Sophomore guard Taylor Murray had her second double-double of the season, but the Kentucky women’s basketball team saw its five-game winning streak come to an end with a 73-67 loss at Missouri on Monday.
Murray, a sophomore from Odenton, Maryland, had 18 points and a career-high tying 13 rebounds in the game. Senior Makayla Epps led the Wildcats with 20 points, while sophomore Maci Morris had 15.
Senior Evelyn Akhator, who battled foul trouble for much of the contest, had eight points and six rebounds. Freshman guard Jaida Roper added seven points off the bench for the Wildcats.
Kentucky (15-7, 6-3 SEC) was only outrebounded 33-31, but second-chance points were in the Tigers’ favor. Missouri was able to convert 13 offensive rebounds into 19 second-chance points. Kentucky had only 13 second-chance points in the game.
Missouri (16-7, 6-3) also took advantage of outstanding free throw shooting, as the Tigers hit 20-of-24 (83.3 percent) for the game. The Tigers, who beat Kentucky for the first time since becoming a member of the SEC, also hit seven-of-17 (41.2 percent) from three-point range.
The game featured 10 ties and 14 lead changes before Missouri took charge in the fourth quarter behind sophomore standout Sophie Cunningham, who had 10 of her 12 points in the final period.
The first quarter was tight throughout, as the teams stayed within three points of each other for the entire 10 minute period. Kentucky held a 5-2 lead after Epps scored five straight points. But Missouri was able to grab a 13-10 lead on consecutive three-pointers by Lindsey Cunningham. The Tigers would lead 15-14 at the end of the quarter.
In the second quarter, Kentucky took an 18-17 lead after Akhator scored four straight points. But Missouri answered with a 7-0 run to grab a 24-18 advantage. But Kentucky answered with an 11-3 run to establish a 29-27 lead, and the Wildcats would lead 31-30 at the break. Kentucky outscored Missouri 17-15 in the quarter largely by making 11-of-12 from the free throw line.
The third quarter was much like the first, with neither team able to establish more than a three-point lead. In fact, Kentucky’s largest lead in the period was two, on four occasions. But Missouri the period on a 7-2 run to lead 48-45 after three quarters.
Kentucky returns to action on Thursday when the Wildcats host No. 4 South Carolina at Memorial Coliseum. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. ET and the game can be seen on the SEC Network.
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University of Kentucky Athletics