Akhator Leads Kentucky Past Georgia, 82-61

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Senior Evelyn Akhator scored 24 points and pulled down 16 rebounds as the Kentucky women’s basketball team topped Georgia 82-61 on Sunday afternoon at Memorial Coliseum.

For Akhator, the senior from Lagos, Nigeria, it was her second consecutive double-double, following her 29-point, 15-rebound performance in an SEC win over Alabama on Thursday night in Tuscaloosa. Sunday’s double-double was Akhator’s 10th this season and 23rd in her two-year Kentucky career.

Sophomore guard Taylor Murray had 14 points for Kentucky, which won its second in a row after dropping three of its previous four games. Senior Makayla Epps had 13 points and six assists for the Wildcats, while Makenzie Cann hit three three-point shots for the second straight game, this time on her way to 11 points.

Kentucky (12-6, 3-2 SEC) hit 51.7 percent (30-of-58) from the field in the game, while committing just 11 turnovers. The Wildcats also won the rebounding battle 38-28 and held Georgia to just four second-chance points. 

Kentucky got out of the gates quickly, as the Wildcats hit four of their first five shots to grab an early 9-0 lead. Akhator hit three-of-four shots during the run, and Epps added a three-pointer. After a Georgia basket, Kentucky extended the lead to 13-2 on two Taylor Murray free throws and a baseline jumper by Akhator.

As the period continued, Kentucky continued to extend the lead, finishing the frame on a 10-0 run to take a 23-4 lead after a quarter. Akhator had 10 points and five rebounds for the Wildcats, who shot 57 percent (eight-of-14) in the period, while holding Georgia to two-of-14 (14 percent) from the floor during the first 10 minutes.

The Wildcats did not let up in the second quarter, as they were able to stretch the lead to 25 at 35-10 on a three-point play by Akhator. And the onslaught continued, with the Wildcats eventually leading by 30 at 44-14, which would be the halftime score. Akhator finished the first half with a double-double, scoring 17 points and pulling down 10 rebounds in the game’s first 20 minutes. Not to be outdone, Epps hit all five of her first-half field goals on her way to scoring 12 points in the first half.

Kentucky continued its offensive efficiency in the third quarter, when the Wildcats hit nine-of-14 (64.3 percent) of their shots from the field. Cann and Murray each had five points in the period for the Wildcats, who were outscored 26-21 in the period, but still held a sizable 65-40 lead with just 10 minutes to play.

In the fourth period, Kentucky would lead by as many as 29 points before settling for a 21-point win.

Georgia (10-8, 2-3) was led by Pachis Roberts, who scored 18 points. Shanea Armbrister added 13 for the Bulldogs.

Kentucky returns to action on Thursday when the Wildcats travel to Baton Rouge to face the LSU Tigers. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. ET and the game can be seen on SEC Network+.

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