Commodores drop road contest in Lexington

Feb. 5, 2017

Box Score

LEXINGTON, Ky. — The Kentucky trio of Makayla Epps, Evelyn Akhator and Taylor Murray carried the bulk of the scoring load on Sunday — and carried the No. 25-ranked Wildcats to a 71-63 victory over Vanderbilt.

The three players combined to score 61 of Kentucky’s 71 points. Epps finished with a game-high 23, Akhator had 20 and Murray added 18 for the Wildcats (16-8, 7-4), who snapped a two-game skid and atoned for last season’s home loss to Vanderbilt.

Kayla Overbeck had a career-high 19 points and 11 rebounds, team highs in both categories, for the Commodores (11-12, 1-9). Christa Reed had 12 points and Erin Whalen added 11.

Vanderbilt — which has now dropped 11 of its past 12 games — attempted just four free throws in the loss, finishing 3-of-4, and committed 21 turnovers. Kentucky was 19-of-22 from the foul line, and committed only 10 turnovers.

The Commodores trailed 38-31 at the half but battled back to tie the game at 46-46 after back-to-back 3-pointers by Cierra Walker and Rachel Bell with 3:13 remaining in the third quarter. Kentucky, however, closed the period with a 9-0 run to rebuild a 55-46 lead.

Vanderbilt trimmed the deficit to 55-52 after Whalen and Kaleigh Clemons-Green each knocked down 3-pointers in the first 90 seconds of the fourth quarter. But Kentucky answered back with a methodical 10-3 run to extend the lead to 65-55 with under two minutes to play, and the Wildcats held on from there.

Vanderbilt, which entered the day ranked No. 3 in the nation in 3-point percentage at 40.7 percent, finished 8-of-24 from long range. Kentucky was 2-of-14 from behind the arc.

The Commodores dominated the glass, winning the rebounding battle, 41-29. But Kentucky outscored Vanderbilt 42-22 in the paint, and 10-0 in fast-break points.

Vanderbilt visits Mississippi State on Thursday.