For a non-conference season that saw just as much action off the court as did on the court, the 2015-16 version of UK Hoops has taken care of the winning part to finish their non-conference schedule unscathed.
Monday night in Memorial Coliseum was the icing on the cake as the ladies made light work of Tennessee State cruising to a 81-39 victory.
It was a balanced attack for the Cats as they had 6 players in double figures, led by Evelyn Akhator’s double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds. Murray (13), Morris (13), Epps (11), Thompson (10) and Jennings (10) rounded out the rest of the double figure scoring Cats. While we’re at it, Camara and Rice entered the scoring column with 6 and 4 points respectively.
While much attention has been paid to Makayla Epps, and deservedly so, Evelyn Akhator has been one of the more important players so far this season, averaging an SEC leading 10.2 rebounds per game. She also has 4 double-doubles now, which puts her in within 2 of the most in the SEC so far this season.
Off the court has been testy for the Cats so far this season. There are only 9 players that dress for Matthew Mitchell’s Cats these days due to a string of baffling mid-season exits from what many believed would be key contributors.
It would have been easy to think that trouble was brewing behind the scenes leading to the departures, but something else seems to be the reason… the 9 remaining players are really good.
I think it is safe to say that with the exception of one of those players, the other 3 most likely left due to playing time concerns. That is a good problem to have if you’re a coach.
With the lack of depth, freshmen Maci Morris, Taylor Murray, and Batouly Camara are being called upon for quality playing time. So far they have answered the bell, especially Morris who is a regular starter, and Murray who brings the tenacious defense on the perimeter that UK Hoops fans are accustomed to seeing.
The 11-0 Wildcats will now move on to SEC play, where barring any major upsets, will be one of 3 undefeated teams going into league play joining Missouri and South Carolina.
Kentucky will open league play at Auburn January 3rd at 3 pm. They then return home to face Alabama on January 7th.