Mathies bounces back from Baylor game

Junior guard A'dia Mathies dribbles the ball during the second half of UK Hoops senior night game vs. South Carolina at Memorial Coliseum in Lexington, Ky., on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012. Photo by Tessa Lighty | Staff

By Alex Forkner | @AlexFork3

Remember the Baylor game? You know, the one where UK was mauled by the Lady Bears 85-51?

A’dia Mathies does.

The senior guard talked about how the team worked on a lot during the past two practices from Tuesday’s loss.

“Sometimes people fail to realize that even though we’re ranked top 10 in the nation, it’s still only the second game in the season and we still have a lot of work to do,” Mathies said. “But we’re working hard in practice so we can only improve.”

Mathies had a pretty abysmal outing in Waco, Texas Tuesday night. The senior guard was an ugly 3-of-18 from the field for 13 points and fouled out late in the second half.

In a career as sterling as Mathies’, the highlights far outnumber the lowlights, but the game against Baylor was low. It was really low. It was subterranean.

But Mathies, like any great player, wouldn’t allow herself to be bogged down by her performance in the previous game. She started hot against the High Point Panthers on Saturday, hitting her first three shots of the game, including two 3-pointers.

Head coach Matthew Mitchell praised Mathies’ effort, especially her defense.

“A’dia was so fantastic today on the defensive end that I just was absolutely thrilled with her game,” Mitchell said. “I thought she had a great game and had a huge first-half scoring. Then the second half I thought she played a really good game and found some people and made some good passes.”

Mathies needed to score 19 points to crack the Top 10 on the all-time career scoring list in program history. She nearly did so in the first half, scoring 17 points before the break.

Mathies didn’t score during the second half, so she’ll have to wait until the next game against Morehead State to claim the No. 10 spot.

After shooting only 16.6 percent from the field against Baylor, Mathies improved to 41 percent against the Panthers.

“Just like in the Baylor game, even though I went 3-for-18, I could have easily gone 11-for-18,” Mathies said. “So I’m not just going to stop shooting just because some of my shots aren’t going in. I think that being aggressive opens up a lot of things for other people, so I’m going to keep shooting.”

The win against High Point was a good bounce back game for Mathies, whose season will feature more performances like this one than the debacle against Baylor.

She may not be a Top 10 scorer yet, but don’t expect it to be that way for long. By season’s end, Mathies will be one of the best to ever don the jersey.

When her career is over, Mathies, unlike the Baylor game, will be remembered fondly.