UK Women's Basketball

UK women prevail despite late lapse

Amber Smith is disappointed that Kentucky fans who walked out of Memorial Coliseum on Thursday night will probably only remember the game's final four minutes.

Over that span, UK blew a 19-point lead and let North Carolina A&T come back and make a game of it late.

"We lost focus in that last four minutes and we've got to learn from it and not let it happen again," she said. "We got complacent at the end."

Complacency aside, Kentucky was still able to make 13 of its final 14 free throws and win its fourth straight, 72-63.

"We didn't finish particularly well, but it's still a good win for us," UK Coach Matthew Mitchell said.

Smith made eight of the free throws and finished with 13 points and four assists. As a team, the Cats made 29 of their 32 foul shots (90.6 percent), a stat that impressed Mitchell.

"That's a sign of not getting rattled," he said. "If you make your foul shots you win, and I was real impressed with that performance."

But the Cats' point guard was disappointed because she thought UK played pretty well in the game's first 36 minutes.

She could have pointed to spans like the eight minutes Kentucky held the Aggies (6-5) without a field goal and went on a 19-3 run early in the second half.

"While we didn't play our best, I was pleased with our big run in the second half to take control of the game," Mitchell said.

During that spree, five different players scored for Kentucky (9-5). Five players, including Smith, ended up scoring in double digits. It was the second straight game that UK had five players score in double figures.

"That balance is important; it takes a lot of pressure off of everyone," guard Carly Morrow said. "We're not asking Vic to score 20 or Roddy to score 20. When everybody's hitting their shots it takes a lot of pressure off of all of us."

Morrow had 11 points and three assists. Reserve Brittany Edelen added 10 points in 17 minutes.

But it was Kentucky's interior players that had the biggest stat lines. Despite subpar shooting nights, both Eleia Roddy and Victoria Dunlap finished with double-doubles. Roddy, who recorded her sixth straight double-double, had 13 points and 10 rebounds. Dunlap added 11 points, 12 rebounds and five steals.

While UK's balanced attack should be lauded, Mitchell said, his team needs to recall the final four minutes of the game. In that time frame, the Cats struggled against the Aggies' press and made mistake after mistake.

"We weren't making strong cuts," Smith said. "We weren't doing the little things to get open."

UK had 26 turnovers, matching a season high. "We lost a little intensity and a little edge there," Mitchell said. "It was a lack of maturity and those substitutes being able to come in and keep the intensity high."

Brittanie Taylor-James came off of the bench to score a game-high 25 points in 29 minutes for the Aggies, who scored 24 points off of UK's miscues.

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. 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 W, 82-60

Jan. 1 NORTH CAROLINA A&T W, 72-63

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.