NASHVILLE — Each time A'dia Mathies would take a seat on the Kentucky bench, there was a searing pain in her lower back.
As the sophomore point guard waited to get back into the championship game of the Southeastern Conference Tournament on Sunday, the UK trainer would put heat packs on her back.
"It kept it loose a little bit," Mathies said. "But there was still pain."
Before the game, she got a shot to help her play through the pain she's been suffering since taking a charge in UK's win over Arkansas on Feb. 24.
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Coach Matthew Mitchell said MRI scans and X-rays last week came back normal.
"I'm concerned about A'dia," Mitchell said. "Hopefully we can get her back spasms calmed down with some treatment."
Mathies, who was limited to 15 minutes because of the back spasms and foul issues, said getting a few days off before the NCAA Tournament draw next week would go a long way toward helping her feel better.
"It's been a rough three days," Mathies said. "Just getting a little break and some time off hopefully will help."
■ Senior Victoria Dunlap sustained a cut on her chin when she hit the floor Sunday versus Tennessee. She played through the second half with multiple bandages, but said no stitches were required.
Some Summitt love
After Tennessee's win, Coach Pat Summitt re-lived her first encounters with Mitchell when he showed up to work a Lady Vols camp many years ago.
The coach was late one day and Summitt fired him on the spot. He came back later asking for his job back and she relented.
Seeing what he's made of himself and Kentucky now makes her smile.
"What he's done in a short period of time is pretty amazing," she said of Mitchell. "It's hard to do. He has done a great job.
"I told him before I came in here I'm just so proud of him, what he's done at Kentucky."
'Bump in the road'
If Mitchell has learned one thing about his team this season, it's that it's resilient.
"We've had some deflating losses this year, and each time this group has been able to bounce back," he said.
It sounded like they're already on their way to bouncing back shortly after Sunday's 90-65 loss.
"This is just a bump in the road we're going to have to get over because we've got a lot of games left," freshman Maegan Conwright said. "We're just going to go back to Lexington and get our minds right."
Conwright's more senior teammates agreed.
"The good thing is that we still have a lot of basketball to play in the NCAA Tournament," forward Victoria Dunlap said.
Mathies was optimistic moving forward in post-season play. "Once we get refocused we should make a deep run."