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Kentucky Kernel

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Kentucky women’s basketball falls 91-74 to Alabama on the road

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Sydney Yonker
Kentucky guard Maddie Scherr expresses discomfort during the Kentucky vs. Missouri women’s basketball game on Sunday, Jan. 21, 2024, at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky won 76-71. Photo by Sydney Yonker | Staff

Kentucky women’s basketball (9-12, 2-5) will continue its wait for a road SEC win as it fell 91-74 to Alabama inside Coleman Coliseum on Sunday.

The loss brought the Wildcats’ conference record to 2-5, with the loss marking their second in a row following an 88-61 loss to Arkansas on Thursday.

A back-and-forth battle would ensue early in the first with both teams exchanging buckets until a 3-pointer from sophomore Amiya Jenkins brought Kentucky within one.

Kentucky would take the lead shortly after following buckets from senior Eniya Russell and sophomore Saniah Tyler, with Tyler sinking all three of her attempts from beyond the arch in the first quarter.

The Wildcats would end the first quarter up four, which would change quickly as the Crimson Tide would go on a 10-4 run to command a 26-24 lead to start the second period.

Junior Brooklynn Miles would tie the score at 27 shortly after, but a 19-9 Alabama run behind the 21 first half points from Crimson Tide senior Sarah Ashlee Barker would put Kentucky down 10 at the break.

Kentucky guard Saniah Tyler is coached by assistant coach Jen Hoover during the Kentucky vs. Vanderbilt women’s basketball game on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024, at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky lost 95-73. Photo by Sydney Yonker | Staff (Sydney Yonker)

“She was relentless,” head coach Kyra Elzy said regarding Barker’s performance. “I thought her physicality and toughness really drove them today.”

The start of the second half would prove similar to the end of the first for Kentucky as the Tide would go on a 15-2 run out of the gates to extend its lead to 23.

Alabama would maintain its advantage for the rest of the third, with the Tide asserting its dominance on the glass in the process.

“I thought they crashed the boards extremely hard,” Elzy said. “We didn’t box out consistently and gave them second and third chances; we didn’t battle like we need to.”

A pair of buckets from Jenkins followed by a field goal from Tyler would cut the Alabama lead to 18 to start the fourth, with the Tide extending its lead back to 22 shortly after.

The Wildcats would continue to battle despite the deficit, with a free throw from senior Maddie Scherr bringing Kentucky within 17 with four minutes left in the game.

Alabama would extend its lead back out to 23, but a late Kentucky surge would bring the final deficit back to 17 as the Cats dropped yet another conference game away from home.

Tyler and Miles would lead Kentucky in scoring with 14, with five Wildcats cracking double figures in scoring despite not being able to secure a win.

“I thought her defensive tenacity and her vocal leadership was exactly where we needed to be,” Elzy said regarding Miles. “I really challenged her to finish at the rim through contact. I liked her leadership.”

The Wildcats will return to action on Thursday, Feb. 1, when they’ll head home to take on the Mississippi State Bulldogs inside Rupp Arena at 7 p.m. ET in their eighth conference bout of the season.

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