A'dia Mathies twisted into the lane, rose off the floor, hung in the air and finally flipped an underhanded scoop shot around a Mississippi defender toward the basket.
In the balcony of Memorial Coliseum, a guy who knows a little bit about theatrical basketball — John Wall — turned to DeMarcus Cousins with a "Can you believe that?" look on his face.
Turns out, the Wildcat men's team is not the only basketball squad on the Kentucky campus with a first-year player who can make you say "Wow!"
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The surprising Kentucky women (19-3, 7-2) solidified their hold on second place in the Southeastern Conference with an 80-66 pasting Thursday night of third-place Ole Miss in a game that wasn't, as the saying goes, as close as the score indicates.
UK's school-record sixth-straight SEC win came in large part behind a sensational performance from Mathies. Displaying an array of clever shots over and around taller defenders, the 5-foot-9 swingman from Louisville went 9-for-15 from the floor and finished with a career-high 21 points.
Kentucky's reigning high school Miss Basketball also added seven rebounds and two steals.
"A'dia is the definition of a difference maker," UK Coach Matthew Mitchell said. "She has made a tremendous impact on our team. And I think tonight was a tremendous indication of what she's capable of."
Mathies hit a three-pointer for UK's first field goal of the game and helped stake the Cats to a 41-28 halftime lead with 10 first-half points.
However, her most impressive stretch of the night came early in the second half.
While UK was building a 23-point lead over a Mississippi team that has upsets of LSU and Georgia on its résumé, Mathies contributed a series of acrobatic field goals in the lane.
The twisting layup that so impressed Wall led to an old-fashioned three-point play and put UK ahead 58-41.
A 6-foot fall-away jumper by Mathies made it 62-44 Kentucky.
"I'm trying to be more aggressive," Mathies said. "Coach has been saying he wants me to be more aggressive and not be passive."
Consider that mission accomplished.
As much fun as A'dia's air show was, the on-the-ground parts of her game might have been more impressive.
With Ole Miss continuous ly trying to trap UK ball handlers, Mathies kept stepping through double teams to create passing lanes.
It was the kind of fundamental "soundness" that would make Norman Dale's heart (think Hoosiers) swell with pride.
Mathies, who led Iroquois High School to last season's Kentucky state championship, also drew the primary defensive responsibility on Mississippi's Bianca Thomas, the SEC's leading scorer (more than 21 points a game).
It must be a little daunting for a coach to put a freshman on the most prolific scorer in, arguably, America's premier women's basketball conference.
"It just speaks to how much confidence we have in A'dia Mathies and how talented she is," said Mitchell. "I had confidence in A'dia that if she played hard and stuck to her fundamentals, she could do a good job."
Thomas finished with 17 points. But she made only four of her 19 shots.
"I tried to chase her," Mathies said. "I knew she was capable of putting up big numbers. I just tried to chase her and give her a hard time."
Consider that mission accomplished, as well.
In what is turning into an unexpected joy ride of a Kentucky season, pretty much all tasks are getting performed with aplomb.
Smallish but gritty, UK Hoops is a show worth seeing. If the Cats stay healthy and hungry, well, March could get real interesting in a good way.
On Thursday night, the best part of UK's show was the quiet freshman from Louisville.
Said Mitchell: "We're mighty blessed (Mathies) is wearing a Kentucky uniform."
Added Ole Miss Coach Renee Ladner: "The Mathies kid is for real."
Even John Wall seemed impressed.