By LARRY VAUGHT
LEXINGTON — Mckenzie Cann can do a lot of things for the Kentucky basketball team. Now she can add being a double-double machine.
The senior from Anderson County got her first double-double in the previous game and came back with 15 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, one block and one steal in Wednesday’s 86-53 win over Morehead.
Her former Anderson teammate, Eriel McKee, led Morehead with 13 points. Cann had sent a text message to McKee Tuesday night telling her should would be guarding her and was excited to see her former teammate.
“She has become a lot better, especially from the 3-point line. She was always good, but she has become great at it,” McKee said.
Cann said she tried to “joke around” with McKee during the game but her former teammates wanted no part of that. After the game, though, they posed for pictures together with family and friends — the whole Anderson County girls team was at the game.
Cann was 5-for-8 overall from the field and 3-for-5 from 3-point range. As a team, UK was 10-for-17 from 3-point range as Maci Morris was 5-for-6 (7-for-8 overall) and led UK with 19 points, three steals, three assists and two rebounds.
“They shot the ball extremely well,” Morehead coach Greg Todd said. “We knew Maci and Makenzie were great shooters and they proved that today. Makenzie is shooting at phenomenal rate, playing to her strengths, getting double-doubles. She played very well.
“It just came down to perimeter shooting. Kentucky shot the ball very well.”
Kentucky was 31-for-55 from the field while Morehead was 18-for-66 and only 3-for-17 from 3-point range.
“Give Kentucky some credit but we were getting some good looks at the basket,” Todd said. “Turnovers also led to a lot of points in the first half.”
With the graduation of Evelyn Akhator, UK’s top rebounder the previous two seasons, Cann knew she had to rebound more. She joked that she probably averaged two rebounds per game in high school and her brother claimed those just bounced her way.
“Coach (Matthew Mitchell) has been on me to get more rebounds,” Cann said. “Having to play inside more last year forced me to rebound.”
Both Cann and Morris know they have to be “stat stuffers” this season. Mitchell recently showed them a video that explained a player has the ball about five percent of the time in a game and spends the other 95 percent of the game without the ball.
“Coach Mitchell said everybody is concerned with scoring and all the flashy stuff, but rebounding and other things have been a huge focus for us,” Cann said.
Morris said Mitchell got on her about being a “little big low on the 95 percent things.” Since then, she’s had her first double-double.
“We are focusing on things other than scoring and it has shown up in games,” Morris said.