Unranked LSU defeats No. 8 UK Hoops

Staff report | @KYKernelSports

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UK Hoops fell at Lousiana State University on Sunday as LSU junior guard Jeanne Kenney shot 5-of-5 from 3-point range to put the Cats away, 77-72.

“That was a terrific game,” said UK head coach Matthew Mitchell in the postgame press conference. “It’s a hard one to lose, but LSU just played a great game of basketball and executed at the crucial moments.”

After a close battle through the first 12 minutes of the game, LSU (17-10, 8-6 SEC) took off on a 21-6 run and went into the half leading No. 8 UK, 43-32.

Kenney scored 11 points for the unranked Tigers in 6:19 on the court during the opening 20 minutes.

The Cats’ answer would come in the second half, where an 8-0 run brought UK to within three at 43-40 with 18:23 left to play.

LSU wouldn’t give away the lead, however, despite a three from senior guard A’dia Mathies that cut the Tigers’ lead to 62-60 with 7:14 left.

Five points from Kenney in the final four minutes kept Cats at bay.

“I didn’t think we played poorly, but in a game like today you have to be razor sharp, and we weren’t. We were just pretty good,” Mitchell said. “LSU really took it to us, and we just have to give them a lot of credit. They just played a great game, and they beat us today.”

Kenney ended the night shooting 7-of-8 from the field, scoring 22 points off the bench.

“(Kenney) had a great, great game,” Mitchell said. “She sensed what her team needed, and she made plays.”

LSU junior forward Theresa Plaisance added 20 points and 13 rebounds to record her fifth double-double of the season. The Tigers shot 27-of-51 from the field and went 7-of-10 from distance.

Mathies’ final stat line showed 20 points and six rebounds, while sophomore guard Jennifer O’Neill added 15 points.

Junior forward Samarie Walker had 10 points, eight rebounds and three steals.

Sophomore forward Azia Bishop also brought down eight boards to go along with her six points.

UK (23-4, 11-3 SEC) shot 29-of-65 on the night, including 6-of-23 from 3-point land.

“I think we did a good job fighting to get in our position, but I think we just had some mental lapses at the end of the game,” Mathies said. “When you drop a play, you have to turn around and execute, and that’s something that didn’t happen.”

With two games left in the regular season, the Cats travel to Oxford, Miss., to play Ole Miss at 8 p.m. Thursday before returning to Lexington to play No. 11 Tennessee on Sunday at 3:30 p.m.