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Kentucky women’s basketball outlasts Boston College in 83-81 victory

Travis Fannon
Kentucky guard Maddie Scherr (22) shoots a 3-pointer during the Kentucky vs. Boston College women’s basketball game on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023, at the Clive M. Beck Center in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky won 83-81. Photo by Travis Fannon | Staff

Kentucky women’s basketball (3-5) pulled out a win against Boston College on Thursday, defeating the Eagles 83-81 inside the Clive M. Beck Center on the campus of Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky.

The win snapped a five-game losing streak for the Cats, with Kentucky’s last win coming in its second game of the season when it defeated USC Upstate 82-54.

Kentucky graduate student Emma King would kick off the scoring for the Wildcats, sinking a 3-pointer as the Cats would go on to build a 13-11 lead halfway through the first.

“I love that kid,” Kentucky Head Coach Kyra Elzy said regarding King. “At one point Emma was our five so she has a high basketball IQ, but it’s her toughness.”

The Eagles would rally, ending the quarter on a 10-4 run after a pair of threes from senior JoJo Lacey to command a four-point lead heading into the second quarter.

Senior Eniya Russell would net the first six Kentucky points in the second quarter to keep the Wildcats within two, with a three-ball from sophomore Cassidy Rowe giving the Cats their first lead of the quarter.

The rest of the second would be back-and-forth, with senior Maddie Scherr earning two shots from the charity stripe with less than a second left in the half.  

Scherr would sink one of her pair of free shots to give the Wildcats a 41-40 advantage heading into the break.

Boston College would come out of the half hot, scoring the first four points of the half to take a three-point lead with a deep shot from Wildcat junior Brooklynn Miles tying the score at 44.

“I thought she was steady and tough today,” Elzy said regarding Miles’s performance. “She played with poise and confidence and that’s what we need from her.”

Both teams would continue to exchange buckets, with a 10-1 Boston College run finding the Wildcats in a five-point hole halfway through the third.

Scherr would exit the game shortly after following a hard fall in transition, with the Wildcats keeping pace with the Eagles as they entered the fourth trailing by three.

Russell would start the fourth quarter much like the second, providing the Wildcats with their first five points of the period to tie the score at 66.

The Eagles would regain the lead shortly after by way of a bucket from sophomore T’Yana Todd, but Kentucky wouldn’t be far behind with a back-and-forth stretch ending with a 3-pointer from sophomore Saniah Tyler that tied the score at 75.

Russell, along with junior Ajea Petty, would keep the Wildcats within striking distance, with the pair being responsible for the three buckets that found the score tied at 81 with 10 seconds left with the Wildcats maintaining possession.

“They’ve grown up together,” Elzy said. “They have a great feel for each other and playing with each other.”

With their go-to weapon in Scherr ruled out for the rest of the game, the inbound would go to Russell, with the Baltimore native finding an open go-ahead layup for the last points of her career-high 21-point performance.

“That play is nothing out of the ordinary,” Russell said. “She runs those plays for our wings and that was something that I was comfortable with.”

The bucket would give the Wildcats an 83-81 lead with less than a second left in the game, with an unsuccessful tip-in attempt from the Eagles giving the Wildcats their first win since Nov. 11.

Kentucky will look to carry its momentum into its next matchup where it’ll take on Tennessee Tech in its third game at the Clive M. Beck Center on Sunday, Dec. 3, at 1 p.m. ET.

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