No. 22 Kentucky upsets No. 3 Mississippi State on Senior Night

Makayla Epps, Evelyn Akhator (Vicky Graff Photo)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Playing on Senior Night in Memorial Coliseum, Kentucky seniors Evelyn Akhator and Makayla Epps had huge efforts as No. 22/RV Wildcats upset No. 3/2 Mississippi State 78-75 in overtime on Thursday night.

Epps made what turned out to be the winning play with eight seconds remaining, rebounding an Akhator miss and sticking it back in to give Kentucky a 77-75 lead. MSU turned the ball over on its ensuing possession, giving Kentucky the ball with just 3.1 seconds remaining. Maci Morris converted one-of-two free throws with 1.8 seconds left to make it 78-75. Mississippi State’s mid-court shot as time expired was off the mark, and the Wildcats claimed the win.

Who are the three best UK players Mike DeCourcy has seen play?

Anthony Davis (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Veteran Sporting News columnist Mike DeCourcy has covered college basketball for over 20 years and knew Kentucky coach John Calipari long before he got to Kentucky.

DeCourcy is one of the nation’s most respected journalists — that’s why he is in the United States Basketball Writers Hall of Fame.

During a recent conversation, I asked him who he thought were the three best UK players he has seen play. There were no restrictions. It could be four-year players or one-and-done guys or anything in between.

UK softball has five games in Florida this weekend

Katie Reed (Photo by Chet White | UK Athletics)

BOCA RATON, Fla. – After a 2-2 week that included a doubleheader split with No. 5 UCLA in Westwood, the No. 22/24 Kentucky softball team continues its 18-game road stretch to start the season, venturing south to Boca Raton, Florida to compete in the Florida Atlantic Invitational.

Kentucky is scheduled to play five games over three days, with competition against Florida Atlantic, UConn, Memphis and Florida A&M. The Wildcats will play all four teams once – and face the Memphis Tigers twice with games on Friday and Saturday.

Matthew Mitchell will always have one special memory of Makayla Epps

Makayla Epps (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Senior Makayla Epps of Marion County plays her final game in Memorial Coliseum tonight and has put up some remarkable numbers already.

She has played in 127 games with 82 career starts. Epps became the second player in school history to post a triple-double with 21 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds last year. Her 1,664 points going into tonight’s game against No. 3 Mississippi State rank as the fifth-most in Kentucky history and her 389 assists are the eighth-most by a UK player.

No. 22 Kentucky Hosts No. 3 Mississippi State for Senior Night

Makayla Epps (Vicky Graff Photo)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The No. 22 University of Kentucky women’s basketball team will conclude its 2016-17 home schedule and honor seniors Makayla Epps and Evelyn Akhator on Thursday as they welcome No. 3 Mississippi State to Memorial Coliseum for a 7 p.m. ET tip.

The UK program will honor Epps and Akhator for their hard work and dedication to the program with a pregame ceremony set to begin at approx. 6:40 p.m. ET. Kentucky has had great success in Senior Night games, sitting 31-10 all-time in regular-season home finales (1974-75 season not included), winning 11 of its last 13 games, including seven straight.

Guest post: Will this year’s team be remembered as one of the best or worst of the John Calipari era?

De’Aaron Fox (Vicky Graff Photo)

By KEITH PEEL

After being forced to endure watching another UK basketball game where the other team was inept at best and UK agreed to play to that level, I had to ask myself if this was the worst coached team I had seen during the John Calipari era.

I know the Archie Goodwin/Nerlens Noel team had the worst overall performance for a season but that team was also handicapped by a key injury to Noel during the season and a roster of role players to go with Goodwin.

SEC Network analyst Laura Rutledge apologizes to John Calipari for halftime question

Vicky Graff Photo

By LARRY VAUGHT

With Kentucky ahead by one point at halftime, Missouri students chanted, “Cal, you suck,” during his halftime interview with SEC Network analyst Laura Rutledge.

Her second question to Calipari was what did he think of the Missouri students. Calipari walked away — and most UK fans thought he should have.

After the game, Calipari said Rutledge apologized to him.

“Folks, she came over to apologize after the game. I’m like, ‘I don’t even know what you’re talking about. I have no idea.’ If the other team, if I walk in the building and they’re not cussing me, booing me, I will retire. It’s time to retire,” Calipari said.

Kentucky at Missouri Photo Gallery

Photos by Vicky Graff

Bam Adebayo: “I feel like I played great.”

Bam Adebayo (Vicky Graff Photo)

Here is what Bam Adebayo had to say after getting 22 points, 15 rebounds and three blocked shots in Tuesday’s win at Missouri.

On how he played tonight …
“I feel like I played great. We came out with the W so I couldn’t be happier.”
On what made the difference for him …
“Just being in the right position at the right time. That was pretty much it. Working on footwork, getting in front of post players and just coming with energy.”
On whether Cal was telling his teammates to get him the ball …
“Through our offense, you can throw it to me or if you’re open shoot it. So it wasn’t really a big emphasis on getting me the ball. But down the stretch they got me the ball, so we won.”
On whether a play was called to get him the ball when the score was tied 52-52 …
“Some of their big men were in foul trouble and we took control of that and we capitalized.”
On the difference in his rebounding …
“As I said before, just being in the right position. Just holding my man off and getting the rebound.”
On whether they were inspired by Missouri’s energy …
“No, because everywhere we play, home or away, it’s everybody’s Super Bowl. So they’re trying to beat us and we came out slow at first and then we got going and we won.”
On why they started slow …
“It’s a long game. What time did we play? We played at 9 technically, at home (Eastern Time). So it’s a long day. Everybody was just laying around ready for the game. We just came out slow. We got in our groove and we came out with a W.”
On Saturday’s game vs. Florida …
“We’re going to come out with intensity, we’re going to have and we’ll see where this thing goes.”

UK-Missouri postgame notes, numbers

Dominique Hawkins (Vicky Graff Photo)

Men’s Basketball Postgame Notes

Kentucky at Missouri, Mizzou Arena, Columbia, Mo.

Feb. 21, 2017
Attendance:
11,574

Final Score: No. 11/10 Kentucky 72, Missouri 62                                                  

Team Records and Series Notes

  • Kentucky won its fifth game in a row and is 23-5 overall, 13-2 in the Southeastern Conference. Missouri is 7-20, 2-13 in the SEC.
  • Kentucky leads the series 10-0

o    UK leads 3-0 in Columbia.

  • Next for Kentucky: the Wildcats return to Rupp Arena Saturday against Florida. Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET on CBS.