Henderson’s layup wins it for UK Hoops



It took 39 minutes and 58.9 seconds, but the 7,646 fans in Memorial Coliseum got their money’s worth.

With No.18 UK and Louisiana State tied at 47 in the closing seconds, sophomore guard A’dia Mathies held the ball for the last shot. After wearing down the clock for 15 seconds, Mathies dodged and dipped past defenders and pulled up for what appeared to be a 10-foot jump shot. But at the last second, Mathies passed to a wide-open Brittany Henderson. Henderson connected on a layup with 1.1 seconds left, and simultaneously, the fans erupted.

“That’s what you want, the ball in (Mathies) hands and see if she can break free,” UK head coach Matthew Mitchell said. “We set a couple of ball screens, and the kids did a good job, and A’dia kept her poise there.”

LSU’s desperate half court heave fell short,and the Cats (19-6, 8-4 Southeastern Conference) snapped its two-game losing streak.

In a game that featured more combined fouls, timeouts and turnovers than total points, Mathies was able to avoid the sloppiness that plagued both teams.

Mathies had a game-high 16 points on 6-12 shooting. Both teams combined for 41 turnovers, but Mathies only had two.

Mitchell hinted the Cats would still be on a losing streak without Mathies.

“Well in the second half Mathies stepped up, she did some great things, made some shots and made some plays defensively,” Mitchell said. “Thought it was a very good day for her and certainly would not have won without her performance.”

The Cats’ 49 points is their second-lowest total this season and noticeably upset LSU (17-10, 7-6 SEC) head coach Van Chancellor figured his Tigers would be able to outscore 49 points.

“If you hold Kentucky to 49 points, you think you’re going to win the game,” Chancellor said. “It hurts as much as anything. Our team needed it, and I thought this would be a great opportunity to get out of the hole. This is tough right here, really tough.”

What made things tough for the Tigers wasn’t just UK’s stifling defense that forced 25 turnovers, but also the predominately pink crowd.

The season-high crowd was quiet for most of the first half and part of the second, but Mitchell said they propelled the Cats to a much-needed win.

“I don’t know how much the crowd enjoyed the game because how tough it was, but I’m really appreciative of them. They were huge, especially there in the second half,” Mitchell said. “What a wonderful crowd today.”

Sunday’s game was the annual Women’s Breast Cancer Awareness Pink Zone game. UK fans were asked to wear pink to go along with UK’s pink jerseys.