The University of Kentucky women’s basketball team could not find its shooting touch Tuesday in the second game of a 10-day, three-game foreign tour, falling 46-64 to the TK Hannover professional team from Germany. The game was played just outside of Florence, Italy at the Sandro Pertini Sports Hall.
Playing on a shorter court with a longer 3-point line, the Wildcats struggled to get into a groove offensively hitting just 26 percent from the field overall and going 3-for-10 from long range. Kentucky also had some costly turnovers totaling 19 for the game, while only forcing the experienced TK Hannover squad into just nine miscues. Both teams had 40 rebounds in the game while TK Hannover hit 35 percent from the field, went 4-of-16 from long range and 8-of-14 from the free-throw line.
“They were very physical tonight and it took us a while to adjust and I don’t know if we every fully adjusted all night,” UK head coach Matthew Mitchell said. “We are not very sophisticated offensively right now. We are trying to run some motion but have very few sets in right now and they were just so physical. That doesn’t bother me as much as some of the things that we could control. We certainly didn’t box out tonight, I think second-chance points were the tale of the game. Defensively, we had some good moments, but the second-chance points really hurt us.”
Senior guard Taylor Murray led Kentucky with 12 points going 4-of-6 from the field with four made free throws, adding a steal and two rebounds. Fellow senior Maci Morris scored seven points but struggled to find her shooting form going just 2-for-14 in the game and 2-of-6 from long range. Sophomore KeKe McKinney had six points with eight rebounds, while fellow sophomore Tatyana Wyatt had four points and nine rebounds. Jaida Roper scored five points with three steals, while Dorie Harrison had four points and two rebounds and Kameron Roach had three points with three rebounds.
Kentucky, which trailed by as much as 23 points early in the third quarter, cut the TK Hannover lead to 13 late in the third quarter but could not pull any closer. UK did outscore TK Hannover 13-11 in the fourth quarter.
“I thought that we started to hustle there a little bit more,” Mitchell said about the team cutting the lead to 13. “The game kind of got away from us there when we started to hang our heads and we just didn’t respond really well to their aggressive play. We have got a ton to learn from this one. That was a really good team and we are certainly not where we will be after some good practices and time together. I am glad that we got that kind of game. We saw a lot of things that we didn’t do that were exposed and if we would have played a team not as good, maybe we would be thinking differently about ourselves. So now we have an accurate view of where we are and we have to work and see if we can make some corrections between now and Friday.”
The Wildcats started the foreign tour with a 73-41 victory over the Bosnia and Herzegovina National Team in Rome on Sunday. Kentucky is now 21-3 all-time in international play and 1-1 on this trip. The Wildcats started the tour in Rome for three days before traveling to Florence on Tuesday. The Wildcats will remain in Florence on Tuesday before spending two nights in Venice. UK’s next game will be Friday, Aug. 10 vs. Marghera Select in Mestre. The foreign tour is the first for the UK program since traveling to France and Switzerland in May of 2001.
A tentative schedule of games is below. Fans are encouraged to visit or follow @KentuckyWBB on , and Snapchat, or Kentucky Women’s Basketball on for complete information and coverage of the team’s trip.
Kentucky WBB Italy Game Schedule – Tentative – All game times are 6:30 p.m. local time in Italy
Sunday, Aug. 5 – W, vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina National Team 73-41 – Rome, Italy
Tuesday, Aug. 7 – L, vs. TK Hannover 46-64 – Florence, Italy (Sandro Pertini Sports Hall)
Friday, Aug. 10 vs. Marghera Select – 12:30 p.m. ET – Mestre, Italy (Palestra Dario e Federica Stefani)