Today marks the second annual “Terry Hall Memorial Classic” as UK Hoops commemorates their all-time winningest coach. The Cats take on the Eagles of Morehead State (sound familiar?) as Coach Matthew Mitchell goes up against the school he used to coach for. UK enters the game 2-1 on the year, and MSU is 1-3. I (Wilder Treadway) am holding down the fort here on press row all by myself…. shout out to Hayley Minogue who’s home with family in the city that doesn’t exist. In sadder news, my laptop is broken and I can’t do the usual pregame selfie, hopefully that isn’t a bad omen for the team today. Let’s do this thing Cayuts.
Kentucky Wildcats versus Morehead State Eagles
Postgame: Samarie Walker was awarded the Terry Mall Classic MVP with her monsterous performance today. A’dia Mathies also only needs 2 more points to move herself into the top 10 scoring list all time for Kentucky women’s basketball players. Cats are now 3-1 on the season and play USC Upstate Sunday at 1. Coach Mitchell was “very happy with the 10 blocks” put together by the defnese. Best stat: Cats outrebounded the Eagles 63-21.
FINAL SCORE KENTUCKY 73 MOREHEAD STATE 37 A very good, complete game from the Cats today. Samarie Walker caught fire, A’dia Mathies put in a solid contribution, DeNesha Stallworth was vital down low and scored in double digits, and Azia Biship continued her great start to the year. Not really much to complain about after this one…other than the eye sore of an outfit from Coach Hodges. It was good to see Jennifer O’Neil get the start and extended minutes today as well after her redshirt year last year. This team is heating up and it’s exciting to see where they’re going to be headed as a matchup with top 10 Louisville looms near.
2nd Half 7:11: Even though the result of this game is pretty much sealed up, Coach Mitchell has not stopped coaching as he realizes his team still has a lot to learn and a short time to learn it. Samarie Walker recorded her 4th double-double today and 1st this season as she now has 15 points, 10 rebounds, 3 blocks and 2 assists. This is the kind of performance Coach Mitchell expects from her game in and game out. The outlet passes for this team, which have been rusty to start the year, have been crisp and on target today, resulting in a lot of quick layups for the Cats. Kentucky killing Morehead State 60-28.
2nd Half 11:25: The Cats have slowed down just a little bit and the Eagles have taken advantage with a mini run of their own. A few careless turnovers and missed defensive rebounds have hurt the Cats within the past few minutes. The crowd today is pretty impressive in terms of size and interaction, especially considering it is Black Friday and the level of opponent. I just realized Coach Hodges brought his own stool with a bright yellow seat on it. Can’t say I’m surprised. He just asked the ball girls if they wanted to come play for his team and they said no…#awkward Cats still up 50-25.
2nd Half 15:54: Morehead State has shot themselves in the foot this game as they seem to not even attempt to start their offense until there’s about 10 seconds left on the shot clock. Reflecting on the first half, almost each player on the team got to play for at least 2 minutes, the Cats forced 13 turnovers, and outrebounded the Eagles 33-14. #domination Have I mentioned that Samarie Walker is dominating? She has 13 points, 8 rebounds and 3 blocks. Cats still up 46-15.
HALTIME SCORE Kentucky 36 Morehead State 13 Very good half for the Cats as they didn’t look sluggish or unenthused for this game at all. The bigs inside of Stallworth and Walker have dominated every time they’ve had the ball, and Walker is already in double figures. One of the biggest parts of this half: A’dia Mathies only had 4 points and yet the Cats are still up by more than double the Eagles’ point total. You can tell this has been the most fun game for the Cats thus faras they are smiling ear to ear and really pumped up when a good play happens. The hustle and tenacity of this team so far this game has the crowd electrified.
1st Half 3:50: The love affair between the Wildcat and I has continued as he followed up his hat stealing of last week by coming and sitting next to me on press row today and putting his arm around me…not quite sure how to take that one. The Cats are simply outhustling the Eagles in every aspect of the game today, and have finally found their shot as Pinkett and O’Neil have both drained 3-pointers. This is going to be another all-team scoring affair. Kentucky leads 28-11.
1st Half 7:58: The Cats must still be feeling the effects of their Thanksgiving feast yesterday because they’ve jacked up a lot of 3 balls…and hit none. You can tell the growth and development of sophomore Azia Bishop is something Coach Mitchell cares a lot about as he talks about her constantly during the press conferences, and is always yelling her name from the sideline. She has a lot of potential and could be great if she just fine tunes a few parts of her game. Samarie Walker is on FIRE early today as she’s been everywhere on the floor getting balls and rebounds, and already has 8 points. Cats dominating 18-6.
1st Half 11:17: In addition to his obnoxious suit, Coach HOdges is also obnoxiously loud on the sideline too. Both coaches in this game are very vocal from the get go. I’ve heard the words “flex”, “switch”, “screen” and “good” at least 50 times so far. While the Cats have excelled at getting the ball inside so far early, they’ve missed a lot of easy 1 foot layups that Coach Mitchell will not be pleased with. The Eagles have no offensive rhythm, credit the Cats’ defense for that one. Kentucky leads 12-4.
1st Half 15:56: Let me tell you, paying attention to this game while sitting right next to Coach Hodges is a tough task. The Cats are playing with a lot of energy early, and point guard Jennifer O’Neil is playing from the get go, something she hasn’t done all year. The Cats are trying to use their advantage inside from the get go, as Samarie Walker already has 4 points. Cats lead 8-4.
BzzZzzzZzZZZzzz: Even though I got a little distracted by having to watch the band do pelvic thrusts to “Gangnam Style”, the game is officially underway. The Wildcats win the tip, aaaaand we’re off! Also…I think I figured out why the Eagles’ shorts were so ugly, they were probably inspired by their head coach Tom Hodges…thisis what he wore to the game today:
10 Minutes Before Tip: The Cats are trying to build a winning streak here today against the Eagles, who haven’t looked very good so far this season. The worst thing I’ve noticed about MSU: their shorts. Seriously, they have some sort of retro wavy stripes that only look good on a satin shirt in the 70’s…I’m confused. Anyway, look for another dominating performance by the Cats here this afternon, and hopefully Sean Woods won’t make anyone cry…too soon?