The month of January has been mostly filled with disappointment for the Kentucky women’s basketball team. Fortunately for Kyra Elzy’s Wildcats, not all hope is lost as Kentucky picked up a huge road victory at Auburn on Tuesday night.
After trading blows in the first three minutes for a 6-5 Kentucky lead, the Wildcats went on an 10-0 run to extend their lead before Auburn scored their next point. The first quarter has not been the problem for Kentucky this season, it’s been the next three, so a 20-10 lead for the Wildcats was nothing to get too excited over.
The second quarter saw both teams struggle to find any offensive rhythm. Kentucky only made three field goals in the entire 10 minute period. Auburn was not able to take control and trailed by a deficit of six heading into halftime.
Quarter number three for Kentucky was not much better than the second, only scoring twelve points. Kentucky’s defense showed up to make up for the lack of scoring and never allowed Auburn to go on run.
While Kentucky had not allowed Auburn to break the game open on them, the game was still close heading into the fourth quarter with a point Wildcat lead. With any hope of a tournament bid on the line, Rhyne Howard and the Wildcats showed up on both ends of the court, outscoring Auburn 26-15 and clinching a massive 67-55 win.
Kentucky continues to struggle on the offensive end, but last night‘s was huge in the growth of this team and proved they can win despite their offensive struggles. The intensity was evident on the defensive end and on the glass which have both been problems for Kyra Elzy to manage. Kentucky out-rebounded Auburn by a margin of 43-34 and held Auburn to 33.3% FG % from the floor.
After breaking out in the Ole Miss game on Sunday, Emma King turned in another solid performance with Robyn Benton still sidelined. King scored 10 points and recorded 4 rebounds along with 3 assists. Rhyne Howard also turned in a great performance with 29 points and 9 rebounds.
Last night’s victory halted what had been a frustrating four-game losing streak for Kentucky. Auburn was the first of three road games the Wildcats had coming this week and getting a victory should give this team a significant confidence boost. Even with the win, Kentucky is still not in position to get a NCAA tournament bid, but last night was a step in the right direction. The Wildcats return to action on Thursday night in Nashville for a matchup with Vanderbilt. The game will at 8 PM ET on SECN+ and ESPN+.