Bone Tired. I can tell you right now, I am Bone Tired. Tired of Kelsey Bone that is.
I know it's useless to complain about the referees. I know it does nothing to help the situation. And I also know that they do not see what we see. Having said that, I can tell you right now that Kelsey Bone played the dirtiest game I have seen against a UK team since the day I was born. And I have watched plenty. If Kelsey Bone threw one elbow, she threw 30. She elbowed to get position for rebounds, she elbowed to get shots off, and she elbowed to throw passes. As I said in the game thread, the only people on the floor that she didn't elbow were Matthew Mitchell and the referees. And I am not sure about the refs.
Now for the good. UK picked up consecutive home win #31. A new team record. second in the nation only to #1 Baylor. Kentucky is now 3-0 in SEC play. Kentucky is now 15-1. A'Dia Mathies gets the game ball, because she simply made the shots she needed to make. Her 23 points carried UK. Jennifer O'Neill comes in a close second, as her shooting sparked the second half comeback from a 6 point halftime deficit. Her 15 points were second best. Jennifer also put up 8 assists. Kentucky also only committed 14 turnovers for the game, a respectable stat. So much for the good. Kentucky is lucky to get out with that 65-62 win.
Now for the bad. And there is a lot of it, but it is all fixable, so I will try to be objective. Of those 14 Turnovers, there were 8 unforced. Add in the 7 wasted shots and FT opportunities that were missed and it amounts to an additional 16 points for Kentucky. You cannot afford to leave those kinds of points on the table against a team of this caliber. I guarantee you that if UK goes to College Station and does that in February, they will get beat, and get beat soundly. Combine that with Samarie Walker only scoring 3 points, missing 3-4 FT attempts, and having to sit in foul trouble part of the first and second halves, This game was much closer than it needed to be.
In the end, A&M was Bone tired as well, and they were dragging themselves through the last three minutes. But Kentucky kept them in the game missing FT after FT. They ended the game a very uncharacteristic 8-19 from the line, and it almost cost them dearly. Had it not been for 9-17 shooting from beyond the arc, it would have. UK's 52.9% from the outside was just something that TAMU could not overcome. And UK's signature pressure defense was smothering down to the last second and helped hold them down as well.
UK shot a paltry 38.2% from the 2, and it was no more obvious than in the last 4 minutes. They gave A&M opportunity after opportunity, and they were just too tired to capitalize on them. Some games you just take a win, so this is one of those games. Thankfully, Matthew Mitchell had it all under control, and UK followed his instructions (yeah, that works).
Kelsey Bone put up a bonecrushing 27 points, committed 38 fouls (my count, not official), and between her and Kristi Bellock, who put up another 16 for A&M, they made life hard on UK all night. This should be the toughest challenge that UK faces for the next couple of weeks, as they travel to Missouri on Sunday, and then see Auburn and Mississippi State at home next week. Let's hope that they can fix this turnover bug and improve on that shooting.