Jan. 17, 2010
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Sophomore Ericka Russell led three Crimson Tide players in double figures with 17 points, but Alabama suffered a 88-63 loss to Kentucky Sunday afternoon in Memorial Coliseum. With the loss, the Tide drops to 8-10 on the season and 0-5 in the Southeastern Conference, while the Wildcats improve to 14-3 overall and 2-2 against league opponents.
"Kentucky came out fired up today," said head coach Wendell Hudson. "We had them where we needed them at times, but we missed too many shots from both the floor and the free throw line. This was also one of our worst turnover games of the season finishing with 25."
Joining Russell in doubles figures for Alabama was senior Courtney Strauthers and junior Tierney Jenkins, who added 12 points apiece. Jenkins also collected a game-high 10 rebounds for her sixth double-double of the season.
Kentucky led by seven early on, but Alabama got right back into the game thanks to solid three-point shooting in the half. Russell connected on her third basket from beyond the arc at the 7:52 mark to bring the Tide within three points at 21-18. Two minutes later a jumper from Jenkins tied the game at 22-22, but from there, the Wildcats surged ahead on a 13-3 run over the next four minutes. Alabama scored five unanswered following the Kentucky run, but the Wildcats would continue to respond outscoring the Tide 6-2 in the final minute for the 41-32 lead heading into the break.
Kentucky came out strong in the second outscoring Alabama 10-5 over the opening four minutes. The Tide then went cold from the floor hitting just one basket in five minutes while the Wildcats extended their lead to 23 at 62-39. Kentucky continued to pour on the points for the remainder of the game putting up 47 second-half points compared to Alabama's 31. The Tide finished the game without its leading scorer on the season, junior Varisia Raffington, as she was fouled in mid-air and would not return for the contest.
For the game, the Wildcats shot 46.0 percent from the floor, while the Tide managed 37.3 percent of its attempts. Alabama struggled from the free throw line hitting just 12-of-25 of its shots. Kentucky narrowly edged the Tide in rebounds with a 40-37 margin.
Next up, Alabama plays its first of two straight home games Thursday, Jan. 21 when it hosts Florida in Coleman Coliseum. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. (CST).