Cats cruise to fifth win of the year over Samford


Kentucky head coach Matthew Mitchell and guard Bria Goss cheer after the second half of the Kentucky vs. Louisville women’s basketball game at the KFC Yum! Center on Sunday, December 7, 2014 in Lexington, Ky. Kentucky defeated Louisville 77-68. Photo by Adam Pennavaria | Staff

By Chris Leach

The No. 20 UK women’s basketball team added another win to their record Sunday afternoon, as the Cats took down the Samford Bulldogs 80-57 at Memorial Coliseum.

This was the second win in a row following the Cats’ first loss of the season. UK’s current record stands at 5-1.

Early in the first quarter of Sunday’s matchup, neither team gave their opponent an inch as the Bulldogs were making three’s and the Cats were getting layups to keep the score close. 

However, the Cats would close the quarter on a 12-2 run, opening up a 10-point lead during that span.

The Cats used a combo of man-to-man, and zone defense to hold the Bulldogs scoreless the final 7:07 of the quarter. While the defense was disrupting the Bulldogs’ offense, the Cats’ offense closed the quarter on a 13-0 run, which opened up a 24-point lead at the intermission.

The Bulldogs would play much better the second half, but did little to no damage cutting the Cats’ monster lead that was built in the first half. The Cats would cruise to an easy victory despite being outscored by one point by Samford in the second half.

“I feel like we kind of put the car in cruise [in the second half] and that’s something we can’t do,” senior guard Makayla Epps said. 

The Cats put together a strong performance offensively, as the Cats shot 52 percent from the floor Sunday afternoon. This was the second time this season the Cats shot over 50 percent from the field.

The Cats were also able to take advantage of the Bulldogs at the free throw line, as the Cats shot 24 more free throws than the Bulldogs.

“I was so happy to see the team be aggressive and get to the [free throw] line,” head coach Matthew Mitchell said. “Evelyn Akhator really was physical today, and made her free throws, seven out of ten is good.”

Akhator would be one of four UK players to score double-digit points, scoring 15 points and securing 13 rebounds to secure her fifth double-double of the season, and eighteenth total of her career.

However, it was Epps who led the offense today, as she scored a team-high 20 points off 60 percent shooting.

The Cats will now get ready for the SEC/BIG 12 Challenge, where the Cats will host No. 13 Oklahoma (5-0) on Dec. 1.  This will be a rematch of last seasons NCAA tournament second round game where the Cats beat the Sooners by 21 points.