Well, that was fun! Kentucky battled the Gators yesterday, and in a grind of a game that was close throughout pulled off the W. Exactly one of the things I'd cited as keys to victory panned out: DeNesha Stallworth delivered 13 points. The keys to that victory also included Janee Thompson, Bria Gross, Samarie Walker and Azia Bishop. It was terrific to see the whole team step up and fight for this win.
The prize for knocking that Gator-shaped monkey off our back? #1 seed South Carolina, with their award winning Coach, Player, and Freshman of the year. The same South Carolina club that handed us two losses this season.
So how can the Cats pull this off?
1.) Terrific offensive efficiency. The season we're shooting 43.5% from the field, and shot 50% in the second half against Florida. The last time we faced the Gamecocks we shot a woeful 38% to their 53%. Hopefully the shooting mojo from our last 20 minutes is a sign of things to come in the next 40.
2.) Defend, Defend, Defend. USC leads the conference in field goal shooting at 48%, but are 4th in offensive rebounds. If we can defend and keep them from getting second-look points we have a solid foot in the door to Sunday's game.
3.) Minimize the turnovers. Really enough said on that point.
4.) MAKE FREE THROWS. We shoot 67% from the charity stripe. USC shoots 67.1%. If we can step this up to the 89% (!!!) we made yesterday against Florida, on top of efficient field goal shooting? Watch out.
In a cruel twist of fate, this game and the men's game against Florida both kick off at noon. I'm going to give myself ADD flipping between channels and trying to keep up with both threads, but hope to see you somewhere here at ASoB as we cheer our Cats on to victory.
Until noon - GO BIG BLUE!