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UK Hoops Moves to Round of 32

Stallworth NCAA

For the fourth straight year, the Kentucky women’s basketball team advanced past the first round of the NCAA Tournament, as the Wildcats recovered from a slow start to defeat the 15 seed Navy 61-41. After a first half in which UK found themselves down by one against the upset-minded Midshipmen, the Cats were able to turn on the jets in the second half to power down a tough Navy team. Kentucky survived an extremely abnormal game from A’dia Mathies, as the senior star failed to score a field goal for the first time in her career. Junior center DeNesha Stallworth was able to pick up the slack though, and paced the Cats with 18 points and 11 rebounds.

Kentucky’s stout defense held Navy without a player in double-figures and only 15 points total in the second half. Their constant full court pressure forced the Midshipmen into 25 turnovers, and UK outrebounded the Midshipmen by 13. The Cats looked a little sluggish after not having played a game since March 10, and Navy capitalized on the lack of energy from UK and showed they were not scared to play with a top 10 team. The mood of the game changed drastically within the first minute of the second half, as New York native Jennifer O’Neill went on a personal 7-0 run including a 3-pointer and a open court layup. The sophomore point guard was full of emotion with a large contingent of family and friends in town to watch her, and she settled down to finish with 12 points, four assists, and five steals.

Despite the 20 point win, Kentucky knows they will have to step their game up as the tournament progesses if they want a shot at their first Final Four. A game like this for Mathies is very rare, but the post play of Samarie Walker and Stallworth stepped up to pick up the slack. Seemingly the best part of this UK team: your star player can have an off night but the energy and success of the team doesn’t change. The Cats are a team that knows how to respond, and no matter the score or time, Mitchell is able to alter the game plan to get his team to play winning basketball.

Kentucky will continue their tournament run on Tuesday night at 7, as they play the winner of 7th seed Dayton and 10th seed St. Johns on ESPN2. More coverage as the week continues…


Article written by Wilder Treadway

KSR Alpha Class '12 #holla

10 Comments for UK Hoops Moves to Round of 32

  1. Rumor
    2:38 pm March 24, 2013 Permalink

    Hearing Harrow will transfer to the women’s team.

  2. Doc
    2:38 pm March 24, 2013 Permalink

    Iowa state got cheated, referees have no idea what a block/charge is. We needed that rule looked at as it gets in the way of our own dribble drive for next year

  3. Melissa
    3:20 pm March 24, 2013 Permalink

    Congrats to UK Hoops on a hard, gritty win today! Rumor – Harrow isn’t tough enough to play with this women’s team…. Unlike the men’s group they understand the concept of TEAM basketball, locked down defense, mental toughness, and just getting the job done.

  4. mrblue
    3:36 pm March 24, 2013 Permalink

    Extremely dangerous game looming in the Round of 32. Dayton was the most under seeded team in the tournament as compared to the RPI. Sweet Sixteen game that just happens to be played in the second round.

  5. mudcreekmark
    3:43 pm March 24, 2013 Permalink

    Looked like they weren’t ready to play in the first half. Got back to playing UK basketball the second half. I love watching them push the ball, so much fun.

  6. Linda Taylor
    3:48 pm March 24, 2013 Permalink

    Rumor – Harrow could not even get on the court for a minute on the UKHoops team, not with Jen O’Neill, Janee Thompson and Makayla Epps playing point. Makayla Epps has more toughness in her little finger than Harrow has in his whole body. Linnae Harper, who can also play point if need be is toughness personified. If Jabari Parker can’t beat her you know Ryan Harrow doesn’t stand a chance.

  7. Jkn`
    4:05 pm March 24, 2013 Permalink

    1- lol, i wish.

  8. Linda Taylor
    4:14 pm March 24, 2013 Permalink

    4 (mrblue) If you look at the results of the games Dayton and UK played against the same opponents it looks like we have nothing to worry about:

    Dayton vs DePaul W 92-80
    UK vs DePaul W 96-64
    Dayton vs Vandy W 71-66
    UK vs Vandy W 75-53
    UK vs Vandy W 76-65

    Dayton’s schedule was nothing compared to what UK faced this year. So far every SEC women’s team has advanced to the next round. It should be an interesting matchup if it happens as Dayton has 2 players from KY on their squad and they have good size with 4 players 6’3″ and above.

    4:35 pm March 24, 2013 Permalink

    I get what you are doing Linda. It is the only true data driven way to get a gauge for how the game will go, but ultimately anyone can derive any outcome they want depending on their agenda using comparative scores versus common opponents.

    Looking at things that way you’d never predicted we would lose to LSU, Georgia, and South Carolina either.

  10. Linda Taylor
    6:06 pm March 24, 2013 Permalink

    MRBLUE you do have to admit a 32 point vs a 12 point difference stands out. If you watched the LSU, Georgia and SC games you would know how the refs called those games had very big influences on the outcomes of those games. We also got revenge on SC (78-74) and Georgia (60-38) when we played them again. We also had a victory over LSU (73-60) earlier in the season. Since all three of these teams are NCAA tournament teams I would say it wasn’t so bad to split victories with them this year. Dayton did not have to face the stiff competition of the SEC game in and game out. Not only did UK have to play the tough SEC schedule but their non-conference schedule included 4 other teams that are in the big dance, 3 of which they won. Their only loss to those 4 was to the monster Baylor. I am not saying Dayton is a bad team. I am saying they have not had to play anything close to as tough a schedule as UK has. I am sure both teams will give it their best shot.