Kentucky Beats LSU in SEC Tournament
When Kentucky faced LSU earlier this season, Wildcat guard Makayla Epps had perhaps her worst game of the season. But she made up for it in a big way on Thursday, helping Kentucky to a 79-71 win over the Tigers in the second round of the 2016 SEC Women's Basketball Tournament.
In the Feb. 9 game against LSU in Memorial Coliseum, Epps hit only two-of-nine shots from the floor and scored just five points, her lowest total of the season. But on Thursday, Epps had 17 points, including 14 in the first half, to help her Wildcats take control of the game early and advance.
Kentucky went ahead early and left little doubt how this game would end. Tied 5-5 in the first quarter, Kentucky mounted a 13-0 run and led 25-14 after one period.
Early in the second quarter, LSU cut the lead to single digits on a jumper by Alexis Hyder. However, Kentucky quickly responded and the lead remained in double digits for the remainder of the half.
In the third period, Kentucky stretched the lead to as many as 17 points, at 48-31, and led 58-42 at the end of the stanza.
LSU mounted a rally in the fourth quarter, much like they did in the earlier meeting this season, before falling short at the end.
Senior guard Janee Thompson had 17 points for the Cats, while Evelyn Akhator had 15 points and 12 rebounds, posting her 11th double-double of the season.
Hyder led the Tigers (10-21) with 23 points, while Akilah Bethel had 14 points and 10 rebounds.
In Friday's third-round game, Kentucky will have a chance at redemption against a Florida team that beat them in late January. In that game, Kentucky turned the ball over a season-high 30 times, but only lost 85-79 in Gainesville. Epps had 27 points in the game to lead all scorers.
Friday's game will tip off at approximately 2:30 ET and can be seen on the SEC Network.