Senior Akhator Scores Career-High 28 in Victory
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Evelyn Akhator had a career-high 28 points as No. 19 Kentucky won for the second time in as many nights, beating Albany 70-46 on Saturday night at Memorial Coliseum.
Akhator, who also had a game-high 13 rebounds, recorded her previous career high of 21 points last season against Alabama in a home court win over the Crimson Tide.
No other Kentucky player scored in double figures on Saturday, although four players (Makenzie Cann, Makayla Epps, Maci Morris and Alyssa Rice) each had eight points for the Wildcats.
Akhator got it going from the very beginning, scoring Kentucky’s first seven points of the game, but the contest was tied 7-7 early. That’s when the Wildcats went on a 10-0 run, sparked by three-pointers from Morris and Jessica Hardin, as well as three free throws by Cann.
Kentucky (2-0) held Albany to just 24 percent (five-of-21) shooting in the first quarter, while the Wildcats hit 42 percent of their field goals. Kentucky also converted seven-of-nine from the free throw line, taking a 19-11 lead at the end of the first period.
The second quarter followed a similar script to the first, with the teams playing fairly evenly at the beginning of the quarter before Kentucky mounted a 9-0 run to lead 36-19 at the half. Again it was Morris with a three-pointer in the middle of the run, coupled with a pair of baskets by Akhator. The Kentucky defense was also outstanding, holding Albany without a point for the final 4:56 of the half.
Kentucky struggled from the floor for nearly the entire third period, but the Wildcats scored six points in the final minute of the period to lead 53-34 after three periods. Despite shooting just three-of-15 (20 percent) in the quarter, the Wildcats actually extended their halftime lead by two points at the end of the third frame. Akhator had seven points of Kentucky’s 17 points in the period.
Kentucky pulled away in the fourth quarter, leading by as many as 29 before settling for a 26-point victory.
Albany, playing in its season opener, shot just 25.4 percent from the floor in the game and was held to just 12 second-half points by the Wildcats.
Kentucky returns to action on Thursday, when the Wildcats host New Hampshire. The game is set for an 11 a.m. ET tipoff at Memorial Coliseum.
‑ GO CATS –