Edwards Sparks UK to 67-63 Victory at Alabama


Alabama guard JaMya Mingo-Young (2) goes up for a basket against Rhyne Howard of Kentucky as Nyah Leveretter and Jada Walker look on during Sunday's game at Tuscaloosa. (UA Athletics Photo by Jeff Hanson)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Dre'una Edwards scored 24 points off the bench and the Kentucky women's basketball team rallied late to top Alabama 67-63 on Sunday at Coleman Coliseum.

Edwards made 10 of 23 shots from the floor, including one of five from behind the arc, and made all three of her free throws in the game. She added seven rebounds, three steals and two assists for the Cats.

All-American Rhyne Howard, playing with her shooting hand taped, scored nine points in the game. She added nine rebounds, three blocked shots, a steal and an assist for the Cats.

Kentucky (10-11, 3-8 SEC) got 39 points off the bench in the game compared to just nine for Alabama. The Cats forced 18 turnovers in the game and converted those into 18 points. Kentucky also held an advantage in second-chance points, 17-8, and fast break points, 15-5.

Alabama (12-11, 3-9) started the game quickly, scoring the game's first five points and building an early 11-2 lead. Kentucky answered with an 11-4, keyed by four points from Edwards and a three from Robyn Benton, getting within 15-13.

The Tide would go back up by five, 20-15, but Kentucky got baskets from Nyah Leveretter and Emma King, to cut the deficit to one, 20-19, after one period of play.

Early in the second period, Alabama extended the lead to 22-19. But UK got a pair of free throws from Olivia Owens and a Treasure Hunt layup to lead for the first time, 23-22. After Alabama took the lead back, Kentucky got a pair of layups from Edwards to lead 27-24 with 4:18 left in the half.

Alabama would score the next four to take the lead back, 28-27 but a basket by Howard would give the Cats a 29-28 advantage at the half. Kentucky forced 12 Alabama turnovers in the first half and turned those into 12 points.

The Tide scored the first four points of the third period to lead 32-29 but Edwards answered with a three to tie the game at 32-32. Leveretter then scored on a putback to give the Cats a 34-32 advantage with 7:24 left in the period.

Alabama would take the lead back on a three from Hannah Barber and would extend the lead to three. That's when Edwards really went to work. She scored nine straight Kentucky points in a 9-2 run that gave the Cats a 43-39 lead. UK would lead 45-44 after three periods of play.

In the fourth period, Alabama scored the first four points to grab a 48-45 lead. Kentucky got a layup from Hunt to cut the deficit to one but Alabama responded back with a JaMya Mingo-Young basket. Hunt would answer that basket with a three to tie the game at 50-50.

The game would be tied at 52, 54 and 56 before Kentucky got a basket from Jazmine Massengill and a pair of free throws from Leveretter to lead 60-56 with 2:28 to play.

Alabama would get a basket and free throw from Megan Abrams to cut the UK lead to one, 60-59, but Jada Walker hit a 15-foot jumper to extend the Kentucky lead to 62-59 with 1:34 to play.

After a pair of Abrams free throws with 1:22 left, Edwards hit a jumper to make it 64-61 with 1:08 to go. Brittany Davis got the Tide within one with 48 seconds left.

Each team made defensive stops on the next two possessions before Howard was fouled with 24 seconds to play. She made the first free throw but missed the second, giving UK a 65-63 lead. Alabama called timeout with 23 seconds remaining to set up a final play.

The Tide got an open three from Mingo-Young but it rimmed off. However, the rebound went out of bounds off of Kentucky, giving Alabama the ball under their own basket with 9.2 seconds to play. The Tide inbounded the ball and Howard took it away and was fouled with five seconds to play. The senior calmly knocked down both free throws to seal the victory for the Cats.

Kentucky returns to action on Tuesday, hosting Mississippi State at Memorial Coliseum. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. and the game can be seen on SEC Network Plus.

Edward Jones AD.jpg