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Kentucky Wildcats 80, Missouri Tigers 69: Women's Basketball Postmortem

Kentucky defeats Missouri in Memorial Coliseum to snap a 2-game losing skid.

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight in Memorial Coliseum the Kentucky Wildcats got a much-needed victory over the Missouri Tigers 80-69 after dropping back-to-back SEC games to the Florida Gators in Lexington and to the South Carolina Gamecocks at home. The Wildcats got off to a slow start in the game, falling behind by as many as eight points early in the game. But they finally got untracked shooting the ball and went into half time with a six point lead.

The Wildcats never relinquished the lead in the second half and gradually grew the lead into double-digits, and held it there, more or less, until the end of the game. Missouri made a run midway through the second half, but Kentucky held them off and gradually improved their position.

Observations

  • Bria Goss had a great game, making all 10 of her free throws and scoring 20 points. She deserves the game ball.

  • Kentucky continues to shoot the ball poorly from everywhere EXCEPT the line today. Thank Goss for that.

  • Kentucky continues to struggle against the zone. They have to be more patient in zone offense, much like the men. When they are, they can usually get good looks, and I'm not talking just the first available open three.

  • Kentucky got more rebounds overall than the Tigers, but they also missed more shots. They didn't exactly win the battle of the boards.

  • Kentucky did a great job taking care of the basketball, turning it over only 10 times vs. 17 for the Tigers. That was a big part of why Kentucky was able to win, because the Tigers out-shot them.

  • The Wildcats did a fine job of getting and keeping Missouri in foul trouble. Particularly noteworthy was Samari Walker's play, which eventually fouled out Missouri star Bri Kulas.

  • Speaking of Kulas, she is a superb player who doesn't get enough attention nationally. I was very impressed by her.

  • Kastine Evans, one of Kentucky's starting guards, was out having injured herself in warmups. The type and extent of the injury was not disclosed, other than the fact it was a leg injury.

  • Bernisha Pinkett was suffering from some shinsplints, and she only saw a couple of minutes of action in the first half. She missed a three, then got the rebound and stuck it back in for a basket.

  • DaNesha Stallworth played 25 very productive minutes, getting 10 points and 2 blocks. She's still not quite in game shape, and it really shows running the floor.

In summary, this was a win the Wildcats desperately needed for all kinds of reasons, and they got it. In many ways, it was like the men's victory over the Vanderbilt Commodores yesterday, a grind-it-out ugly kind of game with a lot of missed shots. Kentucky won this game with toughness, hustle, and sticking to the plan when their normal game plan didn't work that great due to Missouri taking it away from them.

Next on the schedule, the Wildcats travel down to the Plains to take on the second of three Tigers in the SEC, Auburn. That game is next Sunday at 2 PM.