Kentucky 90, Mississippi 65: Cats roll, Mitchell ties record as UK women's winningest coach

jsmith3@herald-leader.comFebruary 28, 2013 

  • Next game

    No. 8 Tennessee at No. 10 Kentucky

    When: Sunday, 3:30 p.m. (ESPNU)

  • UK women's coaches

    Coach (Years) Wins

    Matthew Mitchell (2007-13)138

    Terry Hall (1980-87) 138

    Sharon Fanning (1987-95) 134

    Bernadette Mattox (1995-03)91

    Debbie Yow (1976-80) 79

    Mickie DeMoss (2003-07) 71

    Sue Feamster (1971-76) 64

Kentucky's easy 90-65 victory over Ole Miss on Thursday night meant loads of milestones.

It helped Coach Matthew Mitchell tie the program record as its all-time winningest coach.

It guaranteed UK a first-round bye in next week's Southeastern Conference Tournament.

But one thing the win couldn't do was give the Cats a shot at repeating as SEC regular-season champions. Another game on another court decided that as Tennessee topped Texas A&M to claim the title outright.

The Cats meet the No. 8 Lady Vols on Sunday in the teams' regular-season finale at Memorial Coliseum. The game is sold out.

"The focus now really goes to Sunday afternoon and making sure we send A'dia (Mathies) and Brittany (Henderson) off the Memorial Coliseum floor with a victory," Mitchell said of his two seniors, who will play in their final home game.

Unlike its previous two road games, which went down to the wire, Kentucky didn't leave anything to chance at Tad Smith Coliseum on Thursday.

The Cats (24-4, 12-3 SEC) never trailed and had a 37-18 lead at the break, holding Ole Miss to 22.6 percent shooting in the first half and without a basket for more than five minutes as the Cats scored 13 unanswered.

Mathies, who had nine points at the half, finished with 20 points in 21 minutes. It was the senior guard's seventh game scoring 20 or more points this season and her 19th straight game in double figures.

She was one of three Cats in double digits, including Janee Thompson's 11 points and Bria Goss's 10 points off the bench.

Samarie Walker and Kastine Evans added nine points apiece, with Walker grabbing 13 rebounds for Kentucky, which outrebounded Ole Miss 57-38.

The 57 boards was a league high for the Cats this season, despite them playing without starting forward DeNesha Stallworth, who stayed back in Lexington with flu-like symptoms.

Jennifer O'Neill added eight points, five rebounds and four assists for Kentucky, which led by as many as 32 points midway through the second half.

"We had an energetic performance and we were able to wear Ole Miss down," Mitchell said on his post-game radio show. "Our energy tonight was too much for them to handle."

UK scored 21 points on put-backs to just nine points for the Rebels (9-19, 2-13), who have lost four straight games to ranked opponents.

Ole Miss was led by Tia Faleru's 14 points and 14 rebounds. Danielle McCray added 12 points for the Rebels, who shot 37.3 percent from the field.

They turned the ball over 21 times, leading to 23 Kentucky points, most coming in transition, which excited Thompson.

"It's a lot of fun when we're able to get rewarded for our defense with some offense and easy buckets," the freshman point guard said on the radio after the win.

The Rebels' season ends on Sunday at Arkansas. They will not participate in any post-season tournaments after a self-imposed ban after the dismissal of head coach Adrian Wiggins and two of his assistant coaches.

The trio was fired after a school investigation found academic and recruiting misconduct, which also made two players ineligible. The NCAA is investigating the program.


NEXT GAME

No. 8 Tennessee at No. 10 Kentucky

When: Sunday, 3:30 p.m. (ESPNU)


UK WOMEN'S COACHES

Coach (Years) Wins

Matthew Mitchell (2007-13)138

Terry Hall (1980-87) 138

Sharon Fanning (1987-95) 134

Bernadette Mattox (1995-03)91

Debbie Yow (1976-80) 79

Mickie DeMoss (2003-07) 71

Sue Feamster (1971-76) 64

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

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