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#20MINS (whoops) of UK Hoops Live Diary: Revenge in the SEC

Revenge. That’s the theme of the night in Memorial Coliseum as the 9/7 ranked Kentucky Wildcats play host to the 16/14 ranked South Carolina Gamecocks. The Lady Cocks (huh?) already beat the Cats a few weeks ago 55-50 in Columbia, in a game that broke a 17 game winning streak for UK. All coaches preach about not wanting to focus too much on revenge and their opponent when playing a game like tonight’s, but no doubt about it, it will be on the minds of all Kentucky players tonight. Following the win over Vanderbilt on Sunday, Bria Goss was more than amped up about playing USC again, knowing the entire team would be extremely focused. The Cats come in tonight 21-3 overall and 9-2 in the SEC. They are in second place in the conference standings, sitting right underneath Tennessee and Texas A&M. If Kentucky wants to maintain their position, they’ll have to find someway to conquer the insanely tough defense of South Carolina, something most teams haven’t been able to do. Tonight is also the annual “Play4Kay” game as the Wildcats are wearing all pink Nike uniforms and shoes, and some ticket profit go to breast cancer research to honor legendary coach Kay Yow.

Press Conference Recap: Dawn Staley was salt truck levels of angry, answering four questions and trying to get up and leave three times. Her answer to what was the changing element of the game that led to Kentucky’s victory: “They scored more points than us.” Coach Mitchell was more than pleased, knowing this was a huge SEC game for the Cats, as he ran around the court pumping his fist after the game. Mitchell called Evans’ performance “instrumental and huge in tonight’s victory”. It doesn’t get easier for the Cats, as Kentucky plays again next Monday night on the road at 11th ranked Texas A&M. Go freakin’ Cats.

FINAL KENTUCKY 78 SOUTH CAROLINA 74 HOLY HELL. What a college basketball game. In the most exciting half of basketball I’ve seen from any team of any gender, the Kentucky Wildcats came back from a 16 point deficit to defeat the South Carolina Gamecocks. I have never seen such energy, emotion, or tenacity as I did in that last 20 minutes. Kastine Evans was the definition of clutch hitting a go ahead 3-pointer and sinking the game clinching free throws. Bria Goss came off the bench and scored 13 points joining Evans, O’Neill, and Mathies in double figures. Despite shooting 4-18, Mathies was there when the team needed her to be. O’Neill got back in her scoring groove with a team high 19 points UK had only nine turnovers. On an even happier note: Hayley and I will be going to the SEC Tournament in less than a month in Duluth, Georgia! This team>>>

2nd Half 3:33: Never have I ever seen a team with just four turnovers this far into the game….and losing. Kentucky has a whopping four turnovers tonight yet still find themselves on the wrong end of the scoreboard. Like always, when the going gets tough, A’dia Mathies gets going. Look for her to be the go-to player as this game ends and will her team as much as she can. HOLY MOTHER OF MOSES this environment is unlike any I’ve ever seen. Every single person in this building is on their feet and yelling at the top of their lungs. The refs have come up with some HUGE “let em play” calls and it has benefited Kentucky boatloads. I’m sick to my stomach and for once the Cats seem to have confused the Gamecocks on offense. WOW A’dia Mathies nails a three-pointer and UK has done the improbable: Kentucky leads 69-68.

2nd Half 7:56: It’s hard to believe the first time these teams played the final score was 55-50. South Carolina has been on fire tonight, and I really don’t know why. Kentucky has left wide open gaps to the basket several times this half leading to easy layups, and that’s not something you see often from this Wildcat team. After a couple of slow games, Jennifer O’Neill has been the catalyst for Kentucky on offense tonight, with a game high 17 points. The guy on the end of the bench for South Carolina is the definition of “too much”. He is on his hands and knees banging the court while chanting DEFENSE…..calm down sir you are on the end of the bench for a reason. Huge next couple of minutes for the Cats as they try to cut into a 66-60 South Carolina lead.

2nd Half 11:59: If I could have one thing right now, it would be a horse tranquilizer, because this game is sending me straight to nervous breakdown status. Walker and Stalloworth, Kentucky’s primary post players, have not played one minute this half, and it shows. The Cocks go straight to the paint on every offensive posession, but the Cats aren’t backing down on the offensive side of things luckily. Something I’ve never seen before was A’dia Mathies post up in the paint but….she just did it and used her quick feet to completely glide across her defender. Trust me when I say it was very pretty. Sadly for UK, if the Gamecocks aren’t scoring, they’re getting fouled, and Kentucky has still not been able to stop them on defense. Samarie Walker comes in and does what she does best: clean up the trash. She comes in and gets an offensive rebound put-back and the Cats are a’fighting. She’s going to the line when we get back and Kentucky is trailing 58-52.

2nd Half 15:39: South Carolina’s defense is scary good. They are highly ranked in the NCAA standings of nearly every defensive statistical category, and unlike Kentucky’s fast paced transition oriented defense, the Gamecocks play grinding, tough, hard nosed sets. The Kentucky offense definitely looks steady early in the second half, but the Cats have got to stop Carolina on a consistent basis to chip into the lead. This crowd at Memorial is feeling the intensity of tonight’s game, making me wish I could get up and yell with them. A jumper by Kastine Evans fires up the crowd, and it is officially the loudest in here it has been all season. Kentucky has scored on three straight posessions but haven’t been able to get back and stop the Cocks inside. Welch hits a layup and-one, and South Carolina leads 53-44.

HALFTIME KENTUCKY 30 SOUTH CAROLINA 44 Sorry loyal KSR UK Hoops fans, but I was late to the game. After finishing up the big/little ceremony for my fraternity (shouts to my new little Taylor Carpenter), I sprinted to Memorial Coliseum. Sadly, I wasn’t too pleased to see what was going on. I caught the last four minutes of the first half and the Cats look……anything but good. South Carolina is last in the league in field goal percentage and they had over 40 points in one half shooting nearly 60%!?!? Something obviously wasn’t going right. A’dia Mathies had four points on 1-10 field goal shooting, and Kentucky is going to need a tremendous effort in the last twenty minutes if they want to fight for a win tonight. I imagine Mitchell’s halftime to speech to go a little like this: “WHAT IN THE WORLD HAPPENED OUT THERE?!”. Go Cats?

Article written by Wilder Treadway

KSR Alpha Class '12 #holla

19 Comments for #20MINS (whoops) of UK Hoops Live Diary: Revenge in the SEC

  1. Gypsy Robyn
    7:57 pm February 14, 2013 Permalink

    Hope Coach Mitchell’s half-time speech sinks in for the team. They’re not playing like the UKHoop team we know & love!

  2. Gypsy Robyn
    8:08 pm February 14, 2013 Permalink

    C’mon, I hear the crowd getting back into the game, let’s keep scoring!

  3. Rae
    8:10 pm February 14, 2013 Permalink

    You were late to the game. That’s what happened.

  4. fatcat
    8:14 pm February 14, 2013 Permalink

    Hoops play too much one on one basketball. Need to play more together on offense.

  5. Gypsy Robyn
    8:19 pm February 14, 2013 Permalink

    Wow, the crowd likes that call about as much as Coach does!

  6. Mike
    8:36 pm February 14, 2013 Permalink

    Are the Lady Cats going to follow the lead of the Cats and continue to underachieve?

  7. Gypsy Robyn
    8:47 pm February 14, 2013 Permalink

    Love the “GO BIG BLUE” chants from the crowd, we’ve clawed back within 2 pts!

  8. Gypsy Robyn
    8:58 pm February 14, 2013 Permalink

    74 seconds left! This is killing me! Go Cats!!!

  9. Wilder Treadway
    9:04 pm February 14, 2013 Permalink


  10. tread
    9:07 pm February 14, 2013 Permalink

    Score bro?

  11. Gypsy Robyn
    9:08 pm February 14, 2013 Permalink

    What a win! WOW!

  12. Jimi
    9:15 pm February 14, 2013 Permalink

    What a comeback!

    This team will be tough come tournament time on neutral courts.

    A Final Four is very possible!

  13. Kittyfan
    9:50 pm February 14, 2013 Permalink

    Wilder, I thoroughly enjoy your posts at the UK HoopCats games! Wish I was there.

  14. goukats
    10:33 pm February 14, 2013 Permalink

    Great posts on the game,and sounded like a great game.Wish the mens’ team could play as hard and with as much emotion.Congrats to the hoops team.Great win.

  15. scary
    11:00 pm February 14, 2013 Permalink

    just because something is good, doesn’t mean you have to put SCARY in front of the word good… this is the only place i see the writers use it and EVERYONE does it… its starting to become scary annoying

  16. Linda Taylor
    11:21 pm February 14, 2013 Permalink

    Wilder, you should be glad you missed most of the first half. It was the worst half of basketball our ladies played all year. USC was getting into the paint and making layups continuously and we were bricking most of our shots. Denesha didn’t play in the 2nd half because her defense was so bad in the first half Coach Mitchell had no choice but to sit her. Hopefully she will learn a great deal from this game. Jen was a warrior all game long. The four-guard lineup in the second half is what payed dividends in the end as we slowly clawed back into the game. It was a great game to be at. You could literally feel the crowd lift the team and will them on. I think we also had a small effect on the refs too. We certainly let them know how unhappy we were with a bad call. All in all it ended up being a very satisfying victory.
    Also, congrats to Linnae Harper and Makayla Epps on being named McDonald’s All Americans.

  17. mashburnfan1
    11:43 pm February 14, 2013 Permalink

    Wow fake USC shoots 56%, we shoot 36% and WIN. Great comeback ladies and turnovers were the key in this one. We forced 21 but we only had 9. If this team can have 12 turnovers or less they will be very hard to beat, even when we do not shoot well.

  18. Reality
    12:03 am February 15, 2013 Permalink

    @ #12…

    SEC Regular Season and Tournament championship definitely still possible. Final Four is unrealistic at this point. Baylor, UConn, Stanford, and Notre Dame are blowing everyone off the court.

  19. David from Bowling Green
    8:44 am February 15, 2013 Permalink

    First Ladies game ever. Awesome experience! Love Memorial, a classic. Awful first half but knew we’d play better in 2nd half. What a come back! The crowd was great. I am a season ticket holder for men’s games and this was much more fun in lots of ways. Look forward to attending again in the future.