BATON ROGUE, La. — UK Coach Matthew Mitchell spoke on Friday about the uphill battle Kentucky still faced despite its upset victory over No. 13 Tennessee.
On Sunday at Louisiana State, the climb got even steeper.
Without leading scorer Eleia Roddy, the Cats rallied from 12 points down but came up just short in a 57-56 loss to Louisiana State that eliminated UK's chances of a winning record in league play.
UK guard Carly Morrow's look at a game-winning three-pointer was blocked by LSU's Allison Hightower in the final seconds.
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The Cats learned just minutes before the game they would be without Roddy, who is also the team's second-leading rebounder, because of flu-like symptoms.
"You're going to have days like that (where you're missing a player)," Mitchell said. "You have to walk uphill sometimes to get to your destination."
With only six players playing all but one minute, UK fought back for a chance to beat the Tigers for the first time since 1999.
Sophomore Victoria Dunlap led the valiant effort in the second half and finished with 21 points. She also pulled down a career-high tying 15 rebounds for her 12th career double-double and her ninth this season.
The Cats went on a 7-0 run late in the second half to get within one, 55-54. The teams traded a pair of free throws and Dunlap got a steal with 10 seconds left to set up Morrow's final shot.
"The kids executed the play but the shot didn't go in," Mitchell said. "It's really sad to lose one like that."