TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Sophomore Jasmine Robinson scored 17 points and grabbed six rebounds to lead the Alabama Crimson Tide (12-15, 2-11 SEC) to a 77-75 win over the No. 7 Kentucky Wildcats (21-5, 10-3 SEC) on Thursday night at Foster Auditorium. It was Alabama's first victory over a top-10 opponent since February 10, 2000, when the Tide beat No. 7 LSU, 72-68.
"I could look in their eyes and at no point, even when Kentucky started making their run, and you knew they were going to make a run, we never looked like we were not going to be able and play," said Alabama head coach Wendell Hudson. "Credit these young ladies who stepped up. Kentucky is a good basketball team. They are not No. 7 in the country for no reason, and we played about as good a first half of basketball as we could play. We didn't play as smart as we needed to play (in the second half), but we played hard, and we kept fighting and didn't give up towards the end."
Alabama jumped out to an early lead on a quick basket by junior Meghan Perkins. Kentucky answered, pulling ahead 9-8 at the 15:29 mark before the Tide went on a 25-1 run over the next 10 minutes. Alabama shot 70 percent from the field while holding the Wildcats to just 33 percent. The Tide gained its biggest lead just before the break and went into halftime leading Kentucky 50-28.
Alabama saw a 23-point lead dwindle down to eight as Kentucky opened up the second half on a 23-9 run in the first eight and a half minutes. The Tide managed to hold Kentucky, not allowing them to get any closer than five points until the last minute of play. Kentucky's A'dia Mathies made a three pointer with one second remaining to get the Wildcats within two, but Alabama would hang on for the victory. Alabama finished the game shooting 53 percent from the field and 72 percent from the free throw line.
In addition to Robinson's 17 points, Perkins scored 14 points and junior Kyra Crosby added 10 for Alabama. Junior Jessica Merritt grabbed seven boards to lead the Tide in rebounding. Freshman Aneesah Daniels grabbed five boards to go along with nine points.
Kentucky was led by Mathies, who scored 26 points. Sophomores Samarie Walker and Bria Goss added 13 points and 12 points, respectively. Freshman Azia Bishop led the Wildcats in rebounding, grabbing six boards while Walker had five rebounds.
Next up, Alabama will host the South Carolina Gamecocks on Sunday, February 19. Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. CT. at Coleman Coliseum.
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