UK Women's Basketball

Wildcats make it fun on the way to 11-o

With Fort Knox soldiers in the Memorial Coliseum crowd, Kentucky's players did their best USO impression.

Joining the ranks of entertainers such as Bob Hope and the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders, UK tried to put on a fun performance of its own in an 87-47 throttling of Tennessee-Martin on Tuesday night.

The Wildcats' show highlight was the high-flying act of Victoria Dunlap, who tried to become the first Kentucky woman to dunk in a game. The 6-foot-1 junior was just centimeters shy.

"It's going to be the most talked about missed shot in women's basketball history here," UK Coach Matthew Mitchell said later, laughing.

Dunlap's wasn't the only performance that drew oohs and ahhhs from the 5,859 at Memorial Coliseum.

The other was that of former Lexington Catholic star Keyla Snowden. The Akron transfer finished with a game-high 25 points, hitting six three-pointers. Snowden had bested her career high of 15 points with 17 before the half. By the break, she also had tied the school record for made three-pointers in a half with five of them.

"I find that zone when I'm in the game, and I just try to focus on scoring and shooting," Snowden said. "It felt great."

Snowden and Dunlap were two of five UK players who finished in double figures.

Carly Morrow had 11 points, including three three-pointers for the Cats, who made 10 of their 23 attempts from long range. A'dia Mathies also had 11.

Amani Franklin added 10 points and had eight rebounds in the win, which moved Kentucky to 11-0.

The 11 wins, the best start in program history, are just one shy of beating the school record for consecutive victories for the UK women, set in 1983.

Mitchell was pleased to see Snowden find her rhythm, especially in the first half.

"When she's on, she can shoot as well anybody I've ever played with or coached," Mitchell said. "That allowed us in the first half to build the big lead. ... It was huge."

Considering the way Snowden shoots in practice, Mitchell said he wasn't surprised to see her go off for 25 points, but he was surprised to see Dunlap go up for the dunk.

"Clearly, we have to up her individual instruction on dunking the basketball," he joked.

With 6:30 to go and UK up 73-29, Dunlap intercepted a pass at midcourt — her seventh steal of the game — and made a break for the basket.

The junior, who had 14 points, six rebounds and three blocked shots, got the height, but she bobbled the ball and clanged it off the back of the rim.

"I might have grabbed rim a little too much to bring it down," Dunlap said. "I took my last two steps and was like, 'Just do it.' "

Dunlap had to do something to stir the crowd.

It was an easy game from the beginning for UK versus the Skyhawks (1-8), picked in the pre-season to finish last in the Ohio Valley Conference before they lost three players to torn knee ligaments.

Martin was so short-handed it added two players to the roster as midyear walk-ons earlier this week.

The Skyhawks were led by Alecia Weatherly's 12 points. Cali Cupples added 11.

For the past eight games, the Cats' defense has forced 20 or more turnovers a contest. It forced Louisville into 38 Sunday and the Skyhawks into 30 on Tuesday.

UK scored 48 points off those turnovers and outrebounded Martin 41-26.

Snowden said the Cats were happy to entertain the troops, who met the players on the court after the game:

"It felt really good just to meet people who are here fighting for our country, and it felt good that they came to support us at our game."

Concussion sidelines Gray

Kentucky guard Rebecca Gray spent the game on the bench after suffering a mild concussion against Louisville on Sunday.