Two Kentucky seniors and their coach sat on the stage looking dazed and confused.
Back in the Cats' locker room it was more of the same with a soundtrack of shallow breaths and sniffles.
"It hurts the worst because we got beat by a team that wanted it more than we did on our home floor," sophomore guard Makayla Epps said after the Cats' wild 99-94 loss to Dayton on Sunday.
The loss ended the second-seeded Cats' season in the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2011 and halted their seven-year streak of 57 straight wins over nonconference opponents in Memorial Coliseum.
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The wild ride of a season, which included injuries and off-court complications, as well as wins over several top 10 opponents and four double-digit comeback victories, ended in UK coughing up an eight-point lead midway through the second half.
At several key times, Kentucky had a chance to extend its lead to double digits and would miss a layup or miss a free throw (UK missed 14 of its 38 attempts from the line).
"We had some chances to put them away and we made some mistakes, mental breakdowns and let them back in it," Coach Matthew Mitchell said. "We could've had some double-digit leads. That's not what we had."
Instead Kentucky (24-10) had a war on its hands that included nine lead changes and nine ties.
The Cats' defense gave up a season-high 99 points on 56.6 percent shooting, a high for any UK opponent this season, as was the Flyers' 61.1 percent three-point shooting.
"I don't think it was good," Mitchell said when asked about UK's defense, which forced 24 turnovers and turned them into 22 points. "I did not think that we had enough people playing as hard as they could play. ... We just left too many people wide open."
The statistics were more staggering in the second half, when Dayton made 64 percent of its shots and five of its eight three-point attempts.
No two were bigger than Kelley Austria's three-pointer that gave the Flyers (27-6) the lead for good with 1:08 to play or the one from long range in the left corner by Amber Deane with 24 seconds to play (and four seconds on the shot clock) that turned a one-point lead into a four-point advantage. Deane had 23 points and four assists for Dayton.
As a team, Dayton hit 11 three-pointers, second most of any Kentucky opponent this season.
"It's tough for me just because I'm the one who really lost the game," UK's Jennifer O'Neill said of that last three. "I let her hit that three-point shot. That's deflating to my team. We were on a little run and as a senior I can't make mistakes like that."
Dayton senior Ally Malott led the way with 28 points and 13 rebounds. Austria added 17 points and four rebounds.
After six straight trips to the NCAA Tournament without ever advancing to the round of 16, Flyers Coach Jim Jabir said he was starting to doubt himself a little bit.
But he had a resilient team that believed it could win, even when buried by an eight-point deficit, 62-54, with 12:18 to go.
"They never faltered; in the timeouts, they knew we were going to win the game," he said, even though he noted that he might have to go "see my cardiologist as soon as I get back home."
The difference between this game with UK and the 14-point loss when the two teams met in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 2013 was the aggression his team showed, especially in the second half, Jabir said.
"We were running away from them last time and this time we took it to them," he said.
Kentucky's Epps did her part to take it to the Flyers in the second half, when she scored 22 of her game-high 29 points. O'Neill added 16 points, six rebounds and five steals. Fellow senior Bria Goss pitched in 12 points for the game.
But they weren't enough, especially in the second half when the Cats — missing their most veteran post player Azia Bishop, who was serving a one-game suspension for a violation of team rules — were outrebounded 22-11 and missed nine free throws.
"We just didn't ever seem like we had that fire in our belly to advance," Mitchell said.
Dayton "played with great enthusiasm and tremendous desire and we just didn't, and that's what I'm most disappointed in, that I could not get them to a spot where they would fight as hard as they needed to win."