UK women’s basketball looks for redemption against the Gamecocks


Sophomore forward Keke McKinney being introduced before the game. University of Kentucky women’s basketball team lost to South Carolina 74-70 at Memorial Coliseum on Thursday, Jan. 31, 2018, in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Michael Clubb| Staff

Jake Maynard

On Jan. 31, the South Carolina Gamecocks walked out of Memorial Coliseum with a 74-70 win over the Kentucky Wildcats, and was UK’s only back-to-back loss of the season. Tonight, the Wildcats travel to Columbia with hopes of stealing a win of their own.

Kentucky was able to get a 20-10 lead on the Gamecocks in the first quarter, but things went sideways fast for the Wildcats. South Carolina ended the first quarter with a seven-nothing run that would become a mind-blowing 45-15 run that would last until late in the third quarter. On a bright note for Big Blue Nation, the Wildcats outscored the Gamecocks 33-22 in the final 12 minutes of play.

Alexis Jennings began her career as a Wildcat in the 2014-2015 season but transferred to South Carolina after her Sophomore year. Jennings was the Gamecocks’ leading scorer in the two teams last meeting. Jennings finished with 18 points, 12 rebounds and a steal.

Maci Morris led all scorers with 21 points in the game on 50 percent shooting. Since then, Morris has struggled with her scoring, shooting a combined 15/47 or just below 32 percent from the field. In the Wildcats’ most recent game against Arkansas, she shot 2/11 but was able to get to the free throw line and ended with 11 points.  

Rhyne Howard has been the Wildcats’ leading scorer in all four of their games since the South Carolina loss. Howard scored 16, 19, 23 and 18 in these games. In Kentucky’s last game she recorded 18 points, 14 rebounds, four assists, three steals and a block to lead the Wildcats in all five major statistics.  

If Kentucky is going to upset the No. 13 Gamecocks, they will need both Morris and Howard at their best. A win over South Carolina would be the Wildcats’ fourth win over an AP Top 25 team this season.