Jessica Hardin finally gets into a SEC game

Jessica Hardin, right, finally got back in a game Sunday. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Playing only three minutes and hitting a 3-point shot might not have seemed like a big deal to most players. But for Kentucky’s Jessica Hardin, it was huge Sunday against Florida because it was her first Southeastern Conference game of the year.

After joining the team in the summer when coach Matthew Mitchell held tryouts, Hardin became a consistent contributor for UK before suffering a concussion against Duke in late December before SEC play started. She had not played since.

Davis Sets NBA-All-Star Scoring Mark to Win MVP Honors

NEW ORLEANS – Anthony Davis was hoping to win Most Valuable Player honors in front of his home crowd in New Orleans for the annual NBA All-Star Game. He did that and one better Sunday night.

Playing alongside the game’s greatest players, the former Kentucky men’s basketball star won MVP honors with an All-Star single-game scoring record of 52 points in addition to 10 rebounds. Davis broke Wilt Chamberlain’s previous scoring record of 42 points set in 1962 in leading the Western Conference to a 192-182 victory over the Eastern Conference.

Utah State offer was too good for Boyle County’s Emmie Harris to pass up

Emmie Harris knew Utah State was right for her during her visit.

By LARRY VAUGHT

There was never a set plan for Emma Harris to make her college choice.

When basketball season started, the Boyle County senior wasn’t sure if she would play basketball, soccer or both sports in college. As the season progressed and her play continued to shine, she got more and more attention from college basketball coaches.

She became Boyle County’s all-time leading scorer the day after returning from an official visit to Utah State last week and then Friday gave her verbal commitment to Utah State.

Murray’s 11 Assists Help Kentucky Top Florida, 67-48

Taylor Murray (Vicky Graff Photo)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Senior Evelyn Akhator scored 19 points and grabbed nine rebounds as the Kentucky women’s basketball team beat Florida 67-48 on Sunday afternoon at Memorial Coliseum.

Sophomore Maci Morris had 15 points, scoring in double figures for the seventh time in the last eight games. Senior Makayla Epps was the third Wildcat in double figures, scoring 14 points.

Sophomore guard Taylor Murray scored just four points, but dished out a career-high 11 assists for Kentucky.

UK-Florida postgame notes, numbers

Maci Morris (Vicky Graff Photo)

KENTUCKY WOMEN’S BASKETBALL POSTGAME NOTES

Kentucky vs. Florida

Memorial Coliseum – Lexington, Ky.

Feb. 19, 2017

Attendance: 6,604

FINAL SCORE: Kentucky 67, Florida 48

Team Records and Series Notes

–          Kentucky has now won four in a row and is 19-8 overall, 10-4 in the Southeastern Conference. Florida is 13-14, 4-10 in league play.

–          Matthew Mitchell is in his 10th season with Kentucky. Mitchell is now 268-126 overall as a head coach, and 238-97 during his tenure at Kentucky. He is 101-52 in regular-season SEC games.

Kentucky at Georgia Photo Gallery

Photos by Vicky Graff

Kentucky Lake Showcase notes and thoughts

Pam and Richard Jackson (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

BENTON — A few random notes and thoughts after watching two days of the Kentucky Lake Showcase here that was filled with big-time talent and plays.

— Kentucky signee PJ Washington of Findlay Prep (Las  Vegas) did not disappoint me. He had 23 points (7-for-13 from the field), 18 rebounds, seven assists and five blocks in Friday’s win over Hopkinsville and 10 points, six rebounds, seven assists and five steals in Saturday’s 90-65 victory over Tennessee Prep. It’s no wonder Ben Roberts of the Lexington Herald-Leader told me that Washington is his favorite player in UK’s 2017 signing class and he’s seen all the signees play multiple times.

Willis knew he had to do something, so he went to the boards

Derek Willis (Vicky Graff Photo)

Kentucky needed a lift against Georgia and got it from senior Derek Willis. He not only went 3-for-3 from the field and had 7 points, but he pulled off a career-high 12 rebounds.

Here’s what he said about his rebounding after the 82-77 win Saturday night:

UK-Georgia postgame notes, numbers

Derek Willis had 7 points on 3-for-3 shooting and 12 rebounds at Georgia. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Kentucky at Georgia, Stegeman Coliseum, Athens, Ga.

Feb. 18, 2017
Attendance:
10,523

Final Score: No. 13/11 Kentucky 82, Georgia 77                                                          

Team Records and Series Notes

  • Kentucky won its fourth game in a row and is 22-5 overall, 12-2 in the Southeastern Conference. Georgia is 15-12, 6-8 in the SEC.

o    Kentucky swept the season series.

  • Kentucky leads the series 123-26.

o    UK leads 42-17 in Athens.

o    UK has won eight in a row in the series.

Calipari liked ‘hustle plays’ Cats made in win

Bam Adebayo (Vicky Graff Photo)

Here is what Kentucky coach John Calipari had to say about UK pulling out an 82-77 win over Georgia Saturday.

“I loved it. I loved it. We made free throws. We attacked. We didn’t look for easy plays,” Calipari said. “Every play was something at the rim, which was something we were begging the whole game, but the game got rough and these kids, they start fading away and shooting jumpers and going at a speed they know they can’t beat a man so they have to do something different.

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