By LARRY VAUGHT
Senior Taylor Murray had 18 points on Kentucky’s Senior Day win over LSU Sunday (the Cats regular-season final home game is Thursday against Texas A&M) and said hitting two late free throws was especially meaningful for her.
“I think it’s just payback and redemption for when we played Arkansas and I missed both free throws,” Murray said. “But I made both free throws. Just the matter of staying focused and hitting the shots whenever I’m given the opportunity.”
Murray also had a late steal that sealed the win over LSU.
“We’re all happy for each other because it’s Senior Day, but we all play for each other each game. This was a gutty win because we were able to handle adversity while staying consistent,” Murray said.
Kentucky coach Matthew Mitchell said Murray has grown in multiple ways during her four years at Kentucky.
“Taylor was very shy, very quiet coming in and is really running our team right now. She had it under control there in a strategic standpoint there in the fourth quarter. She and I were having great conversations. She was checking in with me and everything she was saying was right on point so she has a good grasp of what we’re trying to get done,” Mitchell said.
“She has grown so much with her ability to come out of her shell and just be a wonderful representative of our program. We’re real proud of her and she’s playing some awfully good ball right now.”
She’s playing well enough to keep Kentucky in contention for a first-round bye in the Southeastern Conference Tournament as well as a spot in the NCAA Tournament that UK missed last year.
Whenever her senior year does end, Murray knows what she’ll remember most about her time at Kentucky.
“I would just remember playing for my teammates while playing with each other,” Murray said. “You also have a great coaching staff that helps develop you both on and off the court. You work from June to now, but you also have the chance to develop great relationships.”