Kentucky-Vanderbilt Postgame Notes
Kentucky Women’s Basketball Postgame Notes
FINAL: Vanderbilt 71, #12/12 Kentucky 69
Memorial Coliseum – Lexington, Ky.
Jan. 28, 2016
Team Records and Series Notes
Kentucky dropped its second home contest of the season to Vanderbilt on Thursday evening, 71-69.
With the loss, UK moves to 15-4 on the season, and 4-4 in Southeastern Conference play.
The meeting was the 50th between the two programs, with UK falling to 27-23 in the all-time series.
The loss snaps a nine-game winning streak against the Commodores, dating back to 2010.
Matthew Mitchell is in his ninth season with Kentucky and the setback moves him to 239-114 overall, including a 209-85 record while at Kentucky.
The setback marked the first timethat Kentucky has lost to an unranked team at home while ranked since dropping a 99-94 decision to Dayton in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on March 21, 2015.
It also marked the first time that a game has been decided by two points or less since playing Mississippi State on Feb. 21, 2015, when the Wildcats came away with a 92-90 double-overtime win.
Kentucky shot 45.9% from the field on 28-of-61 shooting, while Vanderbilt went 25-of-57 from the floor for 43.9%. From 3-point range, Vanderbilt was 10-of-24 (41.7%), while the Wildcats were 3-of-14 (21.4%).
UK forced 16 turnovers, converting those into 20 points while only committing 12 miscues.
The rebounding battle was deadlocked at 32-32, and UK held the advantage in the paint, 40-24.
UK shot 62.5% in the first period, taking a 20-11 lead by the end of the opening stanza.
Fourteen of Kentucky’s first 20 points were scored in the paint, while the Wildcats outrebounded the Commodores 10-5 and held one of the league’s best teams in 3-point efficiency to 0-of-4 from beyond the arc. Vanderbilt would go on to hit three 3-pointers in a row to open up the second period.
At the half, the score was tied 34-34. UK shot 55.2% on 16-of-29 from the floor, including 2-of-5 from 3-point range, while Vanderbilt went 13-of-29 from the field for 44.8%. UK outscored VU in the paint, 18-12, and outrebounded the Commodores 17-11.
Vanderbilt had taken a 47-40 lead before Kentucky went on a 13-2 run, including an 8-0 run to take the score from 49-45 in Vanderbilt’s favor to a 53-49 edge for Kentucky.
Vanderbilt made six of its 10 3-pointers in the second half of action, accounting for 18 of the Commodores’ 37 points to establish the advantage that would play out through the end of the contest.
Makayla Epps led all scorers with a season-high 25 points along with five rebounds and three assists.
o Epps has scored at least 20 points in three consecutive games, marking the first time that a UK player has posted 20+ points in three straight games since Jennifer O’Neil accomplished the feat against Florida, Ole Miss and Tennessee between Feb. 9-16, 2014.
o Epps also scored 17 points in the second half for the second consecutive game.
Janee Thompson added 14 points, 12 of them in the first half and dished out six assists while grabbing two steals.
o Thompson sank two 3-pointers, marking the 11th time this season that she has made at least two triples in a game.
Evelyn Akhator poured in 12 points and pulled down a team-high six rebounds.
Alexis Jennings added 12 points to go with five rebounds and two steals.
o Jennings continued her perfect effort from the free throw line in conference action, making two from the charity stripe to advance to 18-of-18 in SEC play.