The Kentucky All-Star girls came back home looking to complete their first sweep of the Indiana girls in five years, but their counterparts left the capitol with a 58-51 win to split the series.
Jaelynn Penn led Kentucky with nine points and 11 rebounds despite playing just a handful of minutes in the first half after picking up two fouls. She attempted only six shots after going off for 20 points on 9-for-20 shooting in Indianapolis on Saturday to lead Kentucky to its first win in the series since 2013.
Kentucky led only three times on Sunday, twice thanks to Franklin County seniors. Princess Stewart, who’s signed with Xavier University, scored the game’s first basket in transition off an assist from Butler’s Bre Torrens. Rebecca Cook used a series of moves under the basket to score and cap a 6-0 run that gave Kentucky a 31-30 lead to open the second half.
MacKenzie Coleman, a standout out of Metcalfe County who’s headed to Tennessee Tech, gave Kentucky its last lead on an elbow jumper with about 15 minutes to play in the second half, 36-34. From that point Indiana went on a 15-3 run to take command of the contest with about 10 minutes to play; Kentucky’s girls never got closer than four points the rest of the way.
“Last night we were able to get a little more offense in the second half,” said Kentucky Coach Larry Just, who’s team recovered from an eight-point deficit in the first game. “We shot 60-percent last night and I haven’t seen the second half today, but I know we didn’t shoot the ball well this afternoon. A lot of that’s a credit to them.”
Rachel McLimore, who’s signed with DePaul, led Indiana with 14 points in a little more than 18 minutes of action off the bench. Dana Evans, a Louisville signee, had eight points, four rebounds and game-highs with six assists and five steals.
“We needed a win to close out the week,” Evans said. “I’ve had an amazing week with these girls.”
Evans was going to head to Louisville later Sunday for a summer conditioning camp that lasts about 10 days. She’s thrilled to join the Cardinals’ program, which over the last decade has been one of the best in the nation.
She became more of a distributor against Kentucky on Sunday and believes as a freshman her role at Louisville will be similar.
“My shots weren’t falling and we needed to find a way to win the game, so I just defended their best player, rebounded, distributed, whatever I needed to do just to win the game,” Evans said.