By LARRY VAUGHT
Senior Taylor Murray took over the game in the third quarter and led Kentucky to a 52-41 come from behind win over No. 25 Missouri here Thursday night.
Kentucky trailed 21-18 at halftime when it made just seven of 25 shots from the field and had nine turnovers.
But in the third quarter Murray had 13 points along with three steals to put UK in front 36-28 going into the final period. She finished the game with 21 points on 8-for-14 shooting, four steals, four rebounds and two assists. She also played 38 minutes.
Kentucky won despite having leading scorers Maci Morris and Rhyne Howard both score just four points and go a combined 3-for-17 from the field in 65 minutes of play. Howard did have eight rebounds and two steals while Morris had six rebounds and two blocked shots.
Tatyana Wyatt gave UK a needed lift with 11 points, six rebounds and one blocked shot.
Kentucky had a 26-8 advantage in points in the paint and 21-8 in points off turnovers.
“There were possessions Taylor just got away from us. She is so explosive and is really, really good on defense,” Missouri coach Robin Pingeton said. “Kentucky is a really good team. They know their roles and are really good at it. It just seems like they are in a really good flow right now.
“Some of the baskets we gave them were momentum baskets in transition. I thought if we could have held them to 52 we would have had a really good shot (to win). We just didn’t convert our chances.”
Kentucky coach Matthew Mitchell said he didn’t say anything special to Murray at halftime other than for his team to drive the ball more.
“I am not taking credit for her spectacular play. We had to get more disruptive play and had to make something happen with our defense (in the second half),” Mitchell said. “They were making it tough to score around the basket. Her ability to force turnovers out high and we got layups off her defense she really sparked our team.
“She has been struggling with her knee. She is rounding into form that we have seen. It was an outstanding performance and she was the catalyst that sparked the whole team.”