Women’s basketball handles Arkansas, snaps three-game losing streak


Junior guard Maci Morris fights for a basket during the game against Arkansas on Thursday, February 15, 2018 in Lexington, Ky. Photo by Jordan Prather | Staff

Roman West

The UK women’s basketball team (13-14, 5-8) defeated the Arkansas Razorbacks (12-14, 3-10), 78-57.

UK was led by Maci Morris, who finished the game with 20 points and five rebounds. It was her fifth consecutive game with at least 17 points. The win stopped the three-game losing streak the Cats were in.

“She’s making that mid-range, semi-contested jumper,” Matthew Mitchell said of Morris’s performance tonight. “She’s really clicking on all cylinders offensively.”

The first quarter saw good production from three Cats, but not much more. Morris, Amanda Paschal and Dorie Harrison were the only players to put points on the board for UK.

They were able to lead by as many as seven at one point, but the Razorbacks’ hitting four threes in the quarter hurt the Cats, and a three at the buzzer from Arkansas’s Jailyn Mason gave them a 20-19 lead going into the second period.

KeKe McKinney was able to get it going in the second quarter, scoring seven points on 3-4 shooting, including making her only three-point attempt. Alyssa Rice also got herself on the board with four points and five rebounds.

With 2:53 left in the second quarter, Jadia Roper hit a layup to put the Cats up 37-26, the largest lead of the half. The Razorbacks fought back, finishing the half on a 6-2 run to cut the lead to seven.

Arkansas fought to get back in the game in the third quarter. At the 8:06 mark, Morris made a layup to push the Wildcat lead to 45-34. The Razorbacks then went on an 11-0 run, tying the game at 45. Arkansas’s Malica Monk (no relation to Arkansas native Malik Monk) ignited the run by hitting back-to-back threes, then Mason added on another one.

“We can adjust to other teams when they’re on a roll, hitting shots. We can come out and just adjust a few things and be good to go,” Morris said when asked about what happened when the game was tied.

And that is what just what they did. UK was able to answer with a run of its own over the final 4:23 of the third quarter, outscoring Arkansas 12-2 and pushing the lead back to 10.

The Cats entered the fourth quarter with all the momentum. The Razorbacks made the first field goal of the final period, but the Wildcats then went on a 9-0 run, pushing their lead to 17 with just over six minutes left in the game.  

The largest lead of the night was at the 4:26 mark of the final period, when Morris hit her final jumper of the game to take the Wildcat lead up to 21.

The next game for the Wildcats is against No. 8 South Carolina Sunday at 3 p.m. at Colonial Life Arena. The game will be broadcast on the SEC Network.