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UK Hoops Fall 69-67 in Overtime to Louisville

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A great effort by UK on the road was not enough to upend the Cards.

NCAA Womens Basketball: SEC Basketball Tournament - South Carolina vs Kentucky Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

For all the variables that ensure success in life and on the athletic field, none often matter when the game devolves into a battle of wills, except one.

That is the situation the No. 17 ranked Kentucky Hoops teams found themselves in on the road down 67-64 in overtime against the hated No.7 ranked Louisville Cardinals with Mariya Moore at the free throw line.

Moore previously made the first of her two shots at the line, but her second attempt drew iron, and as the ball bounced to the floor every addition and subtraction from Matthew Mitchell’s team up to that point became moot.

It did not matter that behind an early eight-point spurt by the Cards’ Myisha Hines-Allen (she finished with a game-high 26) put Kentucky in an early hole that they struggled to overcome for much of the first half. Nor did the Wildcats inability to cash in on numerous close range shots.

Evelyn Akhator’s worst game of the season, eight points coupled with five rebounds, one that she followed out went up in the air.

Kentucky’s rallies to swing the game back in their favor, late in the first half, and in the waning moments of the contest were rendered useless.

In turn, the Cardinals clutch baskets to erase a four-point Kentucky with only minutes to play, after a stretch that saw them miss ten plus baskets, failed to be of any consequence.

Taylor Murray’s career game, 21 points and five rebounds, an effort eclipsed only by Makayla Epps team-high 22 points, 16 rebounds, and six assists, looked like a dwarf in comparison to the fate of the ball after Moore’s failed charity shot.

The only thing that mattered was which team got to the ball first, Louisville or Kentucky.

Fate trended towards the Cards. They out-rebounded UK on the offensive glass 21-12 and converted them into 17 critical points, but hoped remained for Kentucky to snag the ball and somehow force a second extra period.

Then Jazmine Jones blew that hope out like a candle, as did her only made free throw of the game, and that was the difference in the end. Despite the uneven play and heroics on both sides, only one variable mattered in a street fight chapter in the Battle for the Bluegrass.

It was enough for Louisville to win, 69-67.