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Kentucky Kernel

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Kentucky women’s basketball suffers stunner 68-63 loss against Austin Peay

Travis Fannon
Kentucky guard Eniya Russell catches her breath during the Kentucky vs. ETSU womens basketball game on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023, at the Clive M. Beck Center in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky won 74-66 Photo by Travis Fannon | Staff

On Nov. 6th, the Austin Peay women’s basketball team lost to Division-II Trevecca by 16 points.

Just eight days later the Governors toppled the Kentucky Wildcats inside of Davis-Reid Arena in Georgetown 68-63. The Wildcats led for just 35 seconds.

“I didn’t think we settled in offensively,” said Kentucky head coach Kyra Elzy after the game. “And that’s on me.”

Despite Ajae Petty’s 19 points and 14 rebounds, the Wildcats finished the night shooting just 31% from the field. Kentucky also missed 28 layups, a season high.

“We can’t be content with that,” said Elzy. “We can’t be excited if we had 28 missed layups. That’s [the] fundamentals of the game.”

The Wildcats had three players finish the night in double figures as Eniya Russell and Saniah Tyler also had 11 points each. After the Wildcats went down by 11 points in the second quarter, Tyler had three 3-pointers to bring Kentucky within two before halftime.

“Saniah is really growing in her role,” Elzy said. “Her ability to score is what we need… Her being able to step up and make those shots when we needed it really steadied us early, and we’ll need more of that.”

Kentucky was also without veteran guard Maddie Scherr, who missed the game with an ankle injury. Scherr averages 30 minutes per game, the highest on the team, and 13 points per game.

“She brings us a calmness on the floor,” said Elzy. “And her ability to score at all three levels. And she understands how to make plays defensively, so she was a big piece that we actually missed tonight.”

On the other side of the floor the Governors were red-hot on offense, ending the night shooting 52% from the field. Anala Nelson finished the night with 21 points and eight rebounds, while Cur’Tiera Haywood added 15 points and nine rebounds. No one else from Austin Peay had more than nine points.

Despite the loss, Elzy says that her priority is to move forward and start fresh ahead of their next game this weekend.

“We’re going to go back and learn from it,” she said. “You either learn and grow or stay where you are, and we can’t afford to stay where we are. We will use this tape, learn, and we’ll be better because of it.”

The Wildcats will play their first true road game this Sunday, where they will travel to Fort Myers to play Florida Gulf Coast. That game will tip-off at 2 p.m. ET, and can be viewed on ESPN+.

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