Whether it's shots or wins, even the seemingly easy ones don't come easily for Kentucky.
UK looked like a clear favorite to beat 1-5 East Tennessee State on Friday night at Memorial Coliseum.
But because they couldn't hit the easy shots, the Cats fell 59-50.
In the second half, Kentucky missed 17 close-range shots, including a handful that would have tied the game.
"I have not been around a team that shoots layups like this," Coach Matthew Mitchell said after the game.
The coach offered an apology to the 4,531 fans that came to the game.
"This is as disappointing as it gets," Mitchell said. "I can tell you I'm not happy at all. This is a really poor performance for our team. I'm the coach, and I have to take the responsibility."
Kentucky (5-4) trailed by as many as 16 points early in the second half but was able to use a 9-0 run late to cut it to two points twice, first with 5:22 to play and again with four minutes left on a Carly Morrow 10-footer.
"I got a little nervous, but I knew my role was to keep everyone calm," East Tennessee junior TaRonda Wiles said. "So I just kept my composure to help everyone else keep their composure."
It was UK that struggled to keep its composure, and it went the remaining four minutes without scoring a basket.
Wiles made two big baskets in the final five minutes to keep extending ETSU's advantage over Kentucky. She finished with a game-high 19 points and four rebounds.
Siarre Evans had 10 points and 16 boards for the Buccaneers, who had lost two in a row, including a 77-61 game at Mercer last time out.
"From the beginning to the end, I was really, really pleased with the way this team competed," Coach Karen Kemp said.
Eleia Roddy led UK with 13 points and 10 rebounds, but she made just five of her 15 shots, most from close range.
The senior center declined post-game interviews through a Kentucky spokeswoman.
UK's five starters shot a combined 17-for-56 from the field and made just one of 10 shots from three-point range.
Even when standing still at the free-throw line, the Cats connected on only five of their 13 attempts.
"As a coach, you feel real bad for all of the people who come out and watch us give that kind of effort," Mitchell said. "(ETSU) clearly played a lot harder than we did tonight and appeared to want to win more than we did tonight."
Carly Ormerod and Lydia Watkins remained planted on the Kentucky bench nursing nagging injuries. Ormerod is unlikely to play at No. 12 Louisville on Sunday, Mitchell said.
He said they would probably give Watkins a try, but she could be limited by the stress reaction in her ankle. Ormerod is still battling a recurring injury from last year in her left foot.
The UK coach also said Victoria Dunlap would be evaluated after Friday's game. She came off the floor limping, complaining of soreness in the same knee she had surgically repaired this summer.
■ Jackie Sanders, UK's junior college transfer, did not play. Mitchell called it a coach's decision.
Snowden tears ACL
Even players relegated to the UK bench aren't immune from the injury bug.
Keyla Snowden, a transfer from Akron and a former standout at Lexington Catholic, tore her left anterior cruciate ligament in practice on Wednesday.