UK Women's Basketball

Red-hot Roddy gives Cats a win

In early December, Eleia Roddy had one of the worst games of her college career.

In that game against Xavier, the Kentucky senior made none of the 10 shots she attempted. She struggled all around.

That poor performance sounded an alarm in the center's head.

"It forced me to re-evaluate where I am as a player and where I want to be," Roddy said. "As a senior, I don't want this year to pass me by."

Since then, she's seized the moment and the basketball whenever she finds it near her.

That included Friday night, when Roddy matched her career high with 17 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in the Cats' 65-45 win over Alabama A&M in Memorial Coliseum.

"She made some big plays for us," UK Coach Matthew Mitchell said of Roddy, who recorded her third straight double-double and her fourth in the past five games. "When we were struggling to score, we were able to go inside to her."

Kentucky did have its problems with scoring again Friday against a 2-6 Bulldogs team that had lost four in a row coming into Memorial Coliseum.

Roddy scored the final five points of the first half to give UK a 40-27 lead, which it extended to as many as 20 points early in the second period.

But the Cats went lifeless after that, going more than 6:30 without scoring a field goal until a Roddy shot in the lane ended the cold spell.

"Her experience and her physical strength and her ability to score are so important to us," Mitchell said of Roddy, who also had a career high-tying three blocks. She was 9-for-10 at the free-throw line.

In that span where UK struggled, the Bulldogs scored nine unanswered to get within 11 points with less than 10 minutes to play.

It was frustrating for Mitchell, who thought this could be a breakout game for a UK team that had lost two in a row and four of its past five games.

"I wanted to try to break the game open and really play well today and we only did that in spurts," Mitchell said. "We just hit another rough patch where people made poor decisions and we didn't take care of the ball the way we needed to."

UK turned the ball over 15 times in the second half and 22 times for the game, but this time that frustration on the offensive end didn't seem to carry over to poor play on the defensive end.

Kentucky was able to hold the Bulldogs to 18.8 percent shooting in the second half and 25 percent for the game.

The Cats won the rebounding battle 48-35 and they scored 24 points on second attempts.

Victoria Dunlap had 15 points and six rebounds and Amani Franklin added 14 points and five rebounds for Kentucky, which improved to 6-5 with the win.

It was a win Kentucky needed no matter how it looked, the UK coach said.

"We've bounced back after a couple of poor performances and two losses," Mitchell said. "We needed to get back on the winning side and it was great to do that."

UK has only one day to celebrate its win. It has another home game on Sunday afternoon against UC Santa Barbara.

Note

Senior guard Carly Ormerod missed her fifth straight game with soreness in her left foot. Ormerod, who missed 16 games last season with the same injury, has sesamoiditis and turf toe. Mitchell said she likely will be re-evaluated after the holiday break.

Without Ormerod, Amber Smith played her second straight game of 37-plus minutes.

Kentucky's schedule

Date Opponent Time/result

Nov. 5 x-KY. STATE W, 99-28

Nov. 9 x-BELLARMINE W, 72-69

Nov. 15 MICHIGAN L, 70-60

Nov. 17 CINCINNATI W, 58-55

Nov. 23 GEORGE WASHINGTON W, 67-48

Nov. 28 a-Yale W, 87-82

Nov. 29 a-Long Island W, 46-43

Dec. 2 at Xavier L, 67-40

Dec. 4 at Western Kentucky L, 66-57

Dec. 6 FURMAN W, 74-35

Dec. 12 EAST TENNESSEE ST. L, 59-50

Dec. 14 at Louisville L, 79-50

Dec. 19 ALABAMA A&M W, 65-45

Dec. 21 at Cal-Santa Barbara 2 p.m.

Dec. 20 IUPUI 7 p.m.

Jan. 1 NORTH CAROLINA A&T 7 p.m.

Jan. 3 at Miami (Ohio) 2 p.m.

Jan. 8 at Tennessee 7 p.m.

Jan. 11 ARKANSAS 2 p.m.

Jan. 15 at Alabama 7 p.m.

Jan. 18 MISSISSIPPI ST. 4 p.m.

Jan. 25 LOUISIANA ST. 1 p.m.

Jan. 29 at Florida 7 p.m.

Feb. 1 at Mississippi 3 p.m.

Feb. 5 SOUTH CAROLINA 7 p.m.

Feb. 8 VANDERBILT 1 p.m.

Feb. 12 at Auburn 7 p.m.

Feb. 19 TENNESSEE 7 p.m.

Feb. 22 at Louisiana St. 3 p.m.

Feb. 26 GEORGIA 7 p.m.

March 1 at South Carolina 3 p.m.

x-exhibition; a-Long Island Turkey Classic at Brooklyn, N.Y.

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