‘It just brought back Marion County’

It only seemed fitting that Kyvin Goodin-Rogers would hit the go-ahead three-pointer in Kentucky’s comeback win over Mississippi State on Friday just 33 seconds after Makayla Epps nailed the game-tying three from the opposite corner as part of a huge run.

“I loved it,” Epps said with a massive grin. “It just brought back Marion County.”

It was there that Epps and Goodin-Rogers worked as a tandem to lift the Lady Knights to a perfect 39-0 season and the 2013 Sweet Sixteen title, becoming the first undefeated state champion since 1984.

Shortly after Goodin-Rogers nailed her three-pointer from the left wing, the two stood together while another teammate shot free throws. Epps turned to her high school running mate and said, “We’re not losing this game. It’s just like high school.”

Goodin-Rogers laughed.

“I knew exactly what she meant,” Goodin-Rogers said. “We don’t lose at tournament time, so I told her, ‘Let’s go!’ When I said that, she scored back to back. I knew she needed some words to go, that’s how she works.”

Epps also was happy to have Goodin-Rogers, who has been struggling with a broken thumb on her shooting hand for a couple of weeks, be in the game at crunch time.

“Just to see her scoring and playing with me, she’s a big reason I came to Kentucky; I always wanted to play with her,” Epps said. “And just to see her out there doing what she did in high school really makes me joyous inside.”

About Jennifer Smith

Jen Smith has been a sports writer at the Herald-Leader since 2000, covering everything from high school sports to auto racing to various University of Kentucky sports. A native of Louisville and a graduate of the University of Kentucky (much to the dismay of her Louisville graduate mother and Indiana graduate father), Jen now resides in downtown Lexington with her husband and two young sons. You can follow her on Twitter @jenheraldleader or send her an email at jsmith3@herald-leader.com.
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