No. 13 Kentucky falls 88-67 to No. 8 Indiana in Bloomington


Kentucky Wildcats guard Rhyne Howard (10) passes the ball during the UK vs. Presbyterian College women’s basketball game on Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021, at Memorial Coliseum in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky won 81-53. Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff

Scott Clarke

No. 13 Kentucky women’s basketball took on No. 8 Indiana on Sunday at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Indiana, losing 88-67.

The Cats started off slower than what they would have liked, with the Hoosiers getting off to a 15-6 lead thanks to IU forward Mackenzie Holmes scoring the Hoosiers’ first eleven points. 

With a couple of stops, UK was able to get back into the game with buckets from Rhyne Howard and Jada Walker, cutting the IU lead to five.

The two teams would trade points, finishing with Indiana leading 20-14 at the end of the first quarter, with Holmes leading all scorers with thirteen points.

Both teams were trading scores to start the second quarter until UK turned up the defensive pressure, implementing a full-court press, which threw off the Hoosiers and led to turnovers which UK capitalized on, leveling the score 25-25. 

IU would figure out the press and was able to stretch the lead back out to 33-27. UK’s Walker drove to the hoop with three seconds left and scored while being fouled in the process, cutting the Hoosier lead to three. When it looked like Walker would have the last laugh of the first half,  IU’s Grace Berger hit a half-court buzzer beater, giving the Hoosiers a 38-32 lead going into halftime.

Rhyne Howard, the reigning two-time SEC Player of the year, was held to just 3-9 shooting in the first half. 

Howard would up her game, starting the second half hitting her first three shots. With her contribution, the Cats were just down three. The Hoosiers had answers for every UK score, as the Wildcat defense could not get any stops. IU’s Ali Patberg converted an and-one, as did IU’s Berger, pushing the lead back up to six. A Patberg up-and-under would give the Hoosiers a 55-46 lead, leading UK head coach Kyra Elzy to call a timeout.

The timeout would not lead to much for the Cats after a couple of unsuccessful trips down the floor, IU was able to stretch the lead to 60-49 after a 3-pointer from IU guard Nicole Cardaño-Hillary. 

Indiana would stretch the lead to twelve, leading 65-53 going into the fourth quarter.

The start of the fourth quarter, arguably the most important stretch for the ‘Cats, was their worst. The rim had a lid on it for UK, as they couldn’t stop the Hoosiers from scoring on their end. Elzy had seen enough, calling timeout with the score at 72-56, IU’s largest lead of the game up to that point.

The rest of the quarter would bring poor defense from the Cats and an easy ride to victory for the Hoosiers, winning the ranked matchup, 88-67.

Howard led the way for the Wildcats with 23 points on 50 percent shooting, while Holmes led all scorers with a career-high 29 points on just 15 shots.

UK’s defense was lackluster both on the perimeter and the paint. The Hoosiers shot 6-11 from three and 54.2 percent from the field as a whole. 

Indiana out rebounded Kentucky by 10 and had 11 more assists than the Cats. 

UK will return to action on Sunday, Nov. 21, back at home, this time against Winthrop at 2:00 p.m. E.T at Memorial Coliseum.