Kentucky womens basketball prepares for uphill battle in SEC Tournament


Jack Weaver

Kentucky Wildcats guard Jada Walker (11) dribbles the ball up the court during the Kentucky vs. Tennessee womens basketball game on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2023, at Memorial Coliseum in Lexington, Kentucky. Tennessee won 83-63. Photo by Jack Weaver | Staff

Tyler Russell, Reporter

The SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament has made its annual return and this year the Kentucky Wildcats will have a steeper mountain to climb than in years prior.

Last year the Wildcats entered Nashville, Tennessee, on a six-game winning streak and were placed as a seven seed in the tournament before going on to do the impossible and win its second ever SEC tournament, defeating No. 1 South Carolina in the championship.

This season however, the Wildcats enter the tournament on a seven-game losing streak as the No. 14 seed.

Kentucky is set to play the No. 11 seeded Florida Gators on Wednesday, March 1, at 1:15 P.M in the first round.

The first go-around between the Cats and Gators on Jan. 15 resulted in an 81-75 victory in favor of Kentucky, with the win marking Kentucky’s first SEC win of the season.

Since then, the Cats were only able to gain one more: when they defeated Missouri 77-54 on Jan. 29.

Senior Robyn Benton led Kentucky in points in the win over Florida with 29 points while senior KK Deans led Florida with 21.

If Kentucky defeats Florida, it will then advance to round two where it would face off against the No. 6 seeded Alabama Crimson Tide.

Kentucky lost to the Crimson Tide back on Feb. 9 by seven points with sophomore Jada Walker leading the Cats with 15 points.

To make matters tougher, the Wildcats are without typical starter Nyah Leveretter for the remaining games in the season as she suffered an ACL tear on Feb. 19. 

Senior Maddie Scherr was also out for two games recently with an illness, though she battled against the Tennessee Volunteers on Sunday and is seemingly good to go for the tournament.

Scherr and the Cats will be looking to gain traction and advance in the 2023 SEC tournament just as they did last season.

Kentucky’s matchup with Florida will begin at 1:15 p.m. EST inside Bon Secours Wellness Arena and will air live on the SEC Network.