Jen Smith on Basketball

Murray cleared to play in first round NCAA Tournament game for Kentucky

Kentucky will be full speed for the first round of the NCAA Tournament with the return of point guard Taylor Murray.

Murray, who suffered neck strain and whiplash in a collision with 11 seconds to play in the quarterfinals of the Southeastern Conference on March 3, has been cleared to play.

“She will go full contact practice,” Coach Matthew Mitchell said. “She’s cleared to resume practice activities, which hopefully will translate into a good performance tomorrow. She’s good to go for practice today and will have a full contact practice today. … We’re excited about that.”

Murray has been practicing full speed recently, so the coach said he wasn’t too concerned about her having to shake off any rust.

“We’re going to look at it as a real positive; she’s going to have fresh legs tomorrow,” he said.

The Cats’ third-leading scorer averaging 12.7 points a game, Murray also is second on the team in rebounding at five per game to go with 3.8 assists.

“It’s a good feeling to be back out there with my teammates and now I’m ready to get out there and do whatever I can to help them win,” Murray said before UK’s practice at Memorial Coliseum on Thursday.