UK Women's Basketball

UK's Mitchell: Wildcats won't overreact to South Carolina loss

LSU guard Bianca Lutley (3) drove against Kentucky's A'dia Mathies in the SEC Tournament last March.
LSU guard Bianca Lutley (3) drove against Kentucky's A'dia Mathies in the SEC Tournament last March. ASSOCIATED PRESS

Kentucky has some choices to make.

The fifth-ranked Cats can dwell on a loss at South Carolina on Thursday night or they can focus on what they did well to win the 17 in a row before that one.

They can worry about how a game is called or they can seize control of the game.

These are some of the things Coach Matthew Mitchell told UK after it suffered its first loss since Nov. 13.

"It was not a total systems failure," the coach said in describing the 55-50 loss at Columbia on Thursday.

In his time as a coach, he's learned a key thing: "You just can't overreact, and you can't under-react. You have to react appropriately and the players have done a real good job for a long, long stretch this season."

So Kentucky has some choices to make and Sunday is decision day.

That's when Kentucky goes back to Memorial Coliseum, a place it has other streaks running (33 straight wins, including 14 over Southeastern Conference foes).

"The sense of urgency from the players needs to be, let's learn a lesson from a really, really physical tough game, and if we were in that position again — which I hope that we're not, but if we are — we have to really respond differently than we did," he said.

The coach likely won't have to wait too long to see how his team responds to another physical game. There's likely one coming on Sunday versus Louisiana State (12-7, 3-3 Southeastern Conference).

The Tigers upset Kentucky twice last season, including knocking them out of the semifinals of the conference tournament. In their two wins over UK, the Tigers trailed only 26 seconds.

When asked if he expected the same sort of physical, aggressive game Kentucky (18-2, 6-1) had on Thursday night to take place on Sunday, Mitchell said it's more than possible.

It's likely against Nikki Caldwell's team.

"They did two times last year," he said of the Tigers, who haven't played since a 54-51 win over Vandy last Sunday. "They were really, really physical and tough games. A lot of contact in both games and we didn't do a great job then."

LSU has a tough, powerful weapon in 6-foot-5 junior forward Theresa Plaisance, the league's scoring (18.3 ppg) and blocks (2.9) leader as well as three-time SEC Freshman of the Week guard Danielle Ballard (13.4 ppg).

The Tigers have struggled on the road this season, going 1-6 overall and winless in the conference when playing away from the Maravich Center. Their only road win this season came against Florida International on Nov. 25.

Kentucky (18-2, 6-1)

All times EST and p.m.; home games in all caps

Date Opponent Result

Nov. 5 x-Bellarmine W, 113-33

Nov. 10Delaware StateW, 90-50

Nov. 13 at Baylor L, 85-51

Nov. 17 HIGH POINT W, 80-46

Nov. 23 MOREHEAD STATE W, 73-37

Nov. 25 USC UPSTATE W, 100-34

Nov. 28 MIAMI (OHIO) W, 92-53

Dec. 2 at Louisville W, 48-47

Dec. 7 a-DEPAUL W, 96-64


Dec. 18 at Pepperdine W, 80-62

Dec. 21 at UC Santa Barbara W, 66-38

Dec. 28 ALCORN STATE W, 90-23

Dec. 30 MARIST W, 78-56

Jan. 1 FLORIDA W, 76-69

Jan. 6 at Alabama W, 87-70

Jan. 10Texas A&MW, 65-62

Jan. 13 at Missouri W, 69-43


Jan. 20 AUBURN W, 97-53

Jan. 24 at South Carolina L, 55-50

Date Opponent TV Time



Feb. 7 at Arkansas 8

Feb. 10 at Vanderbilt ESPN2 4


Feb. 18 at Texas A&M ESPN2 7

Feb. 24 at Louisiana State 3

Feb. 28 at Mississippi 8


March 6 b-TBA TBA

x-exhibition; a-at Rupp Arena; b-SEC Tournament at Duluth, Ga.


LSU at Kentucky

When: 3 p.m.

TV: Fox Sports South

Radio: WLAP-AM 630

Records: LSU 12-7 (3-3 SEC), Kentucky 18-2 (6-1)

Series: LSU leads 30-10

Last meeting: LSU won 72-61 on March 3, 2012, at the SEC Tournament in Nashville

SEC Standings

Conf. All

Tennessee 7-0 16-3

Kentucky 6-1 18-2

Texas A&M 5-1 15-5

South Carolina 5-2 17-3

Georgia 4-2 16-3

Vanderbilt 3-3 13-6

LSU 3-3 12-7

Arkansas 2-4 14-5

Florida 2-4 13-7

Missouri 2-4 13-7

Alabama 2-4 12-7

Auburn 2-5 13-7

Mississippi 1-5 8-11

Mississippi St. 0-6 8-11

Sunday's games

Florida at Georgia, 1 p.m.

Vanderbilt at Alabama, 2 p.m.

South Carolina at Arkansas, 3 p.m.

LSU at Kentucky, 3 p.m.

Mississippi at Miss. State, 3 p.m.

Missouri at Texas A&M, 3:30 p.m.



Starters — A'dia Mathies, 5-9, Sr., G (15.2 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 2.2 apg); Jennifer O'Neill, 5-6, So., G (9.9 ppg; 2.1 rpg, 2.7 apg); Bria Goss, 5-10, So., G (9.0 ppg, 3.4 rpg); Samarie Walker, 6-1, Jr., F (9.1 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 2.1 spg); DeNesha Stallworth, 6-3, Jr., F (14.0 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 2.4 apg).

Key reserves — Bernisha Pinkett, 5-7, Jr., G (4.2 ppg, 1.9 rpg); Janee Thompson, 5-6, Fr., PG (4.2 ppg); Azia Bishop, 6-3, So., F (3.2 ppg, 2.9 rpg); Kastine Evans, 5-9, Jr., G (4.0 ppg, 1.8 rpg); Samantha Drake, 6-3, Jr., F (2.6 ppg, 1.5 rpg); Brittany Henderson, 6-2, Sr., F (1.3 ppg, 3.1 rpg); Jalleah Sydney, 6-2, So., F (1.9 ppg).


Starters — Danielle Ballard, 5-9, Fr., G (13.4 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 2.6 apg); Jeanne Kenney, 5-8, Jr., G (5.2 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 4.5 apg); Adrienne Webb, 5-9, Sr., G (13.4 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1.1 apg); Bianca Lutley, 5-11, Sr., G (10.7 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 3.0 apg); Theresa Plaisance, 6-5, Jr., F (18.3 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 2.9 bpg).

Key reserves — Shanece McKinney, 6-4, Jr., C (3.7 ppg, 3.2 rpg); Derreyal Youngblood, 6-4, Fr., C (3.0 ppg, 2.3 rpg); Sheila Boykin, 6-2, So., F (2.3 ppg, 2.5 rpg); Anne Pederson, 6-1, Fr., G (1.8 ppg).

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