UK Hoops – Kentucky Falls to No. 24 California

UK Hoops falls at home to #24 Cal – Photo by Mont Dawson

Maci Morris Scores 21 Points to Lead Wildcats

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Maci Morris scored 21 points and grabbed eight rebounds, but the Kentucky women’s basketball team lost to No. 24 California 62-52 on Thursday afternoon at Memorial Coliseum.

Freshman Tatyana Wyatt added 10 points, her sixth double-figure scoring effort in eight outings so far this season, while senior Alyssa Rice led all players with 10 rebounds in the game.

Kentucky (8-5) controlled the glass, grabbing 43 rebounds to just 31 for Cal. The Wildcats had 25 offensive rebounds, leading to 19 second-chance points, while Cal had just eight second-chance points. Kentucky also got 20 bench points, while Cal had just one.

Kentucky made just one of its first 11 shots from the field, but Wyatt came off the bench to hit a three-pointer that gave Kentucky a 10-9 lead midway through the first quarter. The Wildcats would go on to hit four of their next six shots from the floor to take a 17-10 lead. But Cal answered with five straight points before Morris nailed a three to make it 20-15, which would be the score at the end of the first period.

Cal opened the second period on a 7-2 run to tie the game at 22 apiece. The game was tied at 26-26 when both teams went cold. In fact, more than three minutes ran off the game clock before Rice hit a free throw with 2:33 left in the half to give the Cats a 27-26 advantage. But Cal added a pair of field goals inside the final minute of the half to take a 30-27 lead into the half.

The Wildcats scored the first six points of the third period to take a 33-30 lead. But the Bears answered with four straight to re-gain the advantage, 34-33. Kentucky took a 37-36 lead on a pair of free throws by Wyatt, but Cal answered by scoring 10 straight points to lead 46-37 at the end of three quarters.

In the fourth quarter, Kentucky scored first when Wyatt nailed a three from the top of the key to cut the lead to 46-40. But the Wildcats would get no closer.

Kentucky returns to action next Thursday, as the Wildcats face Middle Tennessee in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET