Senior guard Makayla Epps posts 29 points in season-opening win
LEXINGTON, Ky. – With 3:13 left in the game, the No. 19 Kentucky women’s basketball team went on a 13-0 run to defeat the No. 14 Miami Hurricanes 82-66 in its first game of the season on Friday night inside Memorial Coliseum.
Seniors Evelyn Akhator and Makayla Epps combined for 47 of the team’s 82 points in the victory. Epps had a game-high 29 points to go along with five assists. Akhator recorded her 14th career double-double in the contest, adding 18 points and 10 rebounds.
With five turnovers between both teams in the first three minutes, the game was scoreless until Miami’s Erykah Davenport made a layup to put up the first points in the contest. Following two 3-pointers from sophomore guard Maci Morris, Epps would help bring the Wildcats to a 12-10 lead late in the first quarter, but Miami would respond with a 3-pointer to close the first quarter with a 13-12 lead.
A huge steal from Epps was the spark the Wildcats needed to start the second quarter, giving Akhator the chance to put up the Wildcats first six points in the period. Akhator would go on a tear, as her jumper 1:33 into the second quarter would bring the lead to 18-16, and the Wildcats would not trail again in the game.
The Hurricanes would continue to keep it close throughout the quarter, but a 3-pointer from Jessica Hardin at the buzzer would extend Kentucky’s lead to 38-29 to end the first half.
Miami would come out of the locker room hot, going on an 8-1 run to start the half to bring them within two. The score would remain close through the quarter, but Mackenzie Cann would put up a huge 3-pointer to help the Wildcats end the quarter with a six-point advantage, 57-51.
Epps completely took over in the fourth, scoring 18 points, starting with a jumper which would extend Kentucky’s lead to eight. Miami would make one final push with 3:24 left in the game, as a layup from Keyana Harris cut the deficit to three once again. But Epps would quickly fire back, and the Hurricanes would not score again. The Wildcats outscored Miami 25-15 in the period.
In its second game of the Kentucky Classic, UK will host Albany tomorrow at 7 p.m. ET inside Memorial Coliseum. The game will be broadcast live on SEC Network+ and on the UK Sports Radio Network in Lexington on 630AM WLAP.
For more information on the Kentucky women’s basketball team, visit UKathletics.com or follow @KentuckyWBB on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, or Kentucky Women’s Basketball on Facebook.
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