UK Hoops snaps losing streak by getting first SEC win over Florida


Junior guard Taylor Murray gets ready to pass the ball during the game against California on Thursday, December 21, 2017 in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky was defeated 62-52. Photo by Olivia Beach | Staff

Brianna Dooley

On Thursday evening, the UK women’s basketball team ended one of its longest losing streaks in program history by defeating the Florida Gators 56-53.

Kentucky ended the first two quarters leading Florida, but the Gators came out of the locker room after halftime with a different type of energy.

In the third quarter alone, Florida showered three-pointers on the Cats, making seven triples while the Cats only had one in the quarter. The Cats failed to box out when it counted, and allowed the Gators to get the ball back and shoot wide open three pointers.

The fourth quarter began with a score of 39-36 in favor of the Gators, and the game ended up being a battle of who wanted it more.

Kentucky took the lead back about two minutes into the fourth quarter, going on a 6-0 run in less than a minute. The Gators tried to snatch the lead from the Cats by sinking another three-pointer, but Amanda Paschal answered that with a three-pointer of her own, making sure that the Cats kept their lead.

The game comes down to a pair of free throws from Paige Poffenberger that sealed the Cats’ fate and gave them their ninth win of the season.

Taylor Murray was UK’s leading scorer with 19 points while also adding on six rebounds. Paschal was next up with 12 points.

The Cats led the Gators going into the second half because the Gators had a field goal percentage of 23.3 percent. Both teams were under a 33.3 field goal percentages after the first quarter. 

The Cats’ rough start was fueled by a scoreless stretch that took place from the first to second quarter. They were scoreless in the final four minutes of the first quarter and the final three minutes of the second quarter. 

Ending the game, Kentucky had a shooting percentage of 41.8 percent and a three-point field goal percentage of 50 percent, topping Florida in both catagories. Florida shot 32.8 percent from the field and 27.8 percent from the three-point line.

The Cats fought hard for this win and will have a bit of down time to focus until their next game, which will be against Vanderbilt in Nashville on Jan. 15. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.