BATON ROUGE, La. — Kentucky went more than eight minutes in the second half without a field goal and turned the ball over 26 times for the game.
The same Kentucky allowed Louisiana State to shoot nearly 45 percent from the field and score 24 more points than it was averaging.
And after an 84-79 loss to the Tigers at the Maravich Center on Sunday, No. 10 Kentucky will spend most of its bye week trying to find answers on both sides of the ball.
"We just have to fight for a positive attitude right now," Coach Matthew Mitchell said of the Cats' second loss in three games. "We're a team that's in need of improvement. I realize that as a coach. I really need to do a good job here coaching moving forward."
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The coach took the blame for Kentucky not being able to capitalize after it made a big run in the second half to come back from 10 points down to tie it 62-62 with eight minutes to go, saying that UK stuck with the press for too long and the wrong Cats' personnel led to too many easy baskets for the Tigers.
"I got a little greedy there, and that's 100 percent my fault," Mitchell said of what likely was the final dagger for Kentucky as LSU responded with a 13-1 run after the game was even again.
It was around the same time that the Cats' offense went just north of a deep freeze, going without a basket for 8:21.
Before a flurry at the end of the game where UK made four of its five shot attempts to extend the inevitable, the Cats had managed to make only eight of their 34 tries in the second half.
They finished the game shooting 32.9 percent even with those late makes.
"Offensively we certainly have a lot of room for growth," said Mitchell, whose team got more than 60 percent of its points on free throws (27) and putbacks (24 points).
While Kentucky (15-4, 4-2 Southeastern Conference) looks for answers, LSU may have found some for its early season woes.
"This team has now started to believe," said Tigers Coach Nikki Caldwell, whose team has won back-to-back games against ranked teams after starting the season 8-8.
Danielle Ballard, who was suspended for the first 14 games of the season, tied her career high with 25 points that went with four rebounds, five assists and five steals.
"Ballard is an All-American, she's one of the best guards in the country," Caldwell said. "She has the ability to make other people around here very good."
Sheila Boykin, a senior forward who had 14 points and 11 rebounds, said watching teammate DaShawn Harden go down with an eye injury during the second half got the Tigers focused on the finish line.
"That right there flipped a switch for us and we knew from that point on that we weren't leaving here without this win," she said of Harden, who collapsed in front of the LSU bench after taking a teammates' knee to the eye, causing it to swell.
"We wanted to win. You could tell by the way we were playing defense, the extra passes we were making, the intensity on the boards. Nothing could stop us at this point."
Kentucky did its part to help the Tigers (10-8, 4-2) by turning the ball over 26 times, the Cats' second highest total this season.
"We didn't value the ball very much today," said Mitchell, whose team lost point guard Janee Thompson to a broken leg a week ago. "We'll certainly have to do a better job with that as we try to grow and progress from this game. But that really hurt us today, our turnovers."
The Cats, who get a week off before heading to Missouri on Sunday, were led by Jennifer O'Neill's 19 points. Sophomore guard Linnae Harper added 16 points and a career-high 15 rebounds, but she turned the ball over eight times.
Freshman forward Alexis Jennings added 13 points and 11 rebounds for UK, which won the rebounding battle 54-37.