WACO, Texas – Maci Morris scored a season high 22 points, but the 20th-ranked Kentucky women’s basketball team lost for the first time this season, falling to No. 9 Baylor 90-63 on Thursday night at the Ferrell Center.
"Congrats to Baylor. They are a tremendous team," UK head coach Matthew Mitchell said. "This was a very difficult game for us. Everything didn't show up in the game tonight, but it will eventually. What we have to do is go back and look at what are the areas that we can control and correct those. We didn't keep our poise like I know we will at the end of the season, but our players prepared to win. They worked hard and had a great attitude. We lost down here a few years back worse than this and ended up going to the Elite Eight. My spirits are high on this team because they come to work every day. We are going to be a really good basketball team. I believe in our players. I believe in their character."
"I told the team as soon as we got into the locker room that we got better today, even though we lost,” Morris said. “I saw a lot of good things, especially how we battled in the fourth quarter."
Three other Wildcats reached double figures in the game. Jaida Roper had 12 points for Kentucky, while Makenzie Cann and Taylor Murray each had 10.
Kentucky (6-1) was hot from behind the arc, hitting 11 of 19 attempts (57.9 percent) in the game, but the Wildcats struggled inside against Baylor’s size, hitting only eight of 40 (20 percent) of its two-point shots.
Despite the size disadvantage, Kentucky only lost the rebound battle 42-36. The Wildcats grabbed 17 offensive boards, and scored 12 second-chance points, compared with just 11 for Baylor.
Kentucky took an early 6-2 lead behind three-pointers by Morris and Cann. Baylor went on an 8-2 run to take the lead, 10-8. But Morris answered with another three, giving UK an 11-10 advantage. But Baylor outscored Kentucky 11-6 to close the quarter, and the Bears led 21-17 after one period.
Baylor assembled an 11-0 run in the second quarter to open a 13-point lead. The Bears would lead 50-34 at the break.
The Wildcats went without a field goal in the third quarter, when Baylor blew the game open. Kentucky scored just six points, all on free throws, in the period and Baylor led 73-40 after three quarters.
Kentucky clawed back in the fourth quarter, cutting the lead to 85-60 with 3:09 left on a three-pointer by Morris. But the Wildcats would get no closer.
Kentucky returns to action on Sunday, hosting Tennessee Tech at Memorial Coliseum. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. ET and the game can be seen on SEC Network+.