UK Women Win Opener 82-66 Over Miami (FL)

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Solid Blue Basketball LOW-RES

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.

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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.

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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