Pinkett has career day as UK women trounce Miami

jsmith3@herald-leader.comNovember 28, 2012 

  • Next game

    Kentucky at Louisville

    When: 6 p.m. Sunday

    Where: KFC Yum Center

    TV: ESPNU

Maybe Bernisha Pinkett is a morning person.

Or maybe she got an extra shot in her coffee.

Even Coach Matthew Mitchell got in on the theorizing after the junior guard's career day.

"We may have gotten an energy drink into her Gatorade bottle," the Kentucky coach said of the reserve guard, who set career highs of 21 points and 10 rebounds in the ninth-ranked Cats' 92-53 win over Miami (Ohio) on Wednesday.

Pinkett didn't know about all of those theories.

When asked what got into her for the morning tip-off, the quiet, unassuming guard shrugged.

"Nothing, I just came out and played hard," said Pinkett, who also tied her career high with five assists and grabbed three steals.

Senior guard A'dia Mathies continued the theorizing anyway.

"I guess they did not put much emphasis on her in the scouting report because they kept leaving her open," Mathies said.

Miami Coach Maria Fantanarosa smiled when asked about Mathies' theory. Pinkett was in fact on the scouting report, she said, but the guard was still the "biggest surprise."

"We had no idea that her release was that quick and she was going to be that dangerous," Fantanarosa said.

Pinkett wasn't alone. Kentucky got double-figure scoring from five different players in the win, the Cats' 25th straight at home, which is tied for the second-longest streak in program history. It also was UK's ninth straight win over Miami and its 35th in a row at home against non-conference opponents.

Mathies had 14 points, three assists and three steals. Freshman guard Janee Thompson came off the bench to score 14 points in 15 minutes.

Forward DeNesha Stallworth added 12 points and eight rebounds. Guard Bria Goss also had 12 points.

Miami (3-3) stayed close and got within 10 points early in the second half before Kentucky bolted away with a 28-9 run.

"I'm going to have nightmares seeing blue, no doubt," Fantanarosa said.

And not just the starting five for the blue team. UK's bench outscored the RedHawks' reserves 48-11.

"They kept getting more and more accurate and our legs were starting to get tired and we were short," the Miami coach said.

Kentucky (5-1) went at the RedHawks, who were paced by Courtney Osborn's 25 points, in waves.

Before the game, Fantanarosa said she believed UK's best weapon was its ability to turn steals into layups or its ability to get points on putbacks.

But she learned it has lots more weapons than that and that depth is the Cats' ultimate weapon.

"When you get to No. 2 through 10 weapons, you are out of answers," she said. "This is going to be a special season for them."

Pinkett's teammates just hope she continues to be the type of weapon she proved to be on Wednesday.

They'd be more than happy if she kept her hot streak going on Sunday night, when the Cats take on No. 7 Louisville at the KFC Yum Center on ESPNU.

Notes

■ Sophomore guard Jennifer O'Neill did not play on Wednesday as she battled some soreness in her right foot, which was surgically repaired last season. Mitchell said she was kicked in the arch during practice on Tuesday.

"She had something similar to this last summer and she bounced right back from it," Mitchell said. "We think maybe it is a bone bruise. No swelling in the ankle or anything like that."

Kentucky listed her as day to day.

■ UK's announced paid attendance of 6,476 was a season high and mostly was comprised of thousands of sixth-graders from area schools for the annual "Class of 2019 Day."

Jennifer Smith: (859) 231-3241. Twitter: @jenheraldleader. Blog: ukwomen.bloginky.com

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