The first game of Kentucky’s two-game road trip did not go as planned Friday night.
Florida Gulf Coast University shocked the No. 20 UK women’s basketball team 70-64, the Cats’ second loss of the season.
“They just played a lot harder than we did,” Kentucky Coach Matthew Mitchell said. “Wanted the game more. Came out with incredible energy and enthusiasm. … We had none.”
FGCU (9-2) outscored UK 27-6 from three-point range. Rosemarie Julien led FGCU with 23 points.
Kentucky (8-2) was in foul trouble most of the game. Maci Morris, one of UK’s top players, fouled out late and scored just six points. The Cats committed 22 fouls.
FGCU closed the second quarter on a 9-0 run to take a 35-26 lead into halftime. The Eagles extended the lead to 14 in the third quarter.
Kentucky tied it at 57 on a layup by Alyssa Rice with 5:04 remaining, but FGCU went on another 9-0 run to go ahead 66-57.
“We wilted against their physical play,” Mitchell said.
Taylor Murray, who led Kentucky with 19 points, said the Eagles “just had more fight than us from the beginning. We didn’t have enough intensity. We came back in the second half, but it wasn’t enough.”
It was the first meeting between the two programs.
Kentucky concludes a four-games-in-eight-days stretch on Sunday at Miami (Fla.). The Cats are 2-1 during the span, including an 82-54 win over Tennessee Tech and a 100-62 rout of Evansville.
The Hurricanes (5-3) are led by Mykea Gray (14.6 points) and Erykah Davenport (10.9 points, 10.3 rebounds).
No. 20 Kentucky at Miami (Fla.)
1 p.m. Sunday