WOMEN'S BASKETBALL FALLS TO KENTUCKY IN SEASON OPENER

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL FALLS TO KENTUCKY IN SEASON OPENER

LEXINGTON, Kent. — Hannah Friend scored 19 points in her regular debut for Sacramento State to lead the Hornet women's basketball team in a 101-70 loss at Kentucky on Friday night in the season opener.

Friend was one of four Sacramento State players to score in double figures in the game. She knocked down 6-of-13 field goals and made three of the team's five three-pointers. Maranne Johnson added 13 points and was one rebound shy of double-double as she pulled down a team high nine. Kyhonta Doughty and Dana DeGraffenreid contributed 12 and 10 points, respectively.

The two teams traded baskets in the early going and Tiana Johnson tied the game, 20-20, with a three-pointer with 4:13 remaining in the opening quarter. The Wildcats closed the quarter on an 11-4 run to take a 31-24 advantage into the second period.

Sacramento State drew within two on a pair of occasions in the second quarter — the latter on a layup from Scott to make the score 35-33 just over two minutes into the quarter. However, Kentucky again closed strongly capitalizing on a pair of layups from Taylor Murray in the final minute to claim a 56-42 lead at intermission.

After Friend started the second half with a three, the Wildcats went on a 6-0 run to stretch their lead to 17 points (62-45). A basket by Johnson momentarily stopped the run but Kentucky answered back seven unanswered points to pull ahead 69-47. After UK extended its lead to 78-53, Friend closed the period with a pair of free throws.

Kentucky made its first three attempts of the fourth quarter, including a pair of threes to give the team an 86-57 lead. Johnson made a three and layups from Friend and Kennedy Nicholas sparked a 7-0 run from the Hornets. However, that was as close as Sacramento State would get for the remainder of the game and Kentucky ended the game on a 15-6.

Sacramento State shot 36.1 percent for the game, making 26-of-72 attempts. The team struggled from behind the arc, making 5-of-25 attempts. The Hornets had 15 assists and 16 turnovers and each team had 42 rebounds.

Conversely, Kentucky was 35-of-70 overall (50.0 percent) and was 9-of-20 from three. The Wildcats also got to the stripe 10 more times than the Hornets, making 22-of-28 free throws compared to 13-of-18 for Sacramento State. UK had 18 assists and limited itself to just 11 turnovers against the Sacramento State pressure defense.

Murray led all players in the game with 22 points on an efficient 8-of-12 shooting. Makenzie Cann had 17 points and Tatyana Wyatt (13), Maci Morris (12) and Dorie Harrison (10) each finished in double figures.

Sacramento State will continue its early season tour of America with a game at Morehead State on Saturday at 3 p.m. PT.