UK Women's Basketball

Kentucky women turn back Princeton in NCAA opener. It wasn’t easy.

Kentucky’s Maci Morris drove against Princeton’s Gabrielle Rush during their NCAA Tournament first-round game at Raleigh, N.C., on Saturday.
Kentucky’s Maci Morris drove against Princeton’s Gabrielle Rush during their NCAA Tournament first-round game at Raleigh, N.C., on Saturday. AP

The University of Kentucky women’s basketball team survived and advanced on Saturday.

The Wildcats, making their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2017, trailed for much of the first half of their opening-round Greensboro Regional game against Princeton at Raleigh, N.C., but enforced their defensive will on the Ivy League champions in the second half in route to an 82-77 victory.

Seniors led the way for No. 6 seed Kentucky (25-7). Taylor Murray and Maci Morris scored 19 points each. Freshman Rhyne Howard added 14. No. 11 seed Princeton (22-10) was led by Gabrielle Rush with 22 points.. The Tigers’ 6-foot-4 star Bella Alarie, the daughter of former Duke star Mark Alarie, finished with 20 points, 15 rebounds and five assists.

Kentucky, which trailed 37-33 at halftime, advances to play the winner of Saturday’s second game in Raleigh between No. 3 seed North Carolina State and No. 14 Maine on Monday night in Raleigh.

Kentucky-Princeton box score.

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