(AP Photo/Patric Schneider)
In a matchup between two top 10 teams and two teams atop the SEC standings, the 8th ranked Kentucky Wildcats pulled out a very tough win against the 10th ranked Aggies 70-66. After building a 14 point lead with less than 10 minutes remaining in the game, the A&M used freshman Courtney Walker to chip away at the UK lead and cause some tense situations in the waning seconds. With 34 seconds left in the game and just one second left on the shot clock, the Cats were leading by two. Jennifer O’Neill missed a three-point shot but Bria Goss was open down low and banked in the layup to ice the game for Kentucky.
It was a balanced scoring attack for the Wildcats as A’dia Mathies led with 13 points, all in the second half. Junior guard Kastine Evans tied a season high with 12 points and some clutch long range jumpers, while DeNesha Stallworth dominated her matchup with Aggie All-American Kelsey Bone, scoring 12 points with 12 rebounds and a school record seven blocks. Kentucky come out very strong on a nationally televised game, and looked extremely composed on the road. The Cats improve to 23-3 overall and 11-2 in the SEC. UK holds sole possession of 2nd place in the conference, and are just one game behind league leader Tennessee.
The past two games, Kentucky has been steady with the ball, committing only 10 turnovers tonight and just nine last week against South Carolina. UK forced the Aggies into 18 turnovers and converted those into 29 points on offense. After giving up 27 points to Kelsey Bone the last time these teams faced off, Kentucky was able to contain the center who was plagued with cramps all night. Some questionable shot choices near the end of the game had many UK fans tense up, as O’Neill missed some long 3-pointers when Kentucky had a chance to close out the game. The Cats are currently projected as a 2 seed in Charlie Creme’s latest bracketology, and the Aggies are picked to be a 3 seed. The looming match up with Tennessee to end the season on March 3 is growing even bigger in importance each day.
The Cats are back in action on Sunday afternoon at 3 as they travel to Baton Rouge to take on a desperate bubble LSU Tigers team, a squad they beat by 12 earlier this season. Follow me on Twitter….just do it @WilderTreadKSR.