UK Women's Basketball

UK women will try to end skid on road, but may have to do it with a limited star

UK's Maci Morris shot a three-pointer against No. 7 Tennessee's Jaime Nared at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky., Sunday, December 31, 2017.
UK's Maci Morris shot a three-pointer against No. 7 Tennessee's Jaime Nared at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky., Sunday, December 31, 2017.

If Kentucky’s going to fight its way out of this eight-game losing streak, it may have to find a victory on the road, and potentially without its top player.

Leading scorer Maci Morris, who missed most of the second half on Sunday against Georgia, is listed as day-to-day with what Coach Matthew Mitchell confirmed is a “bone bruise” in her left knee.

The junior guard, and the only UK player averaging in double figures this season at 16.1 points per game, has been limited in practice this week as UK prepares for a road game at Florida on Thursday night.

After the game with the Gators, Kentucky (8-9, 0-3 Southeastern Conference) travels to Vanderbilt for a Monday night game.

Morris sustained the bone bruise in practice before last week’s game at Texas A&M, but was able to play 38 minutes through the discomfort. She was in pain against Georgia on Sunday, and eventually was sidelined after knocking knees with a teammate on a screen.

UK’s medical staff looked at the knee again after the loss to the Bulldogs and Mitchell said it’s structurally fine. Now it’s a matter of Morris playing through pain if she can.

“Very painful,” he said of the injury. “It’s all about pain tolerance now and how does it feel. … She is as tough physically as anybody I’ve ever been around.”

The Gators (8-8, 0-3) are riding their own losing streak, three straight all in conference play. Kentucky has lost the last two games in the series in Gainesville. The Cats have won four of their last five in the series with Florida and 10 of their last 13 meetings.

UK would be looking for its first victory at Florida since 2012.

Despite coming off a Georgia loss where Kentucky had “about as poor a performance as you could see,” shooting 20 percent from the field in the loss, Mitchell was impressed with his young group’s bounce back.

“Just a difficult game about as low as you probably could get and these kids came back yesterday, really, really positive, worked real hard, got better,” he said. “We improved yesterday.”

Jennifer Smith: 859-231-3241, @jenheraldleader

Thursday

Kentucky at Florida

When: 7 p.m.

Radio: WLAP-AM 630

Online: WatchESPN app

Records: UK 8-9 (0-3 SEC), Florida 8-8 (0-3)

Series: Kentucky leads, 29-25

Last meeting: Kentucky won 67-48 on Feb. 19, 2017, at Memorial Coliseum

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