UK Women's Basketball

Undefeated UK women cruise to seventh win, 90-51

Women's coach Matthew Mitchell said Thursday he would donate $100,000 to UK for academic purposes.
Women's coach Matthew Mitchell said Thursday he would donate $100,000 to UK for academic purposes.

Kentucky had yet another balanced blowout on Sunday, feasting on Mississippi Valley State 90-51 at Memorial Coliseum.

The appetizers are officially consumed. The No. 14 Cats will get into the meat of their schedule in a week.

UK Coach Matthew Mitchell admitted that he's concerned that seven games with an average margin of victory of 36.4 points might have his team less prepared than he'd like for the likes of No. 11 Louisville next week, followed by No. 7 Duke and then a trip to No. 4 Notre Dame.

"I wish we had a little bit closer margins," Mitchell said.

His players agreed.

"You will never know exactly how good you are until you play somebody at the same level as you," said Bernisha Pinkett, one of seven UK players in double figures and one of three with 13 points.

Against a 1-4 Mississippi Valley State team on Sunday, Kentucky looked dominant, scoring the game's first 10 points before the Devilettes even attempted a shot.

UK forced Mississippi Valley State into 36 turnovers and turned them into 50 points.

Devilettes Coach Nate Kilbert said his team didn't have enough time to prepare for Kentucky's pressure.

"You need more than a day," he said. "You need a month. ... It's constant pressure, not a hit you here or hit you there, it's constant."

When asked about the Cats' aggression, Brittany Lakes had one word: "Whew.

"They come at you from every angle," said Lakes, who had a game-best 18 points, but also seven turnovers. "The pattern may look wide open but it's really not."

Kentucky (7-0) scored 14 unanswered points late in the first half and led by as many as 28 points before the break, when it had a 51-23 advantage.

Mississippi Valley State turned the ball over 25 times in the first half.

In all, eight different players scored seven points or more in the rout, which included a 24-3 Kentucky run to open the second half.

A'dia Mathies, Bria Goss and Pinkett all had 13 points to lead UK. Pinkett grabbed eight rebounds as well.

Samantha Drake had her second straight double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Keyla Snowden added 12 points and was a perfect 4-for-4 from three-point range.

"For the first 30 minutes we were amazing and then the last 10 we slacked off," said point guard Amber Smith, who had 11 points and five assists. "It makes us see the reality that we have to play a full 40 minutes."

UK will see how it stacks up nationally in the next few weeks, but for now, Mitchell is pleased with what he sees.

"We still have some great possibilities."

One leaves doghouse, another enters

Maegan Conwright was in uniform and went through pre-game warmups but spent the entire game on the UK bench on Sunday.

Mitchell was sending the sophomore guard a message.

"Conwright's not doing much with her opportunity to play at Kentucky right now and it's real disappointing," Mitchell said. "For whatever reason, she's decided she doesn't want to practice hard or play very hard. ... Her minutes today were a reflection of how she's performed in practice."

Another player, Bra'Shey Ali, was suspended for three games while she got her academic house in order, but she was back on the floor Sunday and scored a career-high seven points to go with her four rebounds and three blocks in 15 minutes.

O'Neill improving

Sophomore guard Jennifer O'Neill, who broke a small bone in her foot before the season, could be back as early as next week, Mitchell said.

She is out of the walking boot and shooting.

"We'll see what she can do this week," he said. "We're still on target for that first week of December or second week of December."

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