Maci Morris scored 21 points, but a big second half was not enough as the Kentucky women’s basketball team lost at No. 2 Mississippi State 74-55 on Sunday at Humphrey Coliseum.
With her effort, Morris moved into 27th place on Kentucky’s career scoring list with 1,074 points. The junior from Bell County (Ky.) High School passed Kim Denkins (1,057 points) and Tedra Eberhart (1,071) in Sunday’s game.
Kentucky (12-14, 4-8 SEC) got eight points and nine rebounds from freshman Dorie Harrison, while Taylor Murray and Amanda Paschal each had seven points.
The Wildcats won the battle of the boards, 39-33, and Kentucky had a 21-1 advantage in bench points.
The game was tied 2-2 when Mississippi State went on a 7-0 run to take a 9-2 lead. Kentucky was able to cut into the lead, with a basket by Morris and a pair of free throws from Amanda Paschal to make it 10-6. Murray hit a pair of free throws with 3:35 left in the period to make it 13-8 MSU. From there, the Bulldogs outscored the Cats 9-0 to end the quarter with a 22-8 lead.
In the second quarter, Kentucky was able to get within 12 points, 25-13, but MSU hit five three-pointers and was able to gradually increase their lead. The Bulldogs would hold a 40-22 advantage at the break. Kentucky committed 13 turnovers in the half, leading to 14 MSU points. The Wildcats scored no points off of MSU’s four miscues.
Kentucky outplayed the nation’s second-ranked team in the third quarter. The Cats hit four of their first five shots from the field, including all three of their attempts from behind the arc. Kentucky used a 14-4 run to cut the deficit to 46-36. The Wildcats would get within single digits, 50-41 with 3:20 left in the period. But MSU would lead 56-43 after three periods. Morris had 13 points in the period for UK.
In the final quarter, Kentucky hung with MSU, eventually cutting the lead to 65-53. However, the Wildcats could get no closer.
MSU (26-0, 12-0) got a game-high 23 points from Victoria Vivians.
Kentucky returns to action on Thursday, as the Wildcats host Arkansas at Memorial Coliseum. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. ET and the game can be seen on SEC Network+.
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