LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) – Maci Morris made seven of eight free throws in the final 37 seconds, including two with 3.2 seconds remaining, to help fourth-seeded Kentucky edge No. 13 Belmont 73-70 victory on Friday in a first-round game of the NCAA Tournament.
Wildcats seniors Makayla Epps and Evelyn Akhator did their parts to get Kentucky ahead with 52 combined points that were needed to hold off the determined Bruins. Belmont got within 69-68 on two Sally McCabe free throws with 13 seconds remaining.
Morris was already clicking at the line by then and sealed the victory with four more in the final seconds for 15 points and an edge that proved critical against Belmont’s last chance to tie.
Darby Maggard was defended well and shot an off-balance 3 that missed as the horn sounded to end Belmont’s school-record 21-game winning streak.
Epps scored 30 with a career-high five 3-pointers while Akhator added 22.
Kentucky will play Ohio State in the second round on Sunday.
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