In tournament play if you don't make adjustments, you will lose. There are too many unknowns. You play teams you probably have never seen before, and you have to adjust to what the opponents are doing. Kentucky did just that, but with a twist against Navy, as they erased a one point deficit at halftime and sank the Midshipmen by 20.
Kentucky was flat in the first half offensively, but played respectable defense. They shot only 31.3% from the field and committed 11 turnovers. They turned over Navy 13 times, but only had 6 points off those turnovers. Navy was hitting 3 point shots and making UK look bad in transition with excellent passes. Then halftime occurred.
When Kentucky came out for the second half, they were energized and moving like Kentucky's defense and offense are expected to do. Jennifer O'Neill hit three straight shots, had 2 more assists, and got DeNesha Stallworth into the flow of the game and Kentucky jumped out to a 7 point lead rather quickly.
That was only the first run of three in the second half.made a 5 on 5 substitution and they held the lead, and on the next wave, UK took the lead and pushed it out to 12 after having trailed in the first half by as many as 8. The Cats shot 46.4% in the second half, and forced Navy into another 12 turnovers. The difference was that in the second half, Kentucky scored 17 points off those turnovers.
Navy was never really in the game after the 14:00 mark of the second half, and from there on out UK pushed their advantage the rest of the way. Jade Geif, Navy's leading scorer with 9, was never a real factor for Navy as she was expected to be, however Alix Membreno shot well the entire game, finishing with 9 herself. Navy finished 6-22 from 3 pt range, after going 5-16 in the first half.
DeNesha Stallworth gets the game ball as she posted a double-double with 18 pts and 11 boards. But it was Jennifer O'Neill who got the ball rolling as A'Dia Mathies was nowhere to be found for most of the game. Look for her to break out in the next round. UK had three players in double figures as O'Neill and Walker joined Stallworth at the top of the scoring.
Kentucky outrebounded Navy 43-30, shot 80% from the line, and held Navy to 31.9% shooting for the game. The Hoops squad will face the winner of the St.John's/Dayton matchup. Dayton is the higher seed, but with St. John's playing on their home court, this game is a tossup.