UK-Ohio State postgame notes, numbers

Matthew Mitchell


2017 NCAA Tournament Second Round

No. 18/24 Kentucky vs. No. 10/11 Ohio State

Memorial Coliseum – Lexington, Ky.

March 19, 2017


FINAL SCORE: #18/24 Kentucky 68, #11/10 Ohio State 82


Team Records and Series Notes

–          Kentucky ends its season with a 22-11 overall record, while Ohio State improves to 28-6.

–          The Wildcats are 9-14 against Ohio State all-time, 0-1 in the NCAA Tournament.

–          UK is now 20-14 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, 16-8 under Matthew Mitchell.

o   UK is 5-5 in the second round, including 5-3 under Mitchell.

–          Matthew Mitchell is in his 10th season with Kentucky. Mitchell is now 271-129 overall as a head coach, and 241-100 during his tenure at Kentucky.

–          This was Kentucky’s eighth straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament, which is a school record.

–          UK has earned a top-four seed in the NCAA Tournament each of the last eight seasons.

–          Kentucky is now 7-4 all-time in NCAA Tournament games played in Lexington.

–          Kentucky secured its eighth straight 20-win season in 2016-17, which is a school record. The Wildcats only had 10 20-win seasons in 33 years before Matthew Mitchell was hired at UK.


–          Ohio State will face the winner of Notre Dame/Purdue which tips tonight at 9 p.m.


Team Notes

–          Kentucky used the starting five of Taylor Murray, Makayla Epps, Evelyn Akhator, Maci Morris, and Alyssa Rice

o   UK is now 18-8 this season with that starting-five combination.

–          The Wildcats got off to slow start as Ohio State took an early 16-8 lead, but the Wildcats answered with a 6-0 run to come within two.

o   Kentucky trailed 20-16 at the end of the first quarter.

o   Senior Evelyn Akhator had Kentucky’s first six points in the game.

–          The Buckeyes again were hot offensively to open the second quarter, extending their lead to as many as 17 by outscoring Kentucky 14-4 in the first 5:30 of the quarter.

o   OSU held on to a 46-31 lead at halftime.

–          After OSU extended its lead to 19 early in the third, Makayla Epps scored six unanswered points to cut the deficit to 13 and force a Buckeye timeout.

–          With 2:32 to go in the third quarter a huge 3 from Maci Morris would get the Wildcats within nine (59-50), and a foul on the other end sent Makenzie Cann to the line to make it 59-52.

–          The Wildcats trailed 61-53 at the end of the third quarter.

–          Epps went straight to the rim for a huge layup to start the fourth quarter and Morris drilled a 3 to make it a three-point game at 61-58 and force an OSU timeout.

–          The Cats cut it to one (65-64) as Epps hit a fade away jumper with 6:04 left in the game, but OSU stretched it back to nine (73-64) with eight straight points and Kentucky would not recover.

–          The Wildcats won the battle on the boards, outrebounding the Buckeyes 50-43.

–          Using 33 defensive rebounds, Kentucky added 21 second-chance points.

o   OSU had almost as many defensive boards with 32, but only 13 second chance points.

–          While OSU had six 3-pointers in the first half, UK held them scoreless (0-of-6) from beyond the arc in the second half.


Individual Notes

–          Makayla Epps led the Wildcats in scoring with 21 points, and dished out four assists.

o   Epps was the only player in the game to play all 40 minutes.

o   The performance marked the 33rd game of her career and the 14th this season in which she’s scored 20+ points.

o   She ends her career at UK with 1,790 total points, which ranks fifth in school history.

o   Her 408 career assists ranks seventh in the UK record book.

o   She is the only player in school history to rank top five in scoring and top eight in assists.

o   Epps ends her career with six games of 30 or more points, which is third most in program history.

o   Epps ends her career scoring 82 points in her final three games.

o   Epps ends her career ranking ninth best in program history with 13.5 points per game.

–          Evelyn Akhator had a career-high 23 rebounds to go along with 14 points and four blocks.

o   Akhator’s 23 rebounds are the most by a Kentucky player since Victoria Dunlap in 2010 (vs. Louisville, 12-05-10).

o   Her 23 boards also marks the most by any UK player in the NCAA Tournament. The previous record was 14, set by Samarie Walker vs. Wright State, 3-22-2014.

o   It was the first 20+ rebound game of her career and the first 20+ rebound game by any UK player since DeNesha Stallworth at Miss. State, 2-27-14.

o   Akhator ends her career with 31 career double-doubles, which ranks tied for third in UK history.

o   Akhator had 18 double-doubles this season, which is the fourth most by any player in a single season. The only other player in school history to post 18 or more double-doubles in a season was former UK All-American Valerie Still.

o   Akhator ends her career ranking second in school history with a 10.1 rebounding average.

o   Akhator’s career scoring average of 13.7 is eighth best in program history.

o   Akhator’s .541 field-goal percentage ranks fourth best in program history.

o   Akhator scored Kentucky’s first six points in the game.

–          Maci Morris also scored in double-digits, adding 12 points, two rebounds, one assist and one block.

o   The sophomore made two of Kentucky’s three 3-pointers in the game.

o   Morris made at least one 3-pointer in 26 of 33 games this season.

o   Morris is only the second player in program history to have 100 or more 3-pointers made by their sophomore seasons. The other was Sara Potts, who had 124.

–          Makenzie Cann added eight points and eight rebounds in the game.

o   Her eight rebounds tied her career high (8 at Georgia, 2-9-17).

–          Taylor Murray led the team in assists with five, and had seven points and four rebounds.

–          Alyssa Rice added six points and four rebounds.

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