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Matthew Mitchell has a future as a kindergarten teacher

Matthew Mitchell has a future as a kindergarten teacher


Matthew Mitchell has a future as a kindergarten teacher if his career as a women’s basketball coach and Bruno Mars impersonator do not work out. Coach Mitchell stopped by The Lexington School last Friday to talk to the young KinderKlasse minds.

Watch as he teaches them the Cats chant in this video below:

Coach Mitchell Expert Speaker! from TLS Website on Vimeo.

(Britney Howard/ UK Athletics)

UK Hoops Beat Mizzou, 83-69.

(Britney Howard/ UK Athletics)

(Britney Howard/UK Athletics)

After being upset Sunday in Baton Rouge against a feisty LSU team, Matthew Mitchell’s #14 UK Hoops was back in action today in Columbia against the Missouri Tigers in their second ‘We Back Pat’ game. The ‘We Back Pat’ movement is a week-long event in the SEC to raise awareness for the legendary Tennessee women’s coach Pat Summitt’s foundation to help those, like herself, who are fighting Alzheimer’s disease. After a stellar second half, Kentucky came out with the win, 83-69.

Kentucky started the first half super slow, only going 2-10 from the field and trailing almost all of the first six minutes of the half until tying the game at around the fourteen minute mark. From there, the Cats took off, going on a 13-3 run. Kentucky didn’t make their first three pointer of the game until freshman Alexis Jennings finally knocked one down at the 11:50 mark to extend Kentucky’s lead out to seven. After not taking a shot in the first 12 minutes of the game, Jennifer O’Neill made a three pointer at 8:05. Then, Mizzou took the opportunity of Kentucky missing a few shots to cut the lead, but after a technical was called on the Mizzou bench, Kentucky extended their lead back up to eight when Bria Goss knocked down both of the free throws to take the score out to 41-37. Kentucky ended the half on a sour note. After O’Neill fouled Mizzou’s Sierra Michaelis swiping for the ball, Morgan Eye, who leads the SEC in 3 point FG made per game, was allowed to take Mizzou’s free throws after Michaelis was shaken up on the play. She put in both to cut Kentucky’s lead at halftime to three, 43-40.

Kentucky led almost 18 minutes of the second half, only giving Mizzou the lead for seven seconds after Azia Bishop committed a foul. The Cats outscored Mizzou 40-29 in the second half. After a quiet first half, Jen O’Neill had the hot hand for the Cats, going 5-8 from the field and tallying 15 of her 19 points in the second half alone. Makayla Epps also secured her second career double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds. For the second game in a row Kentucky had a total of five players in double figures: Bria Goss (16 pts, 1 assist), Linnae Harper (15 pts, 11 rebounds), Makayla Epps, Jen O’Neill, and Alexis Jennings (10 pts, 6 rebounds). The Cats shot 42.3% from the field, and scored 23 points off of Missouri’s 22 turnovers. The Cats won the points in the paint battle 20-8 and got 12 steals, the team’s ninth straight game with 10 or more steals. With today’s win, Kentucky moves to 16-4 on the season and 5-2 in the SEC.

The Wildcats are back in action Thursday night at 7 against fifth ranked Tennessee in Memorial Coliseum. The Lady Vols are 17-3 on the season and undefeated in conference. They beat #22 Georgia today, 59-51 in Knoxville. Thursday’s matchup between the Cats and the Vols will be broadcasted on the SEC Network. Austin and I will also be in the building to give you our coverage here on KSR and to reiterate my unadulterated hate for Tennessee (hate just isn’t even a strong enough word for my feelings for Tennessee). Until then, Go Cats.

2015 McCravy Memorial Held at Kentucky

Track and Field stars shined at the 2015 McCravy Memorial,which  was held at Nutter Fieldhouse over the weekend. An impresssive 9 world leading times and 15 NCAA leading times were posted at the event, some of which were by Wildcats. Kentucky was led by Keffri Neal, who ran an indoor personal best in the 800-meter with a time of 1:48.52.

Here are some more notable finishes by Wildcats:

Sha’keela Saunders placed 3rd in the triple jump with a distance of 42’11.75”/13.10M. That was good enough to be the 6th best jump in the NCAA this year.

Rebecca Famurewa won the weight throw with a school record mark of 70’10.75″/21.61M.

Bradley Szypka finished 4th in the Shot Put.

In his debut in a multi-event, Timothy Duckworth finished 4th in the mens heptathlon, scoring 5454 points.

Nick Anderson ran a time of 7.88 in the 60M hurdles, good enough for 4th place.

Leah Nugent placed 5th in the 60M hurdles with a time of 8.37.

(stats and info from


Sha’Keela Saunders sets long jump record

A bunch of other Kentucky sports are competing this weekend including tennis, women’s gymnastics, swimming and diving and track & field. This highlight was to amazing not to talk about.

On Friday, Kentucky’s Sha’Keela Saunders set a new school record with her mark of 21’5.25/6.53 meters and now leads the nation.

Saunders was the 2o14 NCAA Silver Medalist after losing to Oregon’s Jenna Prandini by five inches. Saunders came up big on her last attempt, almost like giving her the go-ahead touchdown in the track & field.

Saunders remains undefeated this season and moved to No. 4 in the nation.

It amazes me that somebody can jump that far because I could maybe jump a good two feet but that’s pushing it.

Auburn and Alabama women’s basketball players duke it out last night

If you missed last night’s Auburn vs. Alabama women’s basketball game last night, you missed one hell of a catfight. Check out this brawl between Alabama sophomore guard Breanna Hayden and Auburn senior guard Hasina Muhammad, which got the two thrown out of the game, along with Auburn’s Meoshonti Knight.

Phew. Thankfully, Matthew Mitchell’s squad doesn’t play either team the rest of the season.

photo via UK Athletics

Cats Fall in Baton Rouge


photo via UK Athletics

photo via UK Athletics


Despite outrebounding LSU 54-37, Kentucky was not able to pick up the victory in Baton Rouge today, as they fell to the Tigers 79-84. The Cats struggled against another mid-level SEC team they’re expected to beat, a common theme so far this season. Linnae Harper had another huge game recording a double-double with 15 boards, while chipping in 16 points.


Coach Matthew Mitchell noted pregame that the game would be “tough,” especially with the Tigers coming off a road victory against no. 15 Mississippi State in double overtime. After the game, he spoke in the same light, stating, “LSU deserved to win the game. They out-toughed us.” With the loss, Kentucky is now tied with LSU and Georgia for 5th place in the SEC, all three teams sitting at 4-2 in league play. The Cats are now 15-4 on the year, after dropping two of their last three.


The offense struggled for the second straight game, likely due to the absence of recently injured point guard Janee Thompson. Kentucky missed 12 straight shots after the 9:00 mark in the second half before making 4 of their last 5 during desperation time in the final minute. UK also shot just 38% from the floor, while turning the ball over 26 times.


Kentucky was ranked no. 10 nationally coming into Pete Maravich Assembly Center, a place where they have struggled in the past few years. Coach Mitchell has not won at LSU since 2010, this marking the third straight loss there as a top-10 team. After struggling the past couple of games, we’ll likely see Mitchell’s squad slide down a few spots in the polls.


Kentucky will now travel to Columbia, Missouri on Sunday to battle another group of Tigers. Tipoff is set to 4pm, and you can catch the game on the SEC Network.



Matt Goins, Lexington Herald-Leader

Kentucky soccer star chosen in first round of the NWSL Draft

Matt Goins, Lexington Herald-Leader

Matt Goins, Lexington Herald-Leader

Arin Gilliland was chosen in the first round of the National Women’s Soccer League on Friday. Gilliland is the first Kentucky player ever to be drafted in the NWSL. The Lexington native was chosen 8th overall by the Chicago Red Stars.

“I’m overjoyed to begin my career in Chicago,” Gilliland said in a UK news release. “They were a team that I had my eye on entering the draft, and it made total sense to everyone for me to be a new member of the Red Stars. I want to thank (Chicago head coach) Rory Dames for his trust in selecting me, and (UK head coach) Jon Lipsitz for all that he did for me at Kentucky. This is a really exciting time for me and my family to be able to continue my dream of playing soccer professionally and ultimately make my goal of playing for the United States full Women’s National Team and representing our country in World Cups and the Olympics.”

Gilliland was the 2014 SEC Defensive Player of the Year. She has also trained with the Under-23 U.S. National Team. During her time at Kentucky she scored a total of 30 goals and dished out 25 assists.

The Red Stars begin their season on April 18 against the Seattle Reign.

World Best Times Set By Dezerea Bryant at Kentucky Invitational

Dezerea Bryant was joined by teamates to finish 1-2-3-4 in the 60M (Photo by Elliott Hess, UK athletics)

Elliot Hess/

The Kentucky Track & Field teams began their 2015 campain at the Kentucky Invitiaional which was held on Friday and Saturday at Nutter Fieldhouse. The Wildcats are starting this season right where they left off last season, setting several records and career best times. Dezerea Bryant leads the 6th ranked women’s team and continued her domiance setting a world-leading time in the 200M with a time of 23.12. She also posted a world leading time in the 60m with a time of 7.18

“Overall the meet went well, obviously the stars always shine,” UK head coach Edrick Floréal said.

Dezerea wasn’t the only Wildcat who shined in the Kentucky Invitational. Here are the other Wildcats who placed at the event:

On Friday, Rebecca Famurewa won the weight throw with a distance of 67-feeet, ranking 3rd in the United States this year.

Javianne Oliver ran a 7.32 in the 200M, finishing 2nd behind Bryant and setting a new personal best. Teammates Dominique Booker and Keilah Tyson placed 3rd and 4th respectivily in the event.

Leah Nugent won the 60M hurdles with a time of 8.25; a new season best and 3rd in the nation.

Sha’Keela Saunders finished 1st in the long jump with a mark of 19’11″/6.07M.

Bradley Szypka continues to dominate the shot put, winning the event with a throw of 63-2.75/19.27M.

Ian Jones won the 800M with a time of 1:53.65.

Aundrea Busse ran a time of 9:47.24 to win the 3,000M.

The Womens relay team comprised of Keilah Tyson, Morganne Phillips, Angelica Whaley, and Leah Nugent won the event with a time of 3:45.94.


Cats Down Gators In First Game Without Thompson

Cats Down Gators In First Game Without Thompson

Photo via Mark Zerof, USA Today

Photo via Mark Zerof, USA Today


In a game that featured 17 lead changes, the 10th ranked Wildcats were able to leave Memorial Coliseum with a 62-56 win and sole possession of third place in the SEC. Florida had not played a ranked team all season, but the number in front of the name did not scare the Gators, and the competition wasn’t decided until the final minute.


“Our young post didn’t come to play tonight,” Coach Matthew Mitchell said after the game. Luckily for Kentucky, the guards were ready to go. Makayla Epps shinned as she started at the point guard position replacing Janee Thompson, something that Florida coach Amanda Butler said they did not prepare for. On replacing Thompson, the only Cat that had started every game this season, Makayla said that she was “grateful for the opportunity” although she was obviously unhappy about how it came about. The sophomore guard scored an efficient 20 points, shooting 6-10 from the floor, while also going 8-8 from the charity stripe. Four of those free throws came in the final minute, both to extend UK’s lead to multiple possessions. After the game Coach Mitchell had high praise for her, saying that he believes Makayla could end up being one of the best guards in the country before her time here in Lexington is done.


Bria Goss returned to the starting lineup after missing the last 6 games due to a hand injury. Although she only scored 2 points, her 23 minutes were vital for UK to pick up the victory. Along with Goss returning, Freshman Jaycee Coe was another guard that stepped up to fill the big shoes of Thompson. Coming into the game, Coe had played only very limited minutes, but nevertheless played fearless in her 14 tonight, scoring a career high 7 points. After the game Coach Mitchell and Linaee Harper were both celebratory of Coe, Harper saying that she provided a much needed “spark off the bench.”


With the win, Kentucky improves to 15-3 on the year, and 4-1 in what Matthew Mitchell calls “the best league in the country.” Mitchell’s team also remains undefeated at home this season, and after a couple games on the road, the Cats will return to Memorial to face the Lady Vols of Tennessee.


But first, Kentucky will look ahead to LSU, as they travel to Baton Rouge to face the Tigers on Sunday. The game will be aired on ESPNU at 2pm.




My Goodbye to KSR

My Goodbye to KSR


Three years and four seasons. When I walked into a small classroom at Transylvania three years ago, I would have never expected I would be lucky enough to spend four seasons with such an amazing and talented team.

From KSR, I’ve learned so much, I feel like a sage. First off, never let anyone tell you “no.” When I first applied, so many people in my life tried to tell me I would never get it. When I got it, they all told me I would never succeed. When I found success, they did what they could to discredit that success. It took me a very long time, but I also learned that whether it’s the comment section or your twitter mentions, whatever they are saying, does not matter. Read it, get mad, and get over it. Any person who tries to attack you or break your spirit through the cyber world is pathetic. And secondly, I learned it’s not the grades you make, but the hands you shake. Every opportunity you are given, take it. Call in to work, cancel your plans, do whatever you have to do to make things happen. You may think it’s not a big deal, but you never know who will be there.  Finally, never stop saying thank you. Every single chance you get, say it. Maybe it’s “thanks for reading,” maybe it’s “thanks for taking us to New York” or maybe its “thanks for writing me that bomb ass reference letter.” But never stop saying it.

Screen Shot 2015-01-15 at 8.25.37 PM

So, without any further ramble, thank you to the originals, KSRC, for everything. You all always had my back, on twitter and in the comment section, and for that I really cannot be grateful enough. Monday night karaoke with Trishla and Corpse, the “KSR Summits” where no one knew who anyone was, and who can forget the dodgeball game?? Y’all have become some of my closest friends, and I hope that we will always stay in touch. Wilder, Tara, Nick, Ally, Kristen, David, and John, we were the best originals anyone could have ever rounded up. Those who came along the way didn’t understand, and those who survived the hazing became insiders. JC, Austin, you all have some big shoes to fill. After tonight, I’m certain you all will kill it.

Matt, Drew, Aaron, and Tyler: You all have done everything for me over the years. Tyler, thank you for explaining how to add a GIF to a post and proving to me that good things do live below the UK/Tennessee border. Aaron, thank you for saving me from creepy boys at Two Keys and for your inspirational Snapchats (LESSSSGOOOO).  Drew, thank you for introducing me to Team NF, Jack Demsey’s and ultimately, Magners, and for always being there in tough situations with the comic relief. Matt, thank you. From the minute I stepped in the Hilton wearing Chuck Taylors and chasing a dream, to the minute I stepped into Memorial tonight, I have been the underdog, and you had some faith in me. You gave me a shot, probably against your better judgment, and I am eternally thankful. Also, thanks for picking up the bill at Tin Roof, that creepy place with the ashtray on the baby chair, and for taking me to New York for the first time ever. You rock. Forget the haters.


Wilder, you were the best co-blogger/roommate/best friend I could have ever asked for. From our cohabitating in Duluth to our literal cohabitating in Lexington, I am thankful for all the times you listened and helped, and all the times you told me to shut up. I guess it’s time to finally tell people, now that our KSR time is over, that while we are not romantically involved, you are the closest thing I’ve ever had to a serious and consistent boyfriend. I have loved you since the first time you wouldn’t make eye contact with me in that classroom three years ago, and will love you forever. Parasit is mad you left “It” in Lexington, the stompy-footed cheerleader missed you tonight, and so did Slax.

Thanks to my family for everything as well. From impromptu “I’m going to Bridgeport in two days” to always promising to read my posts, you all have been the best.

Thanks to all the fans who followed along with us, on twitter, live blogs, and in the comment section.

Now, on to the future. People keep asking me what I’m going to do, and honestly, after going 100 miles an hour for the past four years, I’m in no rush to jump into a job. I’m going to sleep some, move home, and hang out. Don’t worry though, I’ll do something awesome soon, and you all will be the first to know. Is it ok to put in your resume, “Covered Women’s Basketball for the University of Kentucky in the most ridiculous manner possible”?

UK Hoops vs. Florida Gators Live Diary

UK Hoops vs. Florida Gators Live Diary


Following Janee Thompson’s gruesome ankle injury against South Carolina last week, the entire UK Hoops team is sporting “Our B3st” shirts to support the point guard.  Her injury, a left dislocated ankle and broken fibula, will surely have her out for a big chunk, if not the remainder of the season.  Our KSR family is praying for you Janee!!! I learned from talking to KGR in a preseason interview that injuries give you the opportunity to see things you may not have been able to seen before.  Take advantage of this, work hard, and we know you’ll be back soon.

Hello Hoops fans!  Welcome to the Kentucky v. Florida live diary, featuring two new additions to UK Hoops coverage, J.C. Ausmus and Austin Monnett.  J.C. and Austin will be taking over for Hoops coverage starting with the Tennessee game.  So this will be my last UK Hoops game.  How fitting that my last game as a KSR writer is the Florida game, when my first game as a KSR writer was also against the Gators and head coach Amanda Butler.  Tears may be shed, and a farewell letter will be coming, but for now, just enjoy the witty remarks and playful writing styles of the interns.

Florida is coming to Lexington with a record of 9-8 overall, and is just 1-3 in the SEC.  They will start tonight on a two game losing streak with losses to Missouri and Ole Miss ( GO MATT!!).  Florida defeated UK last year in Memorial Coliseum 83-73.  Make sure to keep an eye on Ronni Williams. The sophomore forward is averaging 10.2 points a game.  Also make sure to keep your eyes peeled and ears open for Coach Amanda Butler, who captivated us all with her ability to stomp her feet quickly and loudly despite her wearing of 4+ inch heels.

The Hoops team has been challenged this season with injury after injury, and just when we seem to nurse one back to health, another is hurt.  We are going to be on hard core Janee Thompson watch this evening, as it was leaked to us over a pregame meal of potatoes and prime rib that she is trying to make an appearance here tonight.  Bria Goss is rumored to be playing tonight as well, and has participated in all team warm ups.  She is sporting a very thick thumb brace for her injury.  I expect she will come off the bench and get a small amount of playing time, just to ease her back into game play.

#10/11 Kentucky Wildcats v. Florida Gators

FINAL 62-56: J.C.: It sure was a nail-biter in Memorial Coliseum tonight. After back-and-forth lead changes all half, it looked like Makayla Epps put the game away for the Cats after making both her foul shots with 32.7 seconds left in the game, but Florida’s Kayla Lewis scored two to cut Kentucky’s five point lead back down to three. Once again, Epps was fouled and extended the lead to claim the victory for the Cats by making both of her free throws. Thanks for joining us tonight guys. It was a great experience for mine and Austin’s first game on press row. We can’t wait to share the rest of this season with you. Austin will be by here in a little bit to wrap up the game and be sure to look for Hayley’s goodbye post here shortly.

2:57 Second Half: Austin: Up 50-47, it looked like UK was going to be able to pull away once again, as the crowd began to get into it due to some controversial calls. But a 4-0 run by Florida silenced them only for a moment, as O’Neill hits a three to put the Cats back up by two. Linnae Harper has been the star tonight, as she still leads the team in points and rebounds, also with her career high 6 steals. She and Epps have over half of the teams’ points, as they have a combined 28 of the 55. Cats lead 55-51.

7:08 Second Half: J.C.: I have a feeling this game is going to go down to the wire. Everyone says that Kentucky is a second half team and they are proving that tonight, as the Cats are shooting a spectacular 60% from the field as opposed to 37.5% in the first. At around the 11 minute mark, Jaycee Coe finally hit UK’s first three pointer of the game to chomp the Gators’ lead and give Kentucky control of the game, 43-41. Since then, the lead has been going back and forth, but as of right now, the Cats lead by one, 48-47.

15:29 Second Half: Austin: The Cats look much stronger to start the second half, as they come out of the locker room pushing the ball. Butler takes a timeout for the Gators to stop the bleeding after UK takes the 33-31 lead, but to no avail as an Epps layup gives them the largest lead of the game at 35-31. Florida’s foul situation keeps getting worse, as two of their eight active players have three or more fouls. Cats lead 35-33.

Half Time: J.C.: This game is a battle. Right under the one minute mark Makayla Epps cut the lead to one with a beautiful floater and to put the cherry on top, Linnae Harper stole the ball and made a break-away layup to give the Cats the lead at the twelve second mark. Harper still leads in scoring and rebounds with 10 and 7 respectively. Cats lead by one, 29-28.

2:40 First Half: Austin: The Cats hit 4 straight field goals to cut the lead to one, but the Gators were able to hold off the charge after tightening up their defense following a timeout. Kayla Lewis, Florida’s third-leading scorer goes to the bench with her third personal foul, a problem considering the injuries the team has. UK has four players with two fouls each, something else to keep an eye on down the stretch.

5:20 First Half: J.C.: Refs are calling a tight game, especially since the SEC head of officiating is in the building tonight. Already there has been 17 fouls called in the game, 8 on Florida and 9 on Kentucky. As of right now, Kentucky is shooting 36% from the field, and has made no three pointers yet in the game (0-6). After Sunday’s big game, Jen O’Neill has been pretty quiet; no points and two rebounds. On the other hand, Linnae Harper leads all scorers with 8, going 4-8 from the field.  Florida leads 24-23.

14:04 First Half: Austin: The sluggish start continues for both teams, and at the second TV timeout, Florida leads 13-12. The teams have a combined 14 turnovers already (UF has 9). Bria Goss scores her first points from returning from missing 6 games on a layup around the 12-minute mark.

15:44 First Half: J.C.: Janee Thompson has made her appearance! The Kentucky guard walked in on crutches with Coach Mitchell and is sitting on the bench with the team. Florida won the tip, and the game is already back-and-forth. Every time Kentucky scores, Florida takes it right back down the court and answers. Memorial Coliseum is probably about 3/4 of the way full, but is pretty loud for a Thursday night. At the first time out, the Cats and the Gators are tied, 6-6.

10 til’ Tipoff: Austin: Florida will also have a shorter bench tonight, as two key players for Florida, Antonionette Bannister (knee) and Carlie Needles (concussion) are also unavailable. The two players combine for 16 points in a combined 49 minutes per game. Although the head coaches would downplay it, they both will have some extra motivation: Matthew Mitchell was an assistant at Florida from 2000-2003, and a win tonight would grab Amanda Butler her 150th win with the Gators. Florida looks to bounce back from an ugly performance on the road against Missouri where they scored a season low in points and shot a season low 23 percent from the floor (14-61!!!). UPDATE: Bria Goss will be in the starting lineup.

30 til’ Tipoff: Hayley: Can you smell the sentiment in the air? This game will probably have me in tears, but not because of the actual game.  In my last game for KSR, I will be mostly taking a back seat and letting JC and Austin take over.  Everyone, be nice to them.  It’s their first game.  I’m still looking for Janee Thompson to make an appearance, and also hoping that she doesn’t do so if she isn’t ready.  Now, who will be taking her starting position?  Makayla Epps is listed as a probable start in the media guide, but Coach Mitchell seems to be shaking things up a bit.  Jennings, Bishop, O’Neill, and Harper are also listed.  It will be interesting to see who gets playing time tonight, and who plays a position outside of their own.  For now, we play the waiting game….


(H/T @ThatEppsKidd_)

Update: Janee Thompson Out for the Season with a Broken Fibula.

(H/T @ThatEppsKidd_)

(H/T @ThatEppsKidd_)

Sad news came out of Lexington last night when it was announced around 10 o’clock that UK Hoops’ junior guard Janee Thompson, who was injured in the South Carolina game yesterday, sustained a broken fibula resulting from the dislocation of her left ankle. The release last night said she is scheduled to have surgery at UK hospital this morning. Due to this horrific injury, she is out for the season. This is a heartbreaking loss; Thompson was playing the best basketball of her career, averaging 10 ppg, was the team leader in assists, while also ranking second in steals. She was also a two-time SEC player of the week this season.

“We are so sad for Janee,” said Coach Matthew Mitchell. “We never want to see a player sustain an injury like that. We are particularly sad for Janee because she’s worked so hard and has really come into her own. She will continue to make an impact on our team with her leadership. She will stay heavily involved and everyone will just have to raise their level up to contribute and make up for a tough loss. We are going to play as hard as we can for Janee and make sure we have a special season for her.”

This is heartbreaking news. But like I said yesterday, she will come back stronger and better for her senior season. Our thoughts and prayers are with her and we wish her a speedy recovery.




Janee Thompson, last week’s SEC Player of the Week, suffered a horrific injury during today’s UK Hoops matchup.  It was tough to watch, but immediately her teammates and all of Big Blue Nation began to show their support.  Unfortunately for Thompson, it appears to have been a complete dislocation of the ankle, and there’s no timeline as of yet for her return.

Many members of the #BBN, old and new, sent out heart-felt thoughts and prayers for Janee this evening.


Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Janee. Wishing you the quickest recovery, as you’ll come back even quicker and stronger.

(H/T @TwillieStein)

UK Hoops Falls to Top-Ranked South Carolina 68-60 in an Emotional Game.

(H/T @TwillieStein)

(H/T @TwillieStein)

The #10 UK Hoops team fell to top ranked South Carolina, 68-60, in a extremely emotional game today. Although the Cats ended the first half on fire, leading at halftime by three, the Cats just couldn’t get it done in the second half. Kentucky now falls to 14-3 on the season and 3-1 in conference.

Even from the start of the game it was ‘back and forth’ with the lead changing nine different times and two ties in the opening half. Kentucky trailed by as many as six points before snatching the lead and extending it out to seven points after going on a 12-5 run around the 4:58 mark. In the first half alone, Kentucky shot 43% from the field and went 2-6 from the 3-point range.

In the second half, Kentucky couldn’t seem to buy a shot, only shooting 15.8%, a season low for a half. Straight out of the gate, South Carolina’s Tiffany Mitchell opened the second half with a basket to take control of the game. After that, it seemed that Kentucky just couldn’t catch up, no matter how hard they tried. Jennifer O’Neill, who lead all scorers with 13, managed to cut South Carolina’s lead to four at the 11:11 mark, but then South Carolina’s Khadijah Sessions turned right back around and hit a three pointer to give the Gamecocks an even wider margin. Things only got worse when, at around the 4 minute mark, junior guard Janee Thompson went down after diving for a loose ball resulting in one of the most horrific ankle injuries I have seen in a long time, leaving her screaming in pain on the court and her fellow teammates visibly shaken and in tears on the sidelines. Thompson was placed in an air-cast and wheeled off the court on a gurney with both UK and South Carolina players escorting her to the edge of the court giving her their support. After the Thompson injury, the game looked like it could be attainable for the Cats, but then again, things went downhill for Kentucky when Matthew Mitchell became visibly upset over a no-foul call and was given two technicals and ejected from the game with just over two minutes remaining.

After that, it appeared that Kentucky wanted to be anywhere but in Colonial Life Arena. They let South Carolina run out the lead to eight points and take the victory. During ESPN2’s broadcast of the game it was announced that Janee Thompson suffered a dislocated left ankle.

“It’s not a minor injury,” said Coach Mitchell after the game. “It doesn’t look good.”

The Cats will now try to look past this loss and focus on their next game Thursday night in Memorial Coliseum against Florida. The game can be seen on the SEC Network with tip set at 7 pm. The Gators are currently 9-7 on the season and 1-2 in the SEC.

Finally, we here at KSR would like to say that we are keeping Janee Thompson in our thoughts and prayers. As the old saying goes, it’s a minor setback for a major comeback.

Go Cats.