BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — The Kentucky women's basketball team drop their first game of the season, losing to border rival No. 8 Indiana Sunday 88-67.
All-American and two-time SEC Player of the Year, Rhyne Howard, led the No.13 Wildcats with 23 points, nine rebounds and two assists. Freshman point guard, Jada Walker, played bigger than her height (5'7") recording 16 points on 54 percent shooting in her first true collegiate road game. Senior guard Robyn Benton also chipped in 11 points on the night.
A layup by Howard with 5:44 remaining in the third quarter put Kentucky within two points of tying the game, but Indiana go on a 16-7 run to get separation heading into the final quarter. Hoosiers outscored the Wildcats 23-14 in the fourth.
UK's transition defense was not at it's best, leading to easy scoring opportunities for Indiana. The Cats got in foul trouble early in the game. Three starters - Howard, Dre'una Edwards and Jazmine Massengill - ended the game with four fouls. Junior center Olivia Owens also had four fouls.
"You need these type of games to learn and it shows you where you are. They exposed some of our weaknesses that we can go back as a staff and a team and learn from," head coach Kyra Elzy said after the game. "One of them is finishing our defense with a box out. Two, we have to play defense without fouling. We gave them way too many free throws and just settle in offensively."
Hoosiers also took advantage of UK's lack of size, scoring 44 points in the paint as well as outrebounding the Cats 40-30. Kentucky also shot poorly from three, making four of 13 attempts (30.8 percent).
"We know what we did wrong, we know what we need to get better at, but we can't dwell on it," Rhyne Howard said to local media about UK's performance Sunday. "We're going to have much tougher games than this going forward. So, just worry about what we can get better at and stay together."
No. 13 Kentucky won't play until Sunday, November 21st against Winthrop at home after playing three games in six days.