UK Hoops rolls over Tide 82-68



The UK Hoops team used a 32-4 first-half run to open up a big lead and then held off Alabama the rest of the way, winning 82-68 at Memorial Coliseum Sunday afternoon.

“We are happy to win and go to 9-0. That is a great development for our team,” UK head coach Matthew Mitchell said. “We were able to score enough points to hold off a tough Alabama team today. I thought that they played really hard and really put a big run on us there in the second half. They never gave up.”

After falling behind to the Tide early 13-10, UK broke the game open with an 11-minute run in which they only surrendered one field goal.

During the 32-4 stretch, the Cats forced 10 Crimson Tide turnovers and held them to 1-for-12 shooting from the field. The run was fueled offensively by two 3-pointers from junior guard A’dia Mathies and three from senior Keyla Snowden.

“We had some good moments and got out to a big lead,” Mitchell said.

The Tide stuck around in the second half and had the UK lead down to 11 on three different occasions.

“I know that we had an uncharacteristic second half of defense,” Mitchell said. “I didn’t think that we gave a Kentucky-type effort in the second half and that is disappointing.”

The Cats turned the ball over 17 times, committed 26 team fouls and were outrebounded 47-41.

“It was almost as if we thought if we got a certain amount of points ahead that Alabama was going to go away,” Mitchell said. “That certainly never happened today.”

Snowden, who led a balanced scoring attack for the Cats with 14 points, understood the Cats let their foot off the pedal in the second half.

“I just thought that we had a lack of intensity,” Snowden said. “We are going to come back and work harder and be ready for the next game against Ole Miss. We are going to try and put this game behind us and learn from it so we don’t have this type of game again.”

Mathies, who added 13 points, feels the team let up on the defensive end in the second half.

“We just did a poor job on defense,” Mathies said. “We let them go where they wanted to go, and weren’t denying like we are capable of or picking the ball up in transition. It’s really on us, we have got do a better job of that.”

The Cats secured their 20th win of the season for the third straight year. Its 20-2 record is tied for the best start ever for the program.

“It’s special to get 20 wins,” Mathies said. “Especially like the two years before I came here, and just looking at the program, it’s a big turnaround, and I’m just glad we can keep the momentum going. We have a lot of talent and people that care. Twenty wins is a great thing.”

The Cats (20-2, 9-0 SEC) next face the Ole Miss Rebels (12-10, 2-7 SEC) at 7 p.m. Thursday at Memorial Coliseum.

“You aren’t going to paint a masterpiece every Sunday afternoon and every Thursday night,” Mitchell said. “To be able to earn a victory is significant and we are glad to have it.”

See the 2011-12 women’s basketball schedule and scores.