UK Women's Basketball

Kentucky women force record 48 turnovers in 100-25 win

Bernisha Pinkett drove past Jacksonville State's Kaitlynn Pacholke in the first half. Pinkett scored 18 points, including UK's 100th on a foul shot with 14 seconds left.
Bernisha Pinkett drove past Jacksonville State's Kaitlynn Pacholke in the first half. Pinkett scored 18 points, including UK's 100th on a foul shot with 14 seconds left.

When told that his University of Kentucky women's basketball team set a school record by forcing 48 turnovers on Tuesday, Coach Matthew Mitchell smiled.

The coach said for a team to force 30 turnovers in a game would be "staggering."

So if 30 is staggering, what word would describe 48?

"I don't know," he said. "I only have a four-year degree — and I was lucky to get that — I am not for sure what it would be. In a Division I game, 25 is a lot of turnovers, and 30 is a lot."

Guard A'dia Mathies, who as a junior doesn't even have her four-year degree yet, had no trouble coming up with a word.

"Insane," she said.

Yep, that pretty much summed up No. 17 Kentucky's 100-25 win over Jacksonville State on Tuesday morning in front of 6,842 in Memorial Coliseum.

Turnovers forced weren't the only jarring statistics. The 75-point margin was the second-largest in school history. The record is 77, set in 1989 against Kentucky State.

The 25 points scored by the Gamecocks tied the program record for fewest points allowed. The last time a UK team held an opponent to 25 was in the program's first year (1974) when the Cats played a team called the Lexington Merchants.

Mitchell was pleased with his team's effort in its home opener.

"With eight minutes left, they could have easily taken down their intensity, and we would have still won the game, but we didn't want them to do that," he said. "I am proud of them for sustaining the effort. That is probably the thing that I am happiest about today."

Kentucky had five players score in double figures, led by Mathies' 18 points and 10 rebounds.

Bernisha Pinkett added a career-high-tying 18 points and created a moment of drama for the mostly middle-school-age crowd that packed the arena.

UK was hovering at 99 points when Pinkett was fouled hard by a Jacksonville State player with 14 seconds to play.

There was a buzz from the school kids hoping UK would cross the century mark.

Pinkett, a career 77 percent free-throw shooter, missed the first shot.

"I was pretty nervous," said Pinkett, who also had four steals. "The kids actually made me kind of nervous. I just tried to focus in on the second one."

Jacksonville State (0-2) scored the first bucket of the game, and UK responded by scoring 22 straight, holding the Gamecocks without a point for seven minutes.

Three times, the Gamecocks were held scoreless for five or more minutes.

The effort frustrated Coach Annette Watts, whose team managed just four field goals in the second half and 22 percent shooting overall.

"They quit. They gave up," Watts said. "You can't quit. You can't give up.

"Forty-eight turnovers? Come on. ... (UK is) pretty darn good, but 48 turnovers? No. That's laying down."

The Cats outscored Jacksonville State 50-1 in points off turnovers.

Freshman Azia Bishop had 11 points and five steals for the Cats, who had 25 swipes. Maegan Conwright had 10 points, a career-high seven assists and four rebounds. Bria Goss added 10 points.

Sophomore Kastine Evans added nine points, five steals, four assists and three rebounds for the Cats (2-0), who face Northeastern on Thursday night.

UK outrebounded the Gamecocks 54-33 and outscored them 30-8 on second-chance points.

No Kentucky player played more than 26 minutes, and eight players played 19 minutes or more.

Riley injures foot

Senior guard Crystal Riley has a stress reaction in her right foot and is in a walking boot. Riley has had problems with that foot in the past. She is listed as day-to-day.

"We haven't seen a fracture yet, so that is good news," Mitchell said. "We have not determined a return for her."

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