UK Defeats Miami in Late Second-Half Rally
SeSe Helm returns to the starting lineup and charts her 13th career double-double and fifth this season with 21 points and 11 rebounds.
The Kentucky women's basketball team used a late second-half rally, led by senior SeSe Helm's 21 points and 11 rebounds and sophomore Jenny Pfeiffer's 16 points, to snap a two-game losing streak and defeat the Miami RedHawks 64-58 on Saturday in Oxford, Ohio.
Kentucky trailed by as many as 11 points in the first half and shot just 22.2 percent from the field at the break to trail 28-19.
"We took too many quick shots in the first half and they weren't falling for us," UK Coach Mickie DeMoss said. "We were a lot more conscious of getting the ball inside in the second half and it worked for us. We needed this win and I'm really proud of the way this team fought today."
The Cats (5-4) chipped away at the RedHawks' (4-4) nine-point lead using the inside-outside duo of Helm and Pfeiffer. Helm scored 16 of her team-high 21 points in the second half and helped UK improve its field goal percentage to 59.3 percent. Pfeiffer went 7-for-7 from the free throw line and hit three key field goals in the second half for the Cats' win.
"Where SeSe goes, this team goes and she was big for us today," DeMoss said. "I'm also proud of a lot of other people, Jenny Pfeiffer, Sara Potts, Angela Phillips. It was a total team effort tonight."
Pfeiffer, who poured in her fourth straight double-digit performance, nailed a clutch three-pointer with 9:39 remaining in the game to pull the Cats within one, 43-42. Helm then hit a jumper from Keiko Tate on the next play to give UK its first lead of the half, 44-43, with 9:08 remaining. The Cats went on to build an eight-point lead and hang on for the win.
Sara Potts also added 12 points and freshman Angela Phillips, who returned to the starting lineup for the first time since North Carolina on Nov. 25, scored nine points and grabbed five steals. UK outrebounded Miami 47-41 and scored 38 points in the paint compared to MU's 26.
The first half saw UK take a five-point advantage until the RedHawks broke open 28-19 halftime lead sparked by the play of reserve Amanda Jackson. She scored 12 of MU's 28 bench points while Hillary Beck added six. Senior Colleen Day led MU in scoring with 16 points while Nicki Motto added 12.
Kentucky now leads the all-time series with Miami 12-2 and is 5-2 when playing in Oxford. UK's last win in Oxford was a 77-39 decision on Nov. 22, 1999. UK is now 31-6 vs. teams from the Mid-American Conference.
The Cats get right back to action on Monday, Dec. 22 when they take on intrastate rival Western Kentucky at 8 p.m. ET at the E.A. Diddle Arena in Bowling Green, Ky.