Kentucky WBB looking to build momentum against Tennessee Tech

On3 imageby:KatieHutchison12/03/23

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With a sigh of relief, we finally have some good news to report. Kentucky Women’s Basketball came out on top (after losing five straight games) in the SEC/ACC Challenge against Boston College on Thursday. The game took place at the Clive M. Beck Center at Transylvania, which makes the ‘Cats now 2-0 at Transy.

And as luck would have it, Sunday’s game against Tennessee Tech is also at Transy! Tipoff is set for 1:00 p.m. EST on the SEC Network+.

Kentucky played arguably its best games of the season on Thursday, despite playing without G Amiya Jenkins (shoulder injury), F Zennia Thomas (suspended indefinitely), and G Maddie Scherr. Scherr did play the first half of the game but exited early due to a head injury. All three are unlikely to play on Sunday. Kentucky went 32-62 (51.6%) from the field on Thursday against Boston College, one of their best performances this season. Leading all scorers was Eniya Russell with 21.

Russell had a standout performance, adding four assists and two steals. One of those steals came at a crucial point in the game when Boston College could’ve taken the lead for good. Paired up with Russell was senior Ajae Petty. The forward had 17 points on 8-12 from the field. She also grabbed eight rebounds. Petty got into foul trouble early but cleaned it up toward the end.

For the ‘Cats to come out on top over the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles, they’ll need to play exactly how they did on Thursday.

Scouting Report: Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles

The Golden Eagles are currently 2-4 and rank fifth in the Ohio Valley Conference despite their losing record. Just like Thursday’s opponent, this Tennessee Tech team struggles to make shots. Although the Golden Eagles are ranked 49th in 3-point shooting (40-111, 36.04%), that’s most likely due to the fact that Tech hasn’t played any schools with an elite defense. Unfortunately, Kentucky doesn’t have great defense either, so expect the Golden Eagles to use their perimeter shooting to their advantage.

Fifth-year senior Maaliya Owens is the best player for Tennessee Tech. In six games, the 5’9 guard is 23-48 (47.9%) from the field and 12-32 (37.5%) from three. Owens averages 11.7 points and 4.2 rebounds per game.

Partnered up with Owens is sophomore Reghan Grimes. The 5’10 guard is 16-40 (40%) from the field this season. Grimes doesn’t shoot much from the perimeter, going 3-5 (60%), and most of her points come from inside the paint as evidenced by the 33 free throws she’s shot in six games. The guard adds 4.7 rebounds per game, along with 9.5 points.

Sophomore Reagan Hurst is another player to look out for. Although the 5’10 guard is 16-41 (39%) from the field so far, that number is inflated by the 15 three-pointers she’s shot. Out of 15, Hurst has only made four, but has scored 21 points this season from the foul line. Just like Grimes, the guard averages 9.5 points per game, again, scoring most of her points in the paint. She also has 10 assists and eight steals on the season.

Finally, Yaubryon Chambers, a fifth-year senior, has the best shooting percentage out of anyone on her team. The 6’1 forward is shooting 19-34 (55.9%) so far from the field. But, Chambers doesn’t find her way to the foul line as much as her teammates, only going 10-17 (58.8%) despite being a forward. The senior averages only 2.7 rebounds per game, along with 8.0 points.

Kentucky should be able to beat this team, especially if they get good performances once again from Ajae Petty and Eniya Russell, the two standouts from Thursday’s victory over Boston College. Senior Emma King will be likely to step up once again, since Scherr is unlikely to play due to a head injury. As long as the ‘Cats make their shots and play some defense, they should come out on top.

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2024-03-02