UK women earn Sweet 16 appearance

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) – Janee Thompson scored 16 points, including nine straight over the third and fourth quarters, to help No. 3 seed Kentucky beat sixth-seeded Oklahoma 79-58 for a second-round NCAA Tournament victory on Monday night.

The Wildcats (25-7) earned their fifth Sweet 16 berth in seven seasons and will play a few blocks away from campus at Rupp Arena, home of the men’s team. Thompson deserves credit for helping her team get there after a tense stretch that featured a big hand from hobbled teammate Makayla Epps.

An injured right shoulder forced Epps to briefly leave the game in the third quarter before she returned to grab a key offensive rebound leading to Thompson’s jumper and a 50-44 lead. Epps (13 points) and Thompson followed with 3-pointers before the senior opened the fourth quarter with six free throws for a 62-49 lead that Kentucky steadily expanded.

Gioya Carter’s 12 points led Oklahoma (22-11).

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