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Simmons' layup upsets Lady Wildcats

BY KEITH TAYLOR Associated Press

LEXINGTON - Daisha Simmons scored 17 of her 22 points in the second half, including a layup with 2.3 seconds remaining that lifted Alabama to a 57-55 win over No. 9 Kentucky on Thursday night.

Kentucky (15-4, 3-3 Southeastern Conference), tied the score at 55-all on two free throws by Jennifer O'Neill with 14.9 seconds to go. However, the Crimson Tide (9-10, 2-4) had plenty of time to set up for the last shot by Simmons.

A desperation attempt by Kastine Evans bounced off the back of the rim as time expired, giving Alabama its first win in Lexington since 2002.

In the first meeting between the two teams, Kentucky defeated Alabama in the conference opener on Jan. 2 in Tuscaloosa.

Brianna Hutchen added 10 points to help the Tide end a two game skid. Alabama was without leading scorer Shafontaye Myers but Simmons picked up the slack in her absence.

Samarie Walker scored 13 of her 18 points in the second half for Kentucky before she fouled out with 1:46 left. Bria Gross added 14 points.

Walker scored Kentucky's first 10 points of the second half as the Wildcats led 39-31 with 14 minutes left. Because of foul trouble, Walker played just 6 minutes in the first half.

After Walker's scoring burst, the Crimson Tide went on a 16-2 run to take a 47-41 lead with 8:41 remaining. Simmons had two 3-pointers and scored eight points during the spurt.

Kentucky pulled to 52-51 with 3:59 remaining on a bucket by Walker, but a clutch 3 by Alabama's Sharin Rivers pushed the margin to four and kept Alabama in the lead.

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