UK women beat LSU 79-71 to open SEC postseason

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) – Makayla Epps and Janee Thompson scored 17 points apiece and No. 13 Kentucky held off LSU 79-71 on Thursday to advance in the women’s SEC tournament.

Kentucky (22-6), the fifth seed in the conference, will face fourth-seeded and No. 25-ranked Florida in the quarterfinals on Friday.

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Thompson had six assists, while Evelyn Akhator added 15 points and 13 rebounds for the Wildcats.

LSU (10-21) was led by Alexis Hyder with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Rina Hill had 13 points and Shanice Norton added 10.

Kentucky dominated early – the Wildcats raced out to a 17-5 lead and led 25-14 after one. A pair of free throws by Akhator midway through the second gave Kentucky a 16-point lead. The Wildcats went to the break up 41-29.

Thompson’s jumper at the end of the third made it 58-42. LSU outscored the Wildcats 29-21 in the fourth, but got no closer than the final score.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Alex Risen joined the ABC 36 News team in October of 2011 as ABC 36’s Weekend Sports Anchor/ Sports Reporter. Alex can also be seen Friday nights co-anchoring the Highschool Highlight Reel. Alex started out in the broadcast business while still in college at the University of Kentucky, heading up the school’s daily student news network as the Sports Director. He made his commercial televsion debut in May of 2011 while at WYMT in Hazard, Kentucky as co-host of a weekly, half-hour high school sports program previewing area schools’ games on Friday nights and as a morning sports anchor. Alex has also spent time as an intern at ESPN in the Statistics and Analysis department, as a production assistant for NBC Sports horse racing and Sunday Night Football productions, and as an intern for WLKY in his hometown of Louisville, KY. Alex graduated from Saint Xavier High School in 2007 and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism and Political Science from the University of Kentucky in 2010 where he graduated magna cum laude from the Honors Program. He’s excited to be covering his passion in his home state and make Central Kentucky his home for years to come. Alex can be reached at ARisen@wtvq.com