Vanderbilt Stops Morris-less Wildcats 70-55 Monday Night; Murray Guns in 23 Points
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Playing without leading scorer Maci Morris, the Kentucky women's basketball team came up short on Monday night, Jan. 15, falling at Vanderbilt 70-55 at Memorial Gymnasium.
Junior Taylor Murray (pictured against U of L recently) led the Wildcats with a season-high 23 points and a career-high seven steals. Freshman KeKe McKinney had nine points and six rebounds for Kentucky. Kentucky (9-10, 1-4 SEC) was able to create 19 Vanderbilt turnovers, including 16 steals in the game. The Wildcats converted those miscues into 15 points on the offensive end. Kentucky also had an advantage in offensive rebounds, 13-12, and the Wildcats outscored the Commodores 15-9 in second chance points. Both teams struggled offensively in the first quarter. In fact, neither team scored until Vandy's Rachel Bell connected on a jumper with 4:46 left in the period to give the Commodores a 2-0 lead. Vandy would hold the lead until the final minute of the period, when Murray scored six points in 33 seconds to give the Cats a 10-7 advantage after one quarter. Vanderbilt started the second period on a 15-0 run to turn a three-point deficit into a 22-10 lead. The Commodores would extend the lead to 29-15 before Kentucky scored the final five points of the first half, cutting the halftime deficit to 29-20. Murray had 12 of Kentucky's 20 points in the half. In the third period, Kentucky cut the lead to seven, but Vandy closed the period on a 20-10 run to lead 55-38 after three quarters. Vanderbilt held a double-digit lead through the entire fourth quarter. Kentucky returns to action on Sunday, as the Wildcats host No. 10 South Carolina at Rupp Arena. Tipoff is set for noon p.m. ET and the game can be seen on ESPNU.
Photo by Jamie H. Vaught