Louisville beats Kentucky in overtime thriller
12/04/2016 06:25 PM
The latest installment of the Battle for the Bluegrass was as thrilling as fans could ask for. The game between the no. 17 Kentucky and no. 7 Louisville women’s basketball teams featured six lead changes that ultimately ended in overtime. The home team Cardinals earned the 69-67 victory over the visiting Wildcats, marking their first win over their Lexington rival since 2010.
Kentucky had two opportunities to win at the end of regulation, senior guard Makayla Epps missed a jumper with 5 second left on the clock. The ensuing U of L possession, UK stole the inbound pass and the final shot of regulation from Epps was just short and sent the game to OT.
In the extra period, Louisville scored the first five points and never relinquished the lead. UK got back to within one point after a acrobatic Maci Morris 3-pointer with five seconds left to play. The Cats then fouled Louisville senior Briahanna Jackson on the inbound who made only one of her free throws, leaving UK a chance to tie or take the lead with four seconds on the clock. It turned out to be too little time for the Cats. UK failed to get a shot up and finished two points short of a second straight win over a ranked opponent.
Epps paced the field in points and rebounds. The Kentucky star senior netted 22 points and grabbed 16 rebounds while playing every second of action. Teammate Taylor Murray finished the game with 21 points and five rebounds, while the Cardinals were able to keep UK forward Evelyn Akhator to a quiet eight points and five rebounds. Akhator only played 19 minutes due to foul trouble.
Junior forward Myisha Hines-Allen was the star Cardinal in Sunday’s win. In 27 minutes, Hines-Allen contributed 26 points, five rebounds, and two blocks. Asia Durr was the only other Card in double figures. She scored 15 points, while Briahanna Jackson and Cortnee Walton tied for a team-high 10 rebounds each.
The win snapped a two game losing streak for Louisville. After the game, head coach Jeff Walz said he was happy just to get a win, and said he definitely saw his team show fight, something he wanted to see more of in the team’s Thursday night loss to Maryland.
Meanwhile Kentucky coach Matthew Mitchell was quick to take responsibility for key situations that cost the Cats. He addressed what went wrong for the visitors and why he feels it won’t be a lingering issue.