Morris-less Cats lose at home to Ole Miss


Junior Jaida Roper talks to her teammates during the game against Rhode Island on Thursday, December 6, 2018, in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Chase Phillips | Staff

Jake Maynard

A shorthanded Kentucky women’s basketball team lost 55-49 in a heartbreaker to the Ole Miss Rebels on Sunday afternoon, pushing the Wildcats to 15-3 on the year and 2-2 in conference play. The Rebels (7-11) stole the lead late in the fourth quarter after trailing for most of the game.

The Wildcats’ two star senior guards, Taylor Murray and Maci Morris, did not start and Morris did not play at all. Murray suffered a leg injury early in the Tennessee game on Thursday, and Morris was out with knee pain.

Jaida Roper started for Murray and the difference was immediately felt. UK turned the ball over on three of their first four possessions, and two of these turnovers were attributed to Roper.

Murray checked into the game only two minutes in to stabilize the offense, but Murray exited this game early as well after being flattened by a vicious pick set by 6’1 La’Karis Salter. Memorial Coliseum erupted in boos after this play was deemed clean.

Murray played a total of 35 minutes. She played with her usual defensive aggression, but her shooting ability didn’t make it back to Lexington yet. Murray shot 0-8 on the game, and finished with two points, one rebound and five steals.

Morris’ scoring ability was sorely missed by the Wildcats. The team averages right under 70 points on the season but only scored a total of 49 points. The team shot 17-64 from the field, shooting just over 26%.  

When asked about his team’s shooting, Coach Matthew Mitchell said, “We just couldn’t get anything going for us because we just couldn’t get out of the gate and play with energy. I think everything as far as what we were lacking today really starts and ends there.”

Rhyne Howard played well for the Wildcats. Howard recorded a double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds. She also had four assists and a steal.

Howard’s fellow freshman, Blair Green, also had an efficient game. Green had nine points from the Wildcats on 4-9 shooting, to go with three rebounds and an assist.

The Wildcats’ next game will be in Baton Rouge, when the Wildcats take on LSU on Thursday, January 17th. The game will be available to watch through SEC Network+.