Kentucky womens basketball comes up short 74-71 against Missouri in SEC opener


Jack Weaver

Kentucky Wildcats guard Robyn Benton (1) reacts to a foul call against Kentucky during the Kentucky vs. Louisville womens basketball game on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022, at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. Louisville won 86-72. Photo by Jack Weaver | Staff

Samantha Money, Assistant Sports Editor

Kentucky womens basketball suffered its third straight loss of the season at the hands of the Missouri Tigers on Thursday, losing 74-71.

The Wildcats entered the game having lost their previous two matchups at home against Louisville and Murray State.

Playing in its conference opener, Kentucky attempted to fix its past mistakes and control the pace of the game, and even succeeded in doing so in the first half with Blair Green amassing eight points in the first quarter.

Unfortunately for the Cats, Missouri managed to rattle Kentucky’s offense and tied up the game at 25 towards the end of the second quarter.

After that point the Tigers would go on to lead the Cats for the rest of the game, though Kentucky kept it close until the final whistle.

Defensively the Cats had many successes, including forcing 25 turnovers while picking up just 14 themselves. Robyn Benton led Kentucky in steals, racking up six of Kentucky’s total of 12.

“You know, I thought we were solid defensively and forced them into some shots,” head coach Kyra Elzy said. “We have to finish our defense which we talk about all the time – finish our defense with the box out.”

On the other side of the ball, Green, along with Benton, opened the second half aggressively on offense with three back-to-back 3-pointers. Jada Walker and Maddie Scherr would also join in on the 3-point excitement not long after.  

The Cats’ 10-0 run in the fourth quarter saw a shift in energy on the court, but a handful of missed field goals following the scoring run ultimately saw the Cats miss out on taking the lead and, despite Kentucky’s best efforts, the game ended 74-71 in favor of Missouri.

“You know, obviously we’re not happy we did not get the outcome that we wanted,” Elzy said. “We came here to win. I did think we competed, but at the end of the day, there are some things that we need to clean up in order to be on the other side for victory.”

The Cats will continue looking for a bounce-back win when they take on No. 24 Arkansas on Sunday, Jan. 1, at 2 p.m. EST inside Memorial Coliseum. The game can be streamed live on the SEC Network.