Junior Maci Morris scored 22 points and senior Makenzie Cann added 14, but the Kentucky women’s basketball team lost, 74-70, at No. 19 Texas A&M on Thursday night at Reed Arena.
Kentucky (8-8, 0-2 SEC) got 10 points and eight rebounds from senior Alyssa Rice, while Taylor Murray added seven points and six assists.
The Wildcats outscored the Aggies in the paint, 26-18, and had only nine turnovers in the game, compared with 12 for A&M. Kentucky also led in second-chance points, 11-9. The Wildcats were outstanding at the free throw line, hitting nine of their 10 attempts, but the Aggies converted 18 of their 22 shots at the line.
Kentucky led early, 5-4, before Texas A&M assembled a 7-0 run to lead 11-5. The Aggies would lead by as many as eight in the first period before Kentucky was able to cut the lead to 22-18 on a three-pointer by Jaida Roper with 54 seconds left in the quarter. The Aggies would lead 24-18 after one period.
In the second period, Kentucky began chipping away at the Texas A&M lead, and when Rice scored on a layup with 2:09 left in the half, the Wildcats were within one, at 33-32. The Aggies would extend the lead again, and they led 39-36 at the break. Morris led all scorers with 14 points in the half.
Early in the third period, Kentucky took a 41-40 lead on a three-pointer by Cann. Texas A&M took the lead back, and held it until Murray converted on a layup to give UK a 51-50 advantage with 2:59 remaining in the period. But the Aggies outscored the Cats 9-4 the rest of the period and led 59-55 after three.
Kentucky cut the lead to two early in the fourth period, but A&M extended its advantage with a 7-0 run. The Wildcats would within two, 72-70, with 9.7 seconds left in the game before the Aggies sealed the victory with a pair of free throws.
Kentucky returns to action on Sunday, as the Wildcats host Georgia at Memorial Coliseum. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. ET and the game can be seen on SEC Network+.
Team Records and Series Notes
– Kentucky falls to 8-8 overall, including an 0-2 record in Southeastern Conference play this season, while Texas A&M rises to 12-4, 1-1 SEC.
– Matthew Mitchell is in his 11th season as head coach at Kentucky. He is the winningest head coach in program history at 249-108.
– The all-time series between the two programs is now tied 4-4, but the Wildcats still own a 3-1 edge in games played College Station.
o Prior to tonight’s game, the road team had won the last five games in the series.
– Kentucky will return to Memorial Coliseum this Sunday at 2 p.m. to take on Georgia. The game will be shown live on SEC Network+ and will be broadcast on the UK Sports Radio Network with Darren Headrick calling the action.
– Kentucky used the starting combination of senior Alyssa Rice, senior Makenzie Cann, junior Taylor Murray, junior Maci Morris and freshman Dorie Harrison.
o UK is 6-1 with that starting-five combination.
o It was Harrison’s first start since Nov. 26 vs. Marshall.
– The Wildcats trailed 24-18 at the end of the first quarter as the Aggies were hot from the start, shooting 7-of-13 (.538) from the floor including 3-of-3 from long range.
o Texas A&M led by as many as eight in the first quarter.
– Maci Morris hit a buzzer beater just before halftime to cut the deficit to three, 39-36.
– Less than a minute into the second half, Makenzie Cann hit a 3 to give Kentucky a 41-40 lead.
o The lead was UK’s first since the 8:30 mark of the first quarter.
– The third quarter was back and forth, with six lead changes, but the Aggies held onto a 59-55 advantage at the end of the period.
– In the fourth quarter, Texas A&M surged ahead, stretching its lead to as many as nine, but with 10 second left in the game Alyssa Rice hit a layup to cut the Aggies’ lead to two, 72-70.
– The Wildcats quickly fouled, but Texas A&M’s Anriel Howard hit both free throws on the other end to go up four and that would be the final score.
– The game saw 10 lead changes overall.
– UK shot 27-of-61 (.443) from the floor in the game.
o The 44.3 percent shooting marked its best shooting performance since Dec. 21 vs. No. 3 Louisville when the Wildcats shot 44.9 percent (22-49).
– The Wildcats outscored the Aggies in the paint, 26-18.
– Maci Morris led all scorers with 22 points to go along with three rebounds and four assists.
o Morris matched a career-high nine made field goals in the game, shooting 9-of-18 from the floor.
o It was her fifth 20+ point performance of the season.
o The performance marked the 11th time she’s led UK in scoring this season.
o Morris now has 936 career points for the Wildcats, and is just 66 points away from becoming the 33rd member of UK’s 1000 point club.
– Makenzie Cann added 14 points on 4-of-8 3-point shooting.
o Her four 3s matched a season high after going 4-of-6 from long range in the season opener.
o Her 14 points marked her highest scoring performance since Nov. 22 vs. Morehead State when she scored 15 points.
– Taylor Murray recorded seven points, four rebounds and a game-high six assists.
o It was the tenth time she’s led UK in assists this season.
– Alyssa Rice scored 10 points to go along with eight rebounds in the contest.
o It was the sixth time she’s scored in double digits this season.
o She’s led UK in rebounds six times this season.
‑ GO CATS –
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