Mount St. Mary's shows toughness in defensive struggle versus Kentucky

Mount St. Mary's shows toughness in defensive struggle versus Kentucky
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 5, 2019) - Mount St. Mary's women's basketball proved they belonged on the floor with #13 Kentucky Tuesday night. But the Wildcats pulled away in the second half to take the season opener, 67-44, at Memorial Coliseum.
 
Jatarrikah Settle led the way for the Mountaineers (0-1) with 10 points and six rebounds. Aryna Taylor - playing in her first contest following three years' worth of injuries - enjoyed a nice collegiate debut, scoring eight points with a pair of three pointers. Rebecca Lee was a major key to the Mount's defensive effort, contributing five rebounds and three blocks. Kendall Bresee also grabbed five boards and led the team with two steals in her Mount debut.
 
Defense was key to helping the Mount contain the Wildcats (1-0), holding Kentucky to 33.3% from the floor for the game. On offense, however, the team fell victim to the turnover bug, finishing with 28 giveaways. Rhyne Howard led the Cats with 14, and Jada Roper provided a spark off the bench to finish with 13. Kentucky also won the rebound battle 44-36, including 18 offensive boards that led to 13 second chance points.
 
Settle was key to establishing the Mountaineers' presence on the Memorial Coliseum floor, scoring the first four points. The defense clamped down to hold UK to one basket over five minutes, and Michaela Harrison buried a jumper which was at first ruled a two pointer - later change to a triple - for an 11-11 deadlock. Lee aided on defense with two blocks.
 
Taylor hit a triple at the halfway mark of the second quarter to tie the score again at 18-18. But the Wildcats began a full court pressure defense that tested the Mount, and Kentucky seized on the moment with a 9-0 run. A trey from Kayla Agentowicz at the horn finished the Cats' spree and closed the halftime gap to six points at 27-21. 
 
Both sides struggled to find the bottom of the net in the third quarter. Kentucky got their first bucket on a two pointer at the 5:48 mark, with Mount's first made shot coming 35 seconds later off the right hand of Taylor. The teams matched in field goals with four apiece, but several costly fouls began to plague the Mountaineers, and Kentucky capitalized hitting 7-of-9 free throws.
 
Ahead by 11 after three quarters, the Wildcats surged ahead in the final 10 minutes, outscoring the Mount 23-12.
 
The opening road trip continues Thursday (Nov. 7) with a 7 p.m. tip-off against the #24 Indiana Hoosiers in Bloomington.