When Matthew Mitchell drew up his game plan against LSU, it had to have been pretty simple. Run our press, push LSU outside, and force Theresa Plaisance to have to play Walker and Stallworth in the middle. And he was right about all of it, save for one thing, and her name is A'Zia Bishop. Bishop supplanted Stallworth today and put Plaisance on the outside looking in and looking up from the floor on one occasion as she played toe to toe with the 6'5" LSU Center, and came out on the winning side of the score.
Oh, Plaisance still was the leading scorer for LSU, but her 19 points were almost matched by Bishop alone who had a career high 17. Throw in Samarie Walker's 10 and Kentucky wins the battle of the paint. A'Dia Mathies and Jennifer O'Neill added 15 and 9, respectively, and UK just simply would not quit running in the second half, and had LSU's players with their tongues "licking stripes" on the floor as my old high school coach would say.
Plaisance fouled out in the last minute, and also forced Walker into a situation where a Technical Foul was called at about the 3:50 mark when she and two other players mugged Walker down low on the inside. Replays clearly showed her with her arm around Walker's neck, another player with her hand pulling Walker's arm away, and another still grabbing her shoulder. Walker fought out of it and was given the technical and Plaisance was given her fourth foul. It became the turning point for the game as UK then went out and built a 13 pt lead off free throws and run out baskets.
LSU was simply exhausted by game's end and Plaisance and Jeanne Kenney were both played out. Kenney took a stinger to the knee as she and another LSU player collided in that last few minutes and UK took full advantage. UK shot 44.3% on 27-61 and shot 26.3% from the 3. They scored 38 points in the paint, and had 42 rebounds for the game to LSU's 40. LSU shot 34.8% on 23-66, and was only 16.7% from the 3.
All in all, LSU was bigger, but slower than Kentucky, and not near as athletic.
For full stats, look here at UKAthletics.com's Box Score. Kentucky gets to rest up until next Sunday when they face Georgia at home at 2P.M. We will be blogging the game here at ASOB, so come on out and join us.