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Kentucky-Mississippi State women postgame notes and numbers

Kentucky Women’s Basketball Postgame Notes

FINAL:  #16/16 Kentucky 83, #14/13 Mississippi State 60

Humphrey Coliseum – Starkville, Miss.

Feb. 18, 2016

Team Records and Series Notes

–          The win moves Kentucky to 18-6 on the season, including 7-6 in SEC play. Mississippi State is now 21-6, 8-5 in the league.

–          UK has won its last three SEC games, its first three-game winning streak in conference play this season.

–          This was the 43rd all-time meeting between the teams.

o   UK now leads the series 26-17, including 10-8 in Starkville.

o   UK has now won 10 straight over the Bulldogs, including six straight on the road.

–          Matthew Mitchell improves to 242-116 overall and 212-87 in nine seasons at Kentucky.

–          Kentucky returns to action Sunday when they play host to Arkansas in Memorial Coliseum. The game will be televised live on the SEC Network. A limited number of reserved seats remain, general admission tickets are sold out.

Game Notes

–          Kentucky used the starting lineup of Janee Thompson, Makayla Epps, Maci Morris, Batouly Camara and Evelyn Akhator for the fourth straight game. UK is 3-1 this season when using that starting combination.

–          The 23-point win is UK’s second-largest in SEC play. The Cats defeated Alabama in their SEC home opener by 25 (73-48).

–          The 23-point loss is just MSU’s second home loss of the season. MSU entered tonight’s game 30-2 at home over the last two years.

o   This marked the Bulldogs’ largest defeat of the season. The previous margin was a 12-point loss to Missouri.

o   State came into tonight’s game allowing just 53 points per game.

–          The Wildcats rarely lose when scoring 80 or more. UK is now 329-22 since 1974 when scoring 80 or more, including 83-4 under Matthew Mitchell.

o   UK’s 83 points are the most since netting 84 vs. Northern Kentucky on Dec. 2, 2015.

–          UK improved to 4-2 vs. teams ranked in the AP top 25. UK also owns wins over No. 15 Arizona State, No. 13 Duke and No. 18 Tennessee.

o   This marks UK’s first road win over a Top-25 SEC team since defeating Texas A&M in College Station, Texas (83-74) on Feb. 23, 2014.  

–          Kentucky led it early 13-3, before the Bulldogs battled back within six, 20-14, at the first-quarter break.

–          The Wildcats trailed only once in the first half on State’s opening bucket of the game, 0-2. UK led the rest of the half, paced by 11 points from Taylor Murray.

–          UK won the battle in the paint, 16-12, in the first half. The Wildcats also outrebounded MSU, 23-14 in the opening stanza.

–          The third quarter proved to be the difference in the game. UK outscored the Bulldogs 22-10, paced by nine points from freshman Maci Morris.

–          Speaking of freshmen, UK’s freshman class – Batouly Camara, Maci Morris and Taylor Murray – combined for 38 points in the game.

–          For the game, Kentucky shot 30-of-67 from the field for 45%.

–          Kentucky had just nine turnovers in the game, the fewest this season and fewest since having five turnovers against Dayton last season. It also marked the second straight game UK has had 10 or fewer turnovers.

–          UK outrebounded State by 15 (49-34), tying for the largest rebounding margin in SEC play of the season. UK also outrebounded Alabama by 15.

–          UK’s defense held MSU’s leading scorer and the SEC’s second-leading scorer, Victoria Vivians, who entered the game averaging 17.0 points per game, to just seven.


Individual Notes

–          Maci Morris tied her career high with 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting, 14 coming in the second half.

o   Also netted 17 vs. Eastern Michigan on Nov. 25.

o   Marked her fourth double-digit outing in the last five games.

–          Makayla Epps scored 16 points, eight rebounds and five assists.

o   Has recorded five or more assists in 11 games this season, including three straight.

o   Her eight rebounds are the most since she grabbed a career-high 11 vs. Morehead State on Nov. 18.

–          Taylor Murray came off the bench for 13 points, just one shy of her career high.

o   Added four rebounds and four assists.

o   She was 6-of-6 from the foul line.

–          Alexis Jennings had 12 points and seven rebounds.

o   Went 4-of-6 shooting from the floor

o   Marked her fourth straight game in double-figure scoring.

–          Janee Thompson scored 15 points in the game on 5-of-10 shooting with two assists and 3-of-5 3-pointers.

o   Thompson tied her season high in 3-pointers made, a feat she has accomplished in back-to-back games.

o   The senior guard has scored in double figures in five of her last six games.

–          Evelyn Akhator grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds, her 10th game in double digits

o   Added eight points.

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