This wasn't the way the script was supposed to play.
SEC Player of the Year candidate Victoria Dunlap shot 3-for-12 from the floor.
Kentucky point guard Amber Smith, the heart and soul of UK's turnaround season, spent the evening pinned to the bench in foul trouble.
On a night when Georgia's length forced Kentucky's offense to the perimeter, UK missed a whopping 22 three-point shots.
UK didn't seem to have the recipe to defeat the No. 19 team in the country.
Yet as the final seconds ticked down in Memorial Coliseum Thursday night, a raucous crowd of 6,521 filled the air with triumphant chants of "Go Big Blue! Go Big Blue!"
Make it No. 17 Kentucky 64, No. 19 Georgia 48. Make it a school-record eight straight SEC victories for surprising Kentucky (21-3, 9-2).
"On nights when you aren't playing your best that you still come through with a win, that gets you excited as a coach," said Kentucky head man Matthew Mitchell.
If the team picked to finish 11th in the Southeastern Conference in the pre- season hadn't already proven its mettle with its march to No. 17 in this week's AP Top 25, this was the night it should have earned your complete respect.
UK Hoops is legit.
With leading scorer Dunlap not having her best offensive showing, UK had other answers. Senior Amani Franklin and freshman standout A'dia Mathies each came up with 15 points apiece.
Leading 33-32 early in the second half, Kentucky broke the game open with an 18-5 run. Franklin scored six points during the surge; Mathies also scored six and had pretty assists on two other buckets during this game-deciding stretch.
"It just shows our team, how much chemistry we have," said Dunlap, who still finished with 13 points and eight rebounds despite her chilly shooting. "Even if I wasn't making shots, we had people step up like Amani and A'dia."
With Kentucky's inside game largely thwarted by a Georgia team that played six players who were 6-foot-1 or taller, the Cats needed every outside shot they could cash.
Former Scott County star Rebecca Gray came off the bench and drained a trio of three-pointers (for nine points) on a night when the rest of the UK roster made only four treys (Kentucky was 7-of-29 on three-pointers).
On a night when foul trouble saddled the fiery Smith, UK still had its relentless pressure defense upon which to rely. Kentucky harried Georgia into 24 turnovers; the Cats are now 13-0 in games in which they forced 20 miscues or more.
Veteran Georgia Coach Andy Landers — who has been coaching women's basketball in the SEC since God was young — gave UK his stamp of approval.
"When they are playing the way they want to play, they're very good," Landers said, "and they've been able to do that — which is a credit to their coaches and their players — most of the year."
It has long been an article of faith in women's basketball circles that Kentucky is a sleeping giant. After decades of slumber, many were beginning to wonder if the awakening would ever come.
A battle between Top 20 teams showed a glimpse of what women's basketball at Kentucky could become.
Venerable old Memorial Coliseum was electric. It was a star-studded crowd, with current UK men's basketball stars (women's hoops regulars John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins) and past Cats ( Derek Anderson) in the house.
There were Kentucky football standouts of the present (Randall Cobb) and from history (Wesley Woodyard, Braxton Kelley).
Even the Boogie Man danced.
"The crowd was great," Mitchell said. "Really gave us energy and on a night when energy was needed."
There's a lot of basketball still to play. Kentucky faces a dangerous weekend trip to Vanderbilt, followed by home games with Florida and South Carolina.
Yet, with the Cats in sole possession of second-place in the SEC, Feb. 25 looms over the horizon like a beacon star.
That is when Kentucky travels to Knoxville to face SEC leader Tennessee. Wouldn't it be something if that game is for the conference title?
Whatever happens between now and then, Thursday night showed that the Kentucky team that will head to Rocky Top is fully legit.
Said Mitchell: "I give credit to our kids; we were able to grind this one out."
Even when the script goes awry, that's what the good teams do.