Kentucky womens basketball suffers third consecutive loss in conference play against Ole Miss


Travis Fannon

Kentucky Wildcats guard Jada Walker (11) stands on the court during the Kentucky vs. Missouri womens basketball game on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2023, at Memorial Coliseum in Lexington, Kentucky. UK won 77-54 Photo by Travis Fannon | Staff

Ayden Parece, Reporter

Kentucky womens basketball fell to Ole Miss on Monday in Oxford, Mississippi, losing to the Rebels 74-52.

The loss marked Kentucky’s third in a row during a crucial stretch of the season, including recent losses to Alabama and No. 1 South Carolina.

The Wildcats shot 26.3% from the field and 21.4% beyond the arc, while hitting 86.4% of their free throws. Scoring was led by senior Robyn Benton, who recorded 15 points.

Benton’s consistent scoring was complemented by sophomore Jada Walker who put up seven points, though the scoring duo was without Maddie Scherr – the third piece of Kentucky’s offensive attack – for most of the game.

In her absence Amiya Jenkins, Ajae Petty and Kennedy Cambridge assisted in much of Kentucky’s bench points, with seven points each for Jenkins and Petty and nine points for freshman Kennedy Cambridge.

Kentucky was stifled by the Ole Miss defense for most of the game, with head coach Kyra Elzy citing it as something the team was ready to look out for.

Kentucky Wildcats guard Robyn Benton (1) shoots a free throw during the Kentucky vs. No. 1 South Carolina womens basketball game on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023, at Memorial Coliseum in Lexington, Kentucky. South Carolina won 95-66. Photo by Jack Weaver | Staff (Jack Weaver)

“They’re extremely athletic,” Elzy said. “They’re physical. We knew that coming in, we prepared for it in practice…for the first time in a long time I thought we regressed in our offense.”

The Wildcats were able to put up a fight, maintaining an equal turnover battle and recording nine steals as a team, but Ole Miss moved the ball more consistently, recording eight more assists over the Cats while shooting marginally better as well.

The Rebels were 41.2% from the field, with 37.5% shooting from the 3-point line, and they hit 70.6% of their free throws. Ole Miss also outrebounded Kentucky 56-34, with 11 more offensive rebounds than the Wildcats.

Marquesha Davis led the Rebels in scoring with 14 points and 10 rebounds while Ayanna Thompson fell behind Davis with 12 points and three rebounds.

Some other notable players were Madison Scott, who recorded 10 points, 12 rebounds and four assists, as well as Myah Taylor who scored 11 points.

Ultimately, Ole Miss outplayed and out-hustled Kentucky, though the Wildcats may have found a silver lining in their bench contribution in the last few games.

Losing Maddie Scherr took a big hit in Kentucky’s scoring and will likely continue to do so if she misses more time. With or without Scherr in the coming games, Kentucky will need a lot of energy from the bench to finish strong this season.

The Wildcats will look to bounce back with a win at home on Thursday, Feb. 16, when they host Georgia inside Memorial Coliseum. Tip off against the Bulldogs is scheduled for 7 p.m. EST and will air live on the SEC Network.