UK Women's Basketball

Janee Thompson keys Kentucky women’s win over Colorado

Kentucky guard Janee Thompson (3) scored around Colorado guard Alexis Robinson (2) during the first half in Memorial Coliseum on Sunday.
Kentucky guard Janee Thompson (3) scored around Colorado guard Alexis Robinson (2) during the first half in Memorial Coliseum on Sunday.

Not a second of Janee Thompson’s time in a Kentucky jersey this season has been spent worrying about the horrific broken leg she suffered in January that cut her junior season short.

“I never really think about my injury, which is a blessing because I can’t imagine how I would play if I did,” said UK’s senior guard. “I’m just out there having fun with my teammates.”

Thompson looked like she was having a pretty good time in No. 13 Kentucky’s 86-61 win over Colorado on Sunday in Memorial Coliseum.

The senior led five UK players in double figures with 17 points and seven assists. She hit three three-pointers in the win, which moved the Cats to 4-0 this season.

“She just continues to feel better; she feels better every day,” Coach Matthew Mitchell said of Thompson, who was coming off a career-best 22-point performance a game ago. “She’s shooting the ball better than anybody on the team.”

The senior has scored in double figures in three straight games for the first time since her sophomore season.

She’s happy to be getting back to her old form after fracturing her leg and tearing ligaments in her ankle during a collision at South Carolina.

Thompson tackled her rehab as hard as she could, hoping for the chance to have games like the ones she’s had as of late.

“It was tough for me to sit out,” said Thompson, who is averaging 13.5 points and 6.5 assists in four games. “All I thought about is when I’d get a chance to get back on the court. And how I’d play. … With every game, I’m getting a little more comfortable.”

So is Kentucky’s offense, which shot 48.6 percent for the game and 61.1 percent from three-point range behind Thompson and Maci Morris, who also made three from long range.

The true freshman guard had 13 points and three assists in the victory. Forwards Evelyn Akhator and Alexis Jennings and guard Taylor Murray added 10 points apiece. Akhator has led the Cats in rebounding every game this season, including her nine on Sunday.

Kentucky managed 24 assists on its 34 made baskets, with Makayla Epps chipping in six assists to go with her seven points, four rebounds and two steals. Murray added five assists for the Cats.

Kentucky got off to a speedy start, scoring 14 unanswered, including seven straight for Thompson, to grab a 23-7 lead after one quarter.

“She’s showing up big in so many ways: leadership, basketball intelligence, hustle, giving great effort,” Mitchell said of the guard. “Happy for her; she’s worked hard.”

In that early spree, the Cats’ defense held the Buffs without a point for six straight minutes. Colorado was held to 14.3 percent shooting in the first quarter and then 33 percent in the second before rebounding to shoot 41.1 percent for the game.

Kennedy Leonard had 15 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Buffaloes (2-1).

Jamee Swan, Zoe Beard-Fails added 12 points apiece. Former Ashland Blazer standout Alexis Robinson had six points and six rebounds off the Buffs bench.

Jennifer Smith: 859-231-3241, @jenheraldleader

No. 13 KENTUCKY 86,

COLORADO 61

COLORADO

Min

FG-A

FT-A

R

A

PF

PT

Thomas

17

0-2

0-0

4

0

3

0

Leonard

31

6-13

0-0

6

10

4

15

Smith

26

2-6

0-0

2

1

1

4

Beard-Fails

24

5-6

2-4

5

2

2

12

Swan

32

5-14

2-2

8

3

2

12

Ellis

8

1-1

0-0

1

1

1

2

Robinson

24

2-10

0-0

6

1

2

6

Correal

16

0-0

1-2

2

0

0

1

Huggins

22

3-6

0-0

0

0

2

9

Totals

200

24-58

5-8

38

18

17

61

Percentages: FG .414, FT .625. Three-point goals: 8-14, .571 (Leonard 3-4, Huggins 3-5, Robinson 2-4, Thomas 0-1). Team rebounds: 4. Blocked shots: 7 (Swan 2, Beard-Fails 2, Correal 2, Ellis). Turnovers: 21 (Leonard 4, Robinson 4, Thomas 4, Swan 3, Beard-Fails 2, Smith 2, Ellis, Correal). Steals: 3 (Smith, Leonard, Ellis). Technical fouls: None.

KENTUCKY

Min

FG-A

FT-A

R

A

PF

PT

Thompson

33

6-10

2-2

2

7

1

17

Morris

25

5-11

0-0

1

3

2

13

Akhator

22

5-9

0-1

9

0

1

10

Epps

31

3-12

0-0

4

6

0

7

Jennings

16

5-9

0-1

1

1

3

10

Camara

27

4-7

0-0

4

1

3

8

Jakubcova

15

1-3

0-0

6

0

2

2

Goodin-Rogers

11

3-4

0-0

1

1

0

9

Murray

20

2-5

5-6

3

5

1

10

Totals

200

34-70

7-10

35

24

13

86

Percentages: FG .486, FT .700. Three-point goals: 11-18, .611 (Goodin-Rogers 3-3, Thompson 3-5, Morris 3-6, Murray 1-1, Epps 1-3). Team rebounds: 4. Blocked shots: 2 (Camara, Jakubcova). Turnovers: 11 (Camara 4, Jakubcova 2, Thompson 2, Murray, Goodin-Rogers, Epps). Steals: 9 (Akhator 3, Epps 2, Murray, Thompson, Morris, Goodin-Rogers). Technical fouls: None.

Colorado

7

14

21

19

61

Kentucky

23

19

21

23

86

A—5,380. Officials—Jesse Dickerson, Amy Bonner, Brian Garland.

Next game

Eastern Michigan at Kentucky

Noon Wednesday (SEC Network Plus)

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