LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- U of L went on the road, UK was home. Both came away with big conference victories Monday night.
The Cardinals (15-5, 7-0) showed little rust from an eight-day break between games, racing out to a 7-0 lead and led 22-6 after one quarter. That lead ballooned to 29 in the second quarter before U of L turned back a Syracuse rally in the second half for a 71-53 victory.
Sophomore Myisha Hines-Allen set a career mark with 27 points to go with 10 rebounds. Asia Durr scored 13 of her 16 points in the first half and Briahanna Jackson had 11 points, 9 rebounds and five assists in Louisville's 12th consecutive victory.
Kentucky had to come from behind, trailing by as many as 10 points in the first half before grabbing the lead with a big third quarter fueled by Makayla Epps. The Junior point guard from Marion County scored 14 of her 23 points in the third as UK went from seven down to five up by outscoring the Lady Vols 21-9. The Wildcats (15-3, 4-3) held off Tennessee (12-7, 3-3) in the final moments for a 64-63 win.
"The attitude she needs to have is that no one can guard her," said coach Matthew Mitchell about Epps. "She is a fantastic player. She has to play with tremendous focus and confidence and she has to do it right with good footwork. She really, really took over in the third quarter and that was a huge positive development for our team. So I just tried to tell her to have some confidence and stop trying so hard and just focus in and do the right thing and shoot on balance and attack the rim and she’d have some success. She did that."
"I feel like from top to bottom we all stayed really positive," said Epps. "We’ve been talking a lot about having negative attitudes at times, and when things don’t go our way we get real within ourselves. I feel like a lot of us had real positive attitudes. When I dribbled off my foot, Janee was smiling and saying ,‘here we go!’ We just let it go. That’s the type of stuff that we have to learn to do. I feel like stuff like that, just the little things like that, will help us overcome a lot like we did tonight and here on out."
Kentucky will host Vanderbilt Thursday. Louisville hosts Clemson Thursday.
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