The Kentucky Women’s Basketball team headed to the Murphy Center to take on Middle Tennessee State University in their road opener. Both teams got off to a sloppy start and found it difficult to put the ball in the basket. Kentucky went on more than a 5-minute drought before they found their rhythm on the offensive end of the floor. The Blue Raiders pushed the pace in the first half with full court pressure. The Cats gained the advantage late in the first half and took a 22-18 lead to the locker room. Coming out of the half Kentucky’s full court pressure known as 40 minutes of dread began to take a toll on the Blue Raiders as they quickly jumped out to a 20-point lead and outscoring the opponent 31-18 in the 3rd quarter. Three Cats finish in double figures and are led by redshirt senior Amanda Paschal with 16 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists. Arizona State transfer Sabrina Haines added 12 points along with Ogechi Anyagaligbo’s 10 points and 7 rebounds off the bench. KeKe McKinney had a strong showing on the boards with 6 rebounds. Final score in the Kentucky win 67-52 taking the Cats to 2-0. Turnovers (16) and fouls (21) were both a problem for the Cats and they will look to clean those up as Stetson comes to Memorial Coliseum on Wednesday, November 13th @ 7 pm.
Kentucky took care of business in their home opener against Eastern Kentucky University 91-49. Nick Richards looked to be healthy as he finished with a double-double, 21 points, 10 rebounds and 4 blocks. Nate Sestina is settling in nicely at Kentucky as he had another big night finishing with 12 points and 11 rebounds, he continues to be the voice on the floor. Keion Brooks Jr. saw more playing time tonight and added 11 points and 8 rebounds in 21 minutes. Ashton Hagans shows why he is on the Wooden Award watch list, and continues to be a match-up problem and creates crafty moves to get to the hoop, he finished with 11 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists. Immanuel Quickley’s early season play shows just how much work he has put in this offseason and continues to be a contributor offensively and defensively, his confidence is at a whole new level, tonight he had 16 points and 5 assists. We saw a little of the explosive Khalil Whitney as he had a monster jam at the end of the game. EJ Montgomery was a no go tonight with a reported ankle injury, it is said he should be good to return early next week as the Cats take on Evansville at home on Tuesday, November 12 @7 pm, it can be seen on SEC Network.
Opening night of college basketball kicks off at the Historic Madison Square Garden for the State Farm Champions Classic between the #1 Michigan State Spartans and #2 Kentucky Wildcats. Both teams got off to a slow start but that didn’t last long as Kentucky’s veteran Ashton Hagans made some key shots to get things rolling finishing the night with 11 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists. Sophomore guard Immanuel Quickley finished in double digits again with 10 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists. EJ Montgomery looked more comfortable on both ends of the floor finishing with 6 points and 2 rebounds but made an impact you won’t see in the box score. Nick Richards came off the bench tonight after rolling an ankle in the last exhibition game and finished with 5 points and 5 rebounds before fouling out late in the 2nd half. Holly Rowe asked Coach Cal in pre-game where he could find a shot if needed, his response was that he didn’t know because it was early in the season. After tonight it’s clear that Coach Cal has an idea where shots can be found when needed. Freshman guard Tyrese Maxey had a breakout college debut finishing with 26 points, including 3 deep bombs from behind the arch, 5 rebounds and 2 assists. Kentucky will take on Eastern Kentucky University at Rupp on Friday, November 8 at 7pm it can be seen on the SEC Network.