Lady Wildcats Seal the Deal

On December 20, the University of Kentucky’s women’s basketball team hosted Duke at Rupp Arena. Evelyn Akhator scored 18 points to help No. 8 Kentucky beat No. 13 Duke 71-61 in front of 17,150 fans, the fourth-largest crowd in school history.

Akhator scored eight of Kentucky’s first 10 points as the Wildcats (10-0) built an early and unstoppable lead. Janee Thompson and Makayla Epps each added 17 points for the Wildcats, who ended a two-game losing streak to the Blue Devils. Epps, who didn’t have a field goal in the first half, scored 11 points in the final two quarters. She also had eight assists.

Akhator made eight of 14 shots from the field, and the Wildcats shot 48 percent from the floor. They also made 10 of 11 free throws. Thompson made three of Kentucky’s five shots from long range, including a three at the buzzer to end the first quarter. Consequently, Kentucky led by 11 in the second quarter, but Duke rallied to cut it to 26-25 with six minutes remaining in the half. The Wildcats responded by scoring eight of the next nine points and pushed it to 34-26 with four minutes remaining in the half and held a 38-30 halftime lead.

Duke struggled against Kentucky’s pressure and committed 17 turnovers, including 10 in the first half. The Blue Devils shot 37 percent from the field and were just two of 13 from three-point range. VT 

Photos by CRYSTAL LUDWICK | Contributing Photographer