Akhator has 17 rebounds in 66-56 win at Georgia

Evelyn Akhator (Photo by Britney Howard)

ATHENS, Ga. – Evelyn Akhator scored 11 points and grabbed a career-high 17 rebounds, recording her 26th career double-double as the Kentucky women’s basketball team beat Georgia 66-56 on Thursday night at Stegeman Coliseum.

Akhator, the senior from Lagos, Nigeria, recorded her 13th double-double of the season, which is the most in a season by any Kentucky player other than legendary Wildcat Valerie Still.

Earlier this season, Akhator had 24 points and a then-career-high 16 rebounds in a win over Georgia at Memorial Coliseum.

Kentucky (17-8, 8-4 SEC) also got a double-figure scoring effort from senior Makayla Epps, who had 16 points in the game, leading the Wildcats to their fourth SEC road win of the season. Sophomore Maci Morris had 15 points in the contest, marking the fifth time in the last six games that Morris has reached double figures.

The difference in the game was at the free throw line. Kentucky made 18-of-21 (85.7 percent) from the line, while Georgia only made 12 trips to the line, and was able to convert just seven of those tries (58.3 percent). Morris made all eight of her attempts at the line, and Akhator converted seven of her eight chances at the charity stripe.

The Wildcats struggled from the field in the first period, but were able to find other ways to put points on the board. Kentucky hit just five of its 15 field goal attempts in the first quarter, but the Wildcats converted eight of their nine free throws. That was good enough to give Kentucky a 19-16 lead after one period.

In the second quarter, Kentucky shot the ball better, making six of its 13 shots (46.2 percent) of its shots. The Wildcats also got a boost from freshman guard Jaida Roper, who nailed a pair of three-pointers in the period, and led Kentucky with eight points in the first half, which ended with the Wildcats holding a 36-31 lead.

Kentucky was able to stretch its lead to as many as nine in the third period. But the Wildcats went without a point over the last 2:05 of the period, and Georgia cut the lead to five, 48-43, heading to the final stanza.

In the fourth quarter, Kentucky extended its lead to as many as 10, when Taylor Murray made a layup with 5:43 left in the game. But Georgia did not give in, scoring the next five points to cut Kentucky’s lead to five with 3:11 left.

But Kentucky responded with an Epps layup and a three-pointer by Morris to put the game away.

Georgia (12-12, 4-7) was led by Pachis Roberts, who scored a game-high 22 points.

Kentucky returns to action next Thursday when the Wildcats visit Arkansas in SEC action. Tipoff from Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville is set for 8 p.m. ET and the game can be seen on the SEC Network+. 

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