Some games just defy explanation. How does a team go into halftime up by 17, and end up giving up the lead in the last 5 minutes, only to regain it with less than 1 min left and win the game? UK defeated Green Bay 65-62 in their second round game, but for the life of me I don't know how. I find myself in one of Glenn's conundrums concerning the game ball, because to be truthful, there are a lot of factors that I would like to take time to decipher before I give it out, but I can't.
I'll break down the choices after the jump.
OK, first and foremost, A'dia Mathies carried the team in the first half, because she was doing everything. Scoring, rebounding, steals, assists....10 pts, 6 boards, 2 steals, 4 assists, and 2 blocks....all in the first half. In the second, she ceased to exist, statistically at least, but still playing hard even though she was again plagued by foul trouble, sitting for about 6 min in the second half. And let's face it, UK is a different team without her. When the ball was inbounded for the second half, the world had changed. UK committed 19 TO's from half time on. Pathetic. They could not execute in the half court. So who steps up? Samarie Walker. Walker led UK with 15 pts and 18 boards. She was all alone in her efforts in the second half for the most part. Uk has 23 pts in the second half with 8 of them coming from Walker, and 8 more coming from Keyla Snowden who had a strip and the last 4 pts scored by UK to save the game.
I honestly don't know who to give it to, so I am splitting it between Snowden and Walker. Now for my version of "The Rest Of The Story". As a fan, I am both angered and amazed by this team tonight. After giving the game away, they snatch it back at the last second. They let a great first half be overshadowed by a second half complete breakdown. Now, lest I forget, kudos to the Green Bay Phoenix for what was one incredible comeback in that second half. They played flawless defense, and shot lights out to knock UK back on their Jimmy Choos and put Coach Mitchell to scratching his head. But as well as the Cats played in half one, they played that badly in half #2.
If you look at game numbers, they all look really good for UK with the glaring exception of 34 Turnovers. UK shot 51% overall and 40% from behind the arc. The 68.8% FT shooting didn't help things either, but Kentucky out rebounded Green Bay as well. UK played 10 players to Green Bay's 7, but fatigue did not seem to be a serious factor for them.
Next up for UK will be Gonzaga in the Sweet 16. But don't ask me for a prediction on that one. After this, I am just praying for dry weather and fair wind.