UK Women's Basketball

Kentucky women determined to keep up defensive intensity

UK's Bernisha Pinkett (10) took the ball from Jacksonville State's Lakeria Crowder (1) in the second half of the University of Kentucky home opener vs. Jacksonville State women's basketball game on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011 at Memorial Coliseum in Lexington, Ky.  The UK Wildcats, ranked 17th, beat the Gamecocks 100-25.  Photo by David Perry | Staff
UK's Bernisha Pinkett (10) took the ball from Jacksonville State's Lakeria Crowder (1) in the second half of the University of Kentucky home opener vs. Jacksonville State women's basketball game on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011 at Memorial Coliseum in Lexington, Ky. The UK Wildcats, ranked 17th, beat the Gamecocks 100-25. Photo by David Perry | Staff

It's fine if the University of Kentucky women's basketball players are feeling good about themselves these days.

After all they did set or tie several school records with a 100-25 win over Jacksonville State in their home opener Tuesday.

Coach Matthew Mitchell is fine with them having that warm, fuzzy feeling as long as they carry it over to Thursday night's game against Northeastern in Memorial Coliseum.

In Mitchell's mind, that means continuing the defensive intensity that forced a school-record 48 turnovers for Jacksonville State.

"We have to get our minds set that our identity as a basketball team and program will always start at the defensive end of the floor," he said. "That's the formula for us to be successful."

The numbers from Tuesday don't lie. UK turned 48 Jacksonville State turnovers into a whopping 50 points. So that means the Cats scored 50 percent of their points off turnovers.

It's a statistic that caught the attention of the head coach, who said the goal once UK gets into conference play is to force 25 turnovers a night and score at least one point off of each miscue.

"Not only are you causing the turnovers, you're making something happen," he explained. "You're staying on the attack. The players not only worked hard, but cashed in and made those turnovers pay off for them."

It appears UK (2-0) could be primed to force more turnovers Thursday night against Northeastern (0-2), which averaged 26 miscues a game in losses to Temple and Eastern Michigan.

Riley still sidelined

Senior backup point guard Crystal Riley will remain out the rest of this week at least trying to heal her left foot, which has a stress reaction, Mitchell said.

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