Kentucky women’s basketball loses to Texas A&M 73-71


Senior Maci Morris 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

The UK women’s basketball team lost 73-71 to No. 24 ranked Texas A&M Sunday evening, making it the No. 15 ranked Wildcats’ third loss in six games.  

After scoring a combined eight points last week, Kentucky’s two leading scorers, Maci Morris and Rhyne Howard, looked like themselves again. Morris had 22 points, five rebounds and four assists, while Howard recorded 21 points, eight rebounds, two assists and four steals.  

While Morris and Howard played as well as any other game this season, the rest of the team’s numbers looked different than they usually do. After an efficient 21-point game against Missouri on Thursday, Murray recorded just eight points on 25 percent shooting and an uncharacteristic 42.8 percent from the free throw line. Murray wasn’t the only player to struggle– four other Wildcats shot 25 percent or less and five players turned the ball over at least once.

Kentucky shot 7-of-15 from three in the first half but went just 4-of-14 in the second. On the other side of the floor, A&M shot well from deep, making six of eight. Chennedy Carter led the Aggies from three, shooting 4-of-5 herself.

The Wildcats started the game shooting 1-of-9 from the field until Howard made a three to cut the A&M lead to 8-5. The Wildcats went through another cold streak after Howard’s basket, allowing a six-point run by the Aggies. The A&M run was ended by another Howard three, but the Cats would be down 19-11 after the first quarter.

Kentucky started the second quarter strong with a seven-point run, cutting the lead to just one point. The quarter featured back and forth runs by both teams. With five minutes left, A&M began another six-point run to give them a 31-23 lead with a little under three minutes to play in the half. Kentucky rallied for an eight-point run of their own, tying the game at 31. The Aggies ended the quarter with a Carter jump-shot to take a 33-31 lead into halftime.

The Wildcats began the second half by tying the game at 33 and then 35 points, but A&M responded with a five-point run and then a 10-3 run. Kentucky would trail by 10 points twice before mounting a four-point run to end the third with a score of 56-50.

The Aggies would retain a lead of six or more for most of the period. With 4:47 left in the game, Morris scored 12-straight points for the Wildcats and sparked a 14-7 run to cut the game to 69-72 after a Keke McKinney layup. Kentucky would cut the game to just one point after Howard was fouled shooting a three, but the Wildcats were unable to complete their comeback.

The Wildcats return to Memorial Coliseum on Thursday, Jan. 31, to take on the South Carolina Gamecocks. Tipoff is scheduled at 6:30 and the game will be available on SEC Network.