Russell scores 19 as Kentucky women beat Georgia 64-50 to begin the SEC Tournament

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) — Eniya Russell scored 19 points, Ajae Petty added 11 points and 14 rebounds for her 17th double-double of the season and No. 12 seed Kentucky beat 13th-seeded Georgia 64-50 on Wednesday in the opening game of the Southeastern Conference Tournament.

Kentucky (12-19) advances to play No. 5 seed Tennessee on Thursday in the second round. The Wildcats improved to 7-1 in their last three SEC Tournament appearances after winning the title in 2022 and reaching the quarterfinals in 2023.

Kentucky missed its first six shots of the game until Russell got going, scoring 10 points in the first quarter to help build a 21-14 lead. The Wildcats led 36-22 at the break for its largest halftime lead of the season against an SEC opponent. Petty controlled the paint with eight points and nine rebounds to help Kentucky hold a 25-13 edge on the glass.

Georgia missed seven straight shots spanning the fourth-quarter break as Kentucky extended its lead to 16 points. The Bulldogs got as close as nine points the rest of the way as Kentucky didn't make its first field goal of the fourth until Russell's layup with 1:20 left.

Brooklynn Miles had 11 points, five rebounds and five assists for Kentucky. Miles was in the starting lineup because Maddie Scherr, Kentucky's second-leading scorer, was out due to concussion protocol.

Javyn Nicholson led Georgia (12-18) with 23 points. The Lady Bulldogs were outrebounded 41-25 and missed all 11 of their 3-point attempts.

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