Kentucky’s women’s basketball team used a 31-point fourth quarter to rally and defeat North Carolina 85-75 in the Paradise Jam tournament in the Virgin Islands on Saturday afternoon.
The Cats, who had trailed by 13, won the tournament’s Island Division championship and improved to 7-0 on the season after a three-game sweep in the event.
Tournament MVP Rhyne Howard, a freshman, led Kentucky with 25 points and 12 rebounds against the Tar Heels. Taylor Murray also had a big game, scoring 23 points to go with 10 assists, six rebounds and seven steals. Maci Morris added 18 points.
Kentucky closed on a 17-6 run.
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“Just an absolute incredible performance by the players,” UK Coach Matthew Mitchell said. “We had a very productive halftime. I thought we came out discombobulated, we weren’t into it particularly, or focused. ... We had to get into halftime and get some things organized.”
Kentucky forced 27 North Carolina turnovers and converted them into 34 points. The Cats committed just 14 turnovers that led to 17 UNC points.
“We busted it wide open, we kept going, kept going, weren’t getting a whole lot of success — I think we had it turned over 11 times at the half, something like that,” Mitchell said, “but we just busted wide open there with our pressure defense. So proud of our players and we earned every bit of it today.”
Morehead State at Kentucky
Noon Wednesday (SEC Network Plus)