Texas A&M's Strong Second Half Powers Aggies To 77-68 Win Over Kentucky Sunday
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Texas A&M Aggies used a second-half surge to power past the No. 24 Kentucky Wildcats on Sunday, Jan. 8, handing UK its first home loss inside Memorial Coliseum this season with a 77-68 result.
Kentucky seniors Makayla Epps and Evelyn Akhator (pictured) each had 20 points in the game to lead all Kentucky scorers. With the loss, Kentucky falls to 10-6 overall on the season and is 1-2 now inside of Southeastern Conference action.
The Wildcats will travel to Tuscaloosa, Alabama to face the Crimson Tide on Thursday night at 8 p.m. ET. The game can be seen live on the SEC Network Plus, ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app.
UK held a 17-11 lead after the first quarter, without Epps scoring a point and sophomore Maci Morris tallying two 3s for a team-high six points in the quarter. The Wildcats’ sophomore guard Taylor Murray made a running lay-up as time expired in the quarter to take a six-point lead, its largest of the game at that time.
In the second quarter, Texas A&M used its inside presence to take the halftime lead by a point, outscoring the Wildcats 23-16 in the second period. The second quarter also proved to be the emergence of the Aggies’ Curtyce Knox, who ended up with a game-high 26 points on 8-of-13 shooting and 3-for-3 from 3-point range.
The Wildcats struggled from outside the arc, going 3-of-13 from 3-point range, and all three made 3’s came in the first half. UK only attempted three 3’s in the final 20 minutes of the game.
UK Coach Matthew Mitchell's club took a six-point lead at 47-41 midway through the third quarter before Texas A&M used a 9-2 run including seven in a row to push past the Wildcats and take a one-point lead at 50-49 at the end of the third quarter.
In a back-and-forth fourth quarter, the lead changed four times before a 7-0 run by the Aggies including a key 3 from Knox to put the Aggies ahead 69-62. Texas A&M would then go on to make all eight of the free throws they attempted inside the final three minutes of the game to ice it.
The 20-point game for Akhator is her second 20-point game this season, after scoring a season-high 28 points versus Albany in the Wildcats’ second game of the season. Akhator also added in four rebounds and two assists in the game. Epps’ 20 points is her sixth 20-point game of the season and 14th double-figure scoring game of the season.
Photos by Britney Howard, UK Athletics