Epps, Jennings lead No. 10 Kentucky past Georgia

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ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Coach Matthew Mitchell got just the effort he wanted from Kentucky's defense.

The Wildcats needed it given how much they struggled to get open looks on the offensive end.

"I thought our defense was terrific today," Mitchell said. "I thought we really, really made it difficult on Georgia to score in any kind of rhythm."

Makayla Epps scored 13 points, Alexis Jennings had with 12 points and 12 rebounds, and No. 10 Kentucky beat Georgia 64-53 on Sunday.

The Wildcats (13-1, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) were never really threatened despite shooting a season-low 37.3 percent from the field.

"They forced us into making some really tough decisions, and that's a credit to them," Mitchell said. "They were all over the place. They played very, very aggressively, and I knew they would."

Evelyn Akhator finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds, and Janee Thompson added 10 points for Kentucky.

Georgia (12-4, 0-3 SEC) has dropped three straight, all against Top 25 opponents.

The Lady Bulldogs had no one score in double figures for the first time since last February's home loss to then-No. 1 South Carolina. Shacobia Barbee and Halle Washington each finished with eight.

Georgia has been struggling recently to score in transition and hit a season low with zero fast-break points against Kentucky.

"It is frustrating, but it was expected," Lady Bulldogs guard Marjorie Butler said. "This is the SEC and we knew coming into conference play that teams scout more and they play much tougher against us. It's not an excuse because we just need to get back to practice and execute the game plan."

With 1:43 remaining, Caliya Robinson's lane jumper cut the lead to five, Georgia's lowest deficit since early in the second quarter, but Epps followed with a three-point play and the Wildcats hit their last nine free throws to finish off the Lady Bulldogs.

Kentucky took its first double-digit lead when Maci Morris' 3-pointer made it 25-15 midway through the second. The Wildcats' biggest lead was 16 on Akhator's free throw in the final minute of the third.

"We wanted to show people that when we lost to Auburn (last Sunday) that we were the better team," Morris said. "So we are just trying to pull through and win the rest of the game."

Kentucky showed why its field-goal percentage defense is tops in the SEC, forcing Georgia to miss 18 of its first 24 shots from the field and to begin the game 1 for 7 on 3s.

The Wildcats won't take too long to savor a road win over Georgia, not with No. 2 South Carolina visiting Lexington in four days.

"We need be very aggressive, have confidence, make effort plays," Jennings said. "We'll get the job done."


Kentucky: The Wildcats haven't dropped consecutive road games since February 2012 at LSU and Tennessee. ... They improved to 16-36 in the Georgia series, 5-17 in Athens. ... Kentucky hit its last nine free-throw attempts, four by Thompson. ... Thompson went 1 for 11 from the field. .. Jennings went 5 for 8.

Georgia: G Tiaria Griffin began the game with a team-best 14.5 scoring average, but the senior had a season-low three points on 1-for-6 shooting. ... The Lady Bulldogs were outscored 22-4 at the free-throw line. They took nine foul shots compared to 28 for Kentucky.


Kentucky: Hosts No. 2 South Carolina on Thursday.

Georgia: Visits Florida on Thursday.

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