UK Women's Basketball

Franklin mimics Meeks, for a half

It was all Amani Franklin in the first half.

In the second half, the junior decided to pass the baton on to everyone else.

But nobody on the Kentucky side seemed to care who did the scoring as long as the team went into the holiday break with a victory, which the Cats got, 69-58 over California-Santa Barbara Sunday in Memorial Coliseum.

"All that matters is we're going home with a win," Franklin said. "That's the most important thing to all of us."

Franklin did her part early. The junior guard had 20 points at the break, besting her season high of 16 and falling just one short of tying her career high of 21 points.

By halftime, the Cats had made seven three-pointers, including five from Franklin.

But Franklin didn't even attempt a shot in the second half, which perplexed Coach Matthew Mitchell.

"I was thinking she could have a Jodie Meeks game," the coach said, referring to the guard who had 46 points for the men the day before. "Amani didn't act in the second half the way her coach would have acted if he'd had 20 points at halftime."

UK didn't necessarily need Franklin to score.

It had inside players pick up the slack, including Eleia Roddy, who collected her fourth straight double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Roddy is the fourth UK player to accomplish the feat, and the first since Josh Mills in 1991.

"I'm happy because I was injured for so many years and didn't get four years to play, but to finally get your name in the books for something, I'm just so happy about that," Roddy said. "It makes you feel like all of your hard work is paying off."

Roddy said an assistant coach had to tell her how many rebounds shy she was of the double-double. Then Roddy went out and got the one board she needed in the final four minutes.

"It's tremendous," Mitchell said of her accomplishment. "It says a lot about the player that goes out there and does that. ... It says a lot about her willingness to work."

Kentucky (7-5) got off to perhaps its best start this season against Santa Barbara, which is winless on the road and dropped its third straight.

"We were just fired up," Roddy said. "We wanted to put the hammer down early."

The UK team that has struggled to score this season made four of its first six shots and raced out to a 22-8 lead behind Franklin, who had 11 of the first 22 points, including eight straight.

"Jodie Meeks had 20 in the first half the other day (actually 24)," Franklin said. "It's like the basket was wide open; it seems to be so much bigger."

It makes every player on UK's side see the basket differently, Mitchell said.

"When a player goes out and scores like that, it gives all of them confidence that they can score and go out and get the job done," Mitchell said. "I'd take 20 in the first half from Amani any time."

The Cats carried a 40-23 lead into halftime but allowed the Gauchos to chip away slowly and pull within 12 points twice midway through the second half.

Whitney Warren had 15 points and six rebounds to lead Santa Barbara (3-6). Sha'Rae Gibbons added 10 points off the bench.

Victoria Dunlap had 16 points, eight rebounds and four steals for UK. Amber Smith added nine points and four assists and Carly Morrow eight points.

"We wanted to show them that they were up against a team that really wanted to win badly today," Mitchell said. "We did that with our terrific start."

Smith injured in collision

UK point guard Amber Smith had a head-on collision with Gibbons with 16 seconds left in the game.

After lying on the floor for more than two minutes, Smith left the court under her own power. Mitchell said she was awake and alert in the post-game locker room but would be evaluated.

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 W, 69-58

Dec. 30 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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