The 9th ranked Kentucky Wildcats (14-3, 2-2 SEC) returned to their winning ways this evening defeating the Missouri Tigers (13-4, 2-2 SEC) 80-69. After a slow start in which the Cats were down by eight points early, Kentucky went on multiple runs and used the aggressive play of Bria Goss who finished with 20 points to soar to victory.
“I wanna compliment our players today for playing tough and getting a win today, cause we really needed it,” said Coach Mitchell following today’s win. He seemed very relieved to notch another W, especially against a much improved Missouri team rolling off of a win against Georgia last week. “For our immediate psyche right now, we needed to win. We were coming in low, they were coming in high.”
The Cats seemed to fix their scoring woes tonight as five players finished with double-figures, featuring Goss’ 20, Thompson’s 16, 11 for O’Neill and Stallworth and 10 for Walker, who also finished with a double-double with 13 rebounds. Kentucky had the thirst for a win, and everyone’s glad they got it. With the SEC season heating up, UK couldn’t afford to get down in the league standings so early, by so much.
“I’m as happy about this win as I have been in a long time.”-Mitchell
Missouri’s Bri Kulas was a monster, scoring 20 points in the first half, but the Wildcats seemed to pay special attention to the senior in the last 20 minutes, allowing just seven. MU’s MO all season has the 3-point shot. Coming into tonight’s game leading the league and ranking 4th in the nation in 3-point field goals, the Tigers shot just 32% from behind the arc, and made two less shots than they average.
The Tigers head coach Robin Pingeton is a new KSR favorite. She is exactly what Hayley and I love in an opposing coach: a little crazy, really loud, and really stompy. By stompy I mean she spends a lot of time pacing the sideline waving her arms around stomping in her modest sized high heels. After a charging call on Mizzou, she even walked over to the press table and asked us if we thought it was a good call. She had tons of respect for Kentucky following the game, seeming to look up to Coach Mitchell for his resurgence of a women’s basketball at a school without much prior history in the sport. Take a look for yourself…
Kentucky has this week off, and will return to action next Sunday afternoon as the Wildcats travel to the plains to face the Auburn Tigers. Until then, take a charge Wildcats, take a charge.