UK women’s basketball with plenty to work with after exhibition win


Kentucky guard #24 Taylor Murray passes the ball during the game against Southern Indiana on Sunday, November 5, 2017 in Lexington, Ky. Photo by Chase Phillips | Staff

On Sunday evening, the UK women’s basketball team opened their season with an exhibition game against Southern Indiana, and walked out of Memorial Coliseum with a win, defeating the Screaming Eagles 87-56.

The Cats got off to a slow start in the game, trailing SIU for a good portion of the first quarter. SIU’s 11 free throws and UK’s seven turnovers is what kept the Screaming Eagles in the game at the start

The Cats would eventually settle in and force the Screaming Eagles to turn the ball over themselves, while going on lengthy runs to pull away from SIU. The Screaming Eagles turned the ball over 27 times in the game, which the Cats turned into 30 points. 

Junior guards Maci Morris and Taylor Murray were the leaders for UK, both finishing above 11 points. Morris the way with 19 points, including going 3-4 from three-point territory.

UK’s offense as a whole performed well, shooting 51 percent from the floor while hitting 21 of their 27 free throw attempts. The Cats did a good job sharing the ball, as they finished with 21 assists on 30 made shots.

“It’s an unselfish group, we’ve worked a lot on moving the ball and trying to get the ball moved, I think that’s going to be important for our team,” Mitchell said.

This will be the final exhibition game UK plays before they open their regular season on Nov. 10 against Sacramento State. The game gave Matthew Mitchell with plenty to think about, as many adjustments need to be made before the competition level increase. 

One thing that caught Mitchell’s eye, he said, was the rebounding.

The Cats out-rebounded SIU 39-25, but Mitchell said he thinks his team will be vulnerable when the Cats matchup against SEC-caliber schools.

“We won the battle of the boards but I think that was more of talent issue then us really doing the right thing, we gave up way too many offensive boards,” Mitchell said.

On a positive note, Mitchell was pleased with the collective effort from the entire team. All 14 players saw game-action, including the six newcomers on the team.

Last year, depth was an issue, as some of the starters had to play upwards of 35 minutes due to the lack of depth. Morris was one of the players who played nearly every minute last season, and is also appreciative of the depth, as it allows her to get a break without worrying in a downfall in production.

“I was actually talking to some of the coaches, I was like, ‘It’s nice to have some subs,’” Morris said. “Just being able to know that you can come out of the game and have somebody that can contribute just as well as you can, it’s a good feeling.” 

The Cats’ next game will be their regular season opener on Friday, Nov. 10 at Memorial Coliseum. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.