It’s now Wednesday — three days since the Kentucky Women’s basketball team shocked the nation by claiming the Southeastern Conference title — and it’s hard to believe it’s real. Kentucky not only had to play Mississippi State in the second round on Thursday, but they turned around and faced No. 6 LSU on Friday. While most would have chalked that up as an early exit, Lady Wildcats head coach Kyra Elzy and her team had other intentions.
Kentucky beat the Lady Tigers by 15, advancing to Saturday where they’d meet the No. 18 Tennessee Volunteers. While Friday’s win sparked a bit of confidence in the Lady Wildcats, they were about to play their third game in as many days while Tennessee had only played one. While the game was a bit closer than their contest with LSU, Kentucky still prevailed in a nine-point victory to send the Lady Wildcats to the SEC Championship game.
And here’s where things got extra dicey.
Kentucky was now in line to play their fourth game in as many days with the No. 1 South Carolina Lady Gamecocks having the rest advantage and had only lost one game all season. But, again, Elzy and her team had something special in store for Big Blue Nation.
It was obvious the Lady Wildcats were gassed from the moment the ball hit the floor to when the clock hit zero. However, as they trailed by 12 points heading into the final period, something got the attention of the Lady Wildcats. So much, in fact, that Kentucky held South Carolina to just seven points in the final period while scoring 21 of their own with the final three points coming on a play drawn up by coach Elzy herself.
While Rhyne Howard was the intended player to receive the inbounds pass, the Lady Gamecocks sent a second defender her way for obvious reasons. So instead, Treasure Hunt broke away to get the ball in before Jazmine Massengill (the in-bounder) came back to get the ball. Massengill, playing the role of Howard for the play Elzy drew up, drove past a Dre’una Edwards screen. Following a switch by the Lady Gamecocks, Edwards found herself open behind the three-point line with the ball in her hands. There was only one thing left to do: let it fly. Edwards sunk the game-winner, executing Elzy’s play to perfection.
Sunday afternoon was one to remember for Edwards. She tied her second-highest scoring day for the season with 27 while also grabbing nine rebounds. Edwards and the rest of her teammates secured the team’s first SEC Championship in 40 years, but aren’t finished just yet. The Lady Wildcats will appear in next week’s NCAA Tournament as a likely No. 9-seed.
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