UK women’s basketball wins first game of SEC Tournament


Kentucky celebrates an and one play during the game against Mississippi State on Saturday, February 24, 2018 in Lexington, Ky. Photo by Chase Phillips | Staff

Roman West

On Thursday, the Kentucky women’s basketball team won its first game of the SEC Tournament over Alabama by a score of 71-64.

The Cats were led by Maci Morris, who finished the game leading Kentucky in points (25), rebounds (seven) and assists (six). Alabama’s Hannah Cook was a tough matchup for the Cats, finishing with 21 points.

Kentucky will move on to the quarterfinals to face undefeated No. 1 seed Mississippi State at 1 p.m. on Friday.

Kentucky’s KeKe McKinney did not play due to a concussion. McKinney appeared in all 30 games this season, starting in 17 of them.

Amanda Paschal filled into McKinney’s place, finishing with six points, three rebounds and two assists in 26 minutes.

The first quarter was rough for the Cats, scoring only eight points by the end of the period, with Morris scoring five of those points.

However, the rest of the team was not great. The Cats shot a combined 1-10 from the field in the quarter. The sole bucket not from Morris came from a Taylor Murray jumper after the Cats were already behind 6-1.

The second quarter saw the scripts flip for the two teams. An 8-0 run to start the second period put the Cats back in it. Alabama missed its first six field goal attempts of the quarter and couldn’t put any points on the board for more than five minutes.

The Cats were able to take a 21-20 lead with just over three minutes in the half but were down two points at the break.

Kentucky hit a hot streak midway through the third quarter, making four consecutive field goals, but Cook was on fire at the same time, scoring 12 consecutive points for the Crimson Tide. Her three consecutive threes took away UK’s lead in a matter of seconds.

However, Kentucky didn’t go away; the Cats closed the quarter on a 12-2 run to take a 50-48 lead.

Another mid-quarter run from the Cats propelled them to a win. They hit four out of five field goals while holding Alabama scoreless for more than two minutes to open up a five-point lead with under six minutes to go.

From that point on, the Cats never looked back. UK hit five of its final seven field goals to seal the victory.

Kentucky will now turn around quickly to face Mississippi State, who the Cats have already lost to twice this season, including the final game of the regular season.