Women's Basketball Suffers 85-63 Loss to No. 6 Kentucky



Jan. 2, 2014

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Alabama women's basketball team opened Southeastern Conference play with an 85-63 loss to the No. 6 ranked Kentucky Wildcats, on Thursday afternoon from Foster Auditorium.  With the loss, the Crimson Tide falls to 7-7 overall and 0-1 in SEC play. The Wildcats improve to 13-1 and 1-0 in conference play.

Alabama's Shafontaye Myers led all players with 20 points, as the senior guard was 8-for-18 from the field, including 4-of-9 from 3-point land. For Myers it was her 11th double-digit performance and the fourth time she's scored 20-plus points in a game this season.

Myers was joined in double figures by Daisha Simmons' 12 points and Ashley Williams' 11. The Tide finished the afternoon shooting 39.7 percent from the floor, while connecting on 5-of-16 three-point attempts. Alabama out-rebounded the Wildcats 39-34, but the Wildcats were efficient around the basket, hitting 48 percent of their shots overall, while shooting 50 percent (10-for-20) from beyond the arc.  

Four players scored in double figures for the Wildcats, as Jennifer O'Neill came off the bench to lead the way with 17 points, which included four three-pointers. Azia Bishop had 16 points, Kastine Evans added 15 and Samarie Walker finished with a double-double, scoring 12 points and grabbing a game-high 13 rebounds.

Kentucky jumped out to an early lead in the first half, posting a 14-4 run over the first 4:05 of the game. Alabama cut the deficit to 14-9 following a Myers three pointer, but the Wildcats went on a 16-7 run to open a 14-point advantage (30-14) with 10:20 left in the half.

Alabama did not back down in the opening half, as the Crimson Tide went on a 13-6 run to get within seven, following a Linnae Harper jumper with 6:05 left on the clock. The Wildcats extended their first half lead to double digits once again, leading 46-32 following a 3-pointer by O'Neill with 2:45 on the clock. A pair of made free throws by Alabama's Brianna Hutchen sent the teams to the locker room with Kentucky leading 50-38.

The Tide cut the Kentucky lead to nine to start the second half when a Myers three pointer to cut the deficit to 54-45 with 16:32 left to play. The Wildcats went on a 6-0 run to extend its lead to 15 points, before holding a double-digit lead the final 16 minutes of the game. The UK lead reached 20 when Evans hit her third 3-pointer of the game with 5:06 left on the clock.

Alabama is 8-24 in Southeastern Conference openers all-time. The Crimson Tide's last win in its league debut came during the 2004-05 season, when it defeated Kentucky 69-39 on Jan. 9, 2005, in Tuscaloosa.

Alabama returns to SEC play on Sunday when it travels to College Station, Texas for a 2 p.m. CT game from the Reed Arena.