Matthew Mitchell used the word "interesting" more times than he probably wants to 22 games into Kentucky's season.
But it was the only way to describe a game where his No. 10 Cats led by 17 points in the first half and fell behind by four in the second half before eventually topping No. 21 Georgia 80-72 at Memorial Coliseum.
"It was an interesting game," he said. "It started great, it ended great, but the middle was something not as great."
Perhaps the biggest play of the game came in a most interesting way.
Two UK post players cut in the exact opposite direction as instructed out of a timeout, forcing UK to call another timeout trailing 72-70 with 1:45 to play.
Mitchell on the Cats' struggles to execute out of timeouts: "There are a lot of new challenges, it's interesting."
So the coach, who initially was trying to just go for a two-point try, opted to go "back to a play I felt like we knew, but wasn't for sure or not."
It turned out to be THE play, a three-pointer for Jennifer O'Neill on an inbounds play with 1:37 left to give Kentucky the lead for good.
"That three helped us gain momentum," said the senior guard, who had 21 points, six rebounds and four assists in the win. "Everybody started getting excited; everybody started getting up on defense and allowed us to get turnovers."
Defense hadn't been seen much in the second half up until that shot. Much like in their loss to Tennessee on Thursday when the Cats allowed the Lady Vols to shoot 60 percent from the field in the second half, the Bulldogs were on a similar pace.
But Kentucky clamped down after that O'Neill three with Linnae Harper immediately getting a tip that Makayla Epps pulled out of the air to set up another O'Neill shot with one minute to play.
In all, Kentucky's defense forced four turnovers in the final two minutes to help seal the victory. The 25 miscues matched a season high for the Bulldogs.
"When we got ahead, we made three horrible decisions that resulted in turnovers and two of them resulted in baskets at the other end," Georgia Coach Andy Landers said.
Kentucky's defense wasn't good for a large portion of the game, but it was good enough at the end, holding Georgia without a point for the game's final 2:50 while the Cats closed out with a 10-0 run of their own, eight of those points coming from O'Neill.
"Emotionally for us, when Jen hit that three to make it 73-72, to me that was the lift we needed, like, 'OK, now let's go down and play defense. Let's get a stop,'" Mitchell said.
In the first half, the Cats (17-5, 6-3 Southeastern Conference) looked like they were never going to allow the game to get interesting.
They raced out to a 13-4 lead behind two Bria Goss three-pointers then went without a point for more than four minutes while the Bullldogs pulled to within 17-13 on an Erika Ford fast-break layin with 12:16 to go.
Then Georgia went cold, going 7:18 without a point. Georgia missed 10 straight baskets and turned the ball over five times while the Cats rolled off 13 points in a row and grabbed a 30-13 advantage.
But what should've been a dagger merely annoyed the Bulldogs, who closed the half on an 18-8 run to cut the lead to 38-31 at the break.
"If we would've kept our foot down on the gas, we could have pulled away with that one and had a bigger points spread going into halftime," said Epps, who spent most of the first half on the bench in foul trouble. "But it's just mindset."
Georgia (17-5, 5-4) kept chipping away at the lead until the Bulldogs swiped it away for the first time, 59-58, on a Tiaria Griffin three-pointer with 8:56 to play. The junior guard led all scorers with 23 points. That three was part of an 8-0 spree by UGA that gave it a 62-58 advantage.
The Cats' defense — or lack thereof — was puzzling to Mitchell, who said there are several combinations on the floor that don't seem to perform well defensively. He was forced to go to them because of foul trouble.
"I don't know why some people won't play really hard and get where they're supposed to be," said Mitchell, whose team allowed the Bulldogs to shoot 55.6 percent from the field in the second half. "We just had some very low energy plays out there today where Georgia just dribbled the ball down and scored layups."
Epps scored 15 of her 16 points in the second half and added six rebounds. Harper pitched in 11 points and eight rebounds, but the sophomore duo combined for 11 of UK's 20 turnovers.
Goss and Alexis Jennings added 10 points apiece for Kentucky, which will have a bye on Thursday before closing out the regular season with seven straight games, including four on the road.
On Sunday, Kentucky was just happy to walk away with a win, even though it proved to be an "interesting" one.