It wasn’t the prettiest or cleanest of games, but the 13th ranked Kentucky women’s basketball (7-1) team was able to avoid some costly injuries and take down the Norse of Northern Kentucky 82-64 tonight in Memorial Coliseum. Sophomore Kyvin Goodin-Rogers led the way offensively for the Cats with a career-high 19 points, 10 of which came in the first eight minutes of the game. Senior Bria Goss also had her best offensive performance of the season with 16, joining a group of four Wildcats who scored in double-figures.
“We aren’t sharp right now. Young post players are forgetting where to go, the ball’s not moving. We certainly have a chance to be a really good team. This is just where we are right now,” said Coach Mitchell.
While Coach Mitchell seemed a little frustrated with the execution of his team, he also realizes Kentucky is only eight games into the season and has played a demanding schedule early on. With seven of their first games in a span of 15 days, including a trip to the Virgin Islands, the Cats haven’t gotten a lot of the quality practice time Mitchell has wanted to have and thinks the team needs to perform better. “The challenge with this team is consistency. Hopefully through some dedicated time and practice we can get that corrected,” said Mitchell.
Just 20 seconds into the game Jennifer O’Neill fell to the ground after an attempted rebound, screaming and crying in agony. After being helped off the court by Coach Mitchell and the trainers, she looked noticeably shaken up, but okay. Before the crowd, the team or even myself was able to recover from the scare, 90 seconds later junior Janee Thompson fell to the ground in the backcourt clutching her lower leg, also having to be taken off the court by her coach and trainer. Two minutes in – two injured guards. Luckily for Kentucky both O’Neill and Thompson came back to play just minutes later, but that shaky start for UK held true the whole game as the Cats never seemed to find a consistent groove on either end of the court.
Kentucky shot an abysmal 51.2% from the free throw line tonight including a horrendous 1-8 mark from senior Azia Bishop. “We need to be a better shooting team than that. [Azia] is not prepared, not focused, whatever it is. We sure missed far too many tonight.”
Kentucky Sports Radio’s own Nick Roush had a family connection in tonight’s game, as his twin sisters Christine and Courtney both play basketball for the Norse. Christine tied for a team-high 13 points for NKU, making KSR proud. You go Roush family, you go.
Kentucky returns to action this Sunday afternoon in a highly anticipated contest with the hated and 7th ranked Louisville Cardinals. The game will be played in the KFC Yum! Center at 2, and Hayley and I are making the trip up to the Derby City, so pray we don’t get hit in the head by a bottle of Crown Royal. Until then…