If I was Jlev, I would be quoting you stat after stat about why UK lost this game. I am not, however, so I will simply give it to you straight. Someone gave Georgia Jennifer O'Neill's number, and they let her beat herself.
Critics of Matthew Mitchell's style of play say that it is the pace which takes its toll and prevents UK from running a good half court offense. That was not the case today as the pace favored the Cats during the entire game. Hats off to Georgia(19-3,7-2) for executing their game plan when UK allowed it. They made big shots, and played good hard-nosed defense and made UK execute down the stretch. And that put Jennifer O'Neill directly in the cross-hairs when the game was on the line. And she came up short. As did UK, 74-71.
The aggravating part is that Jennifer played an excellent offensive game, at least she did when she got her shots off. She was 4-9 from 3-point range, and 4-4 from the line, 5-13 overall -- all respectable numbers -- at least until you throw in the 8 turnovers and countless mental errors she made on defense and ball handling. She forced her way inside when it was not the right move, she allowed Georgia defenders to get position when she could have just dribbled away and started over, and she literally threw the ball away when the game was on the line.
Throw in the fact that DeNesha Stallworth disappeared inside for the second game in a row (she hit 2 big 3 point shots) and UK might as well have phoned in this performance. It not only cost them their 34 game home winning streak, it cost them a share of the SEC lead as Tennessee fell today in a big way, 80-63 to Missouri. We just let a lot of opportunities get away in this one.
I said in the pregame that UK (19-3, 7-2) had to get arrogant today. They could not do it. My point was that they had to go out and take the win. They needed to go out and make a statement. Well, the statement was made all right, and the statement was that Kentucky is not ready yet for the next step. I wanted them to be. I thought they were ready. The components are there, but the solutions just seem to elude us.
Time to back up, take a deep breath, and reassess what is needed. Jennifer is going to have to shake this off, forget her mistakes and move on. That's what great players do. If she can do that, this will be a distant memory in a few weeks. If not, then Georgia just showed everyone the way to beat UK -- allow them to beat themselves.