Kentucky Falls to the Tennessee Volunteers in Women's SEC Championship Game

From the tip to the final buzzer, this game was a war. - Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

This Border War Battle went right to the buzzer as the Vols nudged past the Cats in a championship game worthy of the Southeastern Conference.

Well, Cat fans, there's no gentle way to say it: this one really hurts. UK Hoops fought and clawed, and in the end the Vols won - again - and our streak of heartbreak at the tourney marches on for another season.

Instant analysis:

  • DeNesha Stallworth played the game of her career: 21 points, perfect from both the free throw and 3 point lines.
  • Shooting 53% in the first 20 minutes was key to our 6 point lead at the half. Shooting 32% in the next 20 minutes? Owch.
  • Making 77% of our shots from the charity stripe is a terrific accomplishment, and one I hope to see continue as we claim our tickets to the Big Dance.  Today was a major improvement over Saturday's 56% shooting performance versus the Gamecocks.
  • 5/8 from the three point line is absolutely nothing to sneeze at.
  • 16 turnovers to their 12 was really the story of the game. I'd argue some of those turnovers were zebra inflicted, but whatever the cause, it was a major step backwards and one we can't continue.

Matthew Mitchell summed it up in his post game presser. "I'm extremely proud of our team. I wouldn't trade locker rooms, I'll tell you that." Couldn't have said it better, Coach. This squad has played an incredible tournament, and left everything on the court. Sometimes, sadly, that just isn't enough.

But take heart, dear Cat fans; we still have games to come. This squad reminds me of another plucky Kentucky club, who lost a heartbreaker of an SEC tourney game just to pull off a National Championship title. With luck, and hopefully an absence of UConn in our bracket, UK Hoops will keep driving all the way to Nashville and a run for the ages.

Until next time - GO BIG BLUE!

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