UK Women's Basketball

UK women's 25-game home win streak stopped

Georgia's Porsha Phillips, left, fought for a rebound with Kentucky's Brittany Henderson during the first half. Phillips had 13 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Henderson had eight points and six rebounds.
Georgia's Porsha Phillips, left, fought for a rebound with Kentucky's Brittany Henderson during the first half. Phillips had 13 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Henderson had eight points and six rebounds.

At times, Georgia looked more at home in Memorial Coliseum than Kentucky did on Sunday.

Even at crunch time, as the Bulldogs watched UK claw back from a deficit, they seemed confident that things were going to go their way.

And in the end it did with a 61-59 win over No. 10 Kentucky.

"Even when it was close and tight ... our kids were smiling," Coach Andy Landers said. "They laughed as they left the huddle. It meant we weren't tightening up. We weren't going to cave in. We were going to fight the fight."

The loss was UK's third straight, after falling at No. 3 Duke and at No. 25 Arkansas, and ended a 25-game home win streak for the Cats, who had a chance to tie it in the final seconds.

A'dia Mathies' floater in the lane clanked off the rim at the buzzer, and the Bulldogs, who led by as many as 11 points in the first half, walked away victorious.

"I was just trying to attack the basket," said Mathies, who had 14 points, nine rebounds and four assists. "I knew time was running out, so I took the shot and unfortunately it didn't go in."

That was a common problem for UK (11-4, 0-2 Southeastern Conference). The Cats shot a paltry 29.5 percent, their second straight game under 30 percent.

"We are miserable offensively," UK Coach Matthew Mitchell said. "We're going to have to see if we can get some things figured out."

Kentucky didn't cave, but it couldn't find a way to pull ahead. The Cats tied it four times in the second half and had several chances to move ahead, especially in the game's final two minutes, but it never happened.

Georgia made sure of it.

"We seemed to have an answer," Landers said. "We had the resolve to stay the course and hang our hat on the defense. The kids were very, very good on defense."

They also were quite good on offense, paced by freshman Khaalidah Miller's career-high 24 points, including four three-pointers. All of those long-distance shots were in the second half.

The biggest one of all was her three-pointer in the final two minutes that halted a 6-0 Wildcats run that had tied it 56-56. Miller's three-pointer was from nearly 25 feet with a hand in her face.

"I was feeling it," she said. "My teammates helped ... we got each other some open looks."

Landers poked fun at his freshman, saying there's a reason she scores so often.

"She ends up with a lot of shots because she doesn't screen for anyone else," he said. "She makes sure nobody else is open 'cause she doesn't screen for them."

Meredith Mitchell and Porsha Phillips each added 13 points. Phillips also had a game-high 11 rebounds for the Bulldogs (12-3, 2-0), who earned their third straight win and their first road win over a top-10 team in 10 years.

The Bulldogs shot 50 percent, the second straight team to shoot that or better against UK. None of the Cats' previous 13 opponents had shot that well.

"Georgia earned that victory with some good playing and good coaching," Mitchell said.

Victoria Dunlap led Kentucky with 17 points, nine rebounds and four steals. Afterward, the senior said the Cats have work to do.

"A couple of times on offense and defense, little things just happened, like missing assignments on shooters," Dunlap said. "Or on offense, we weren't running it the right way."

For the first few minutes, the game was evenly played. Then the Cats went cold and clumsy. In one eight-minute span, they went without a point, missing seven straight shots and turning the ball over eight straight times.

The Bulldogs scored 13 unanswered during a 17-3 run that gave them a 25-14 advantage with six minutes to go in the first half. It was their largest lead of the game.

Mitchell said he was upset to see Kentucky's 25-game home win streak come to an end.

He credited last year's team with much of the streak.

"The home court meant something to them and they were a huge part of the streak," Mitchell said. "Hopefully we can get another one going Thursday" versus South Carolina.

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