharp throughout the game to keep LSU from even getting close.
UK Hoops will now get a week off before traveling to Vanderbilt to try and avenge a 71-69 loss in Memorial Coliseum on January 28th. That game is schedule for a 4 pm tip on the SEC Network.