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Kentucky Kernel

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Kentucky women’s basketball throttled 78-50 by Auburn on the road

Sydney Yonker
Kentucky guard Saniah Tyler shoots the ball during Kentucky vs Texas A&M women’s basketball game on Sunday, February. 11, 2024, at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky lost 44-61. Photo by Sydney Yonker | Staff

Away games have proved difficult for the Wildcats this year and that stayed true on Thursday when they were embarrassed 78-50 by the Auburn Tigers inside Neville Arena in Auburn, Alabama.

The loss brings Kentucky’s record away from home to 0-11, with the Cats’ only remaining chances to snatch an away win being matchups with both Mississippi State and LSU.

Auburn graduate Honesty Scott-Grayson would kick off the scoring in the contest, with the New Jersey native averaging over 20 points-per-game since the beginning of conference play.

“She’s an unbelievable player,” Kentucky head coach Kyra Elzy said regarding Scott-Grayson. “She can score at three levels; we knew coming in that she was going to make some big plays.”

Senior Ajae Petty would net the first bucket for the Wildcats, with the Baltimore native – along with senior Maddie Scherr – being responsible for the four first-period points for Kentucky as the Wildcats found themselves down 18 after a quarter.

A near seven-minute scoring drought would be broken by Petty early in the second quarter, with the senior forward bringing the Wildcats within 16 with a pair of layups.

Auburn would promptly extend its lead back out to 22, with sophomore Cassidy Rowe finding an opening for the Wildcats’ only 3-pointer of the game to cut the Tiger advantage below 20.

The remainder of the quarter would be sour for the Wildcats as they entered halftime with a 22-point deficit, surrendering 12 turnovers and giving up 18 points off those empty possessions as they failed to surpass 20 points through two quarters.

“We didn’t settle and didn’t make the easy layups,” Elzy said. “We weren’t playing with proper coverage, so it allowed them to get downhill and get some easy scoring opportunities.”

The beginning of the third quarter would see the Tigers maintain their 20-point lead initially, but the full-court press from the Wildcats would force a series of turnovers and allow Kentucky to cut its deficit to 15.

“I thought we were more aggressive once we settled in and saw the ball go through the hoop,” Elzy said. “We changed up our defense, I thought we were flying around.”

Auburn would take a 19-point lead into the final quarter, but a series of Wildcat buckets from junior Brooklynn Miles and sophomore Amiya Jenkins would take that advantage back down to 15.

The Tigers would respond to the Kentucky surge with a 12-0 run, taking their lead back out to back out to 29 on their way to taking an eventual 28-point victory over the Wildcats.

Kentucky will attempt to bounce back from a humiliating away loss at Auburn when they head back home to take on the Florida Gators inside Rupp Arena on Sunday, Feb. 18, with the tip scheduled for noon ET.

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