Well, Cat Fans, the Rebel Invasion of Lexington is complete and both of our hoop teams escaped with a W. Hats off to both Coach Insell and Coach Kennedy; they came in with very strong game plans and executed them almost flawlessly. The almost is what allowed the Cats to deliver a hard fought victory...let's hope both clubs learned valuable lessons, and will show up ready to fight from tip to buzzer going forward.
Long story short: The Cats were outplayed in the first half but burst back in the second to claw their way to another W. And based on the season thus far, that's a trend that's not going to change. Even though it's rough to watch for both the staff and fans, whatever gets the win is ok in my book.
There were definitely some bright spots for our ladies from Sunday's brawl with Ole Miss: Despite the fact the Rebs shot better from the field (35.6% to our 30.3%) and the line (77.8% to our 68.8%) we did outrebound them (46 to 39) while also stealing away more opportunities (11-8). We also came up with fewer fouls (15 to 27) and less turnovers (15 to 20). That effort as well as outperforming them from three point range (although 20% is hardly a number to brag about) is what helped seal the deal.
Linnae Harper helped in every category, and had one of the best games of her career. Linnae delivered 12 points, 14 rebounds, 4 steals and an assist. Janee Thompson also had a big game, with 17 points, 3 assists and 2 steals. A total of four Wildcats scored in double digits, with Jennifer O'Neil knocking down 13 points while shooting 50% from three point range while Makayla Epps had 12 points, 6 of which came from her perfect 6-6 performance at the free throw line.
So, now that we can put that game behind us, what should we expect from tonight's game against Auburn?
Well, for one thing - don't expect this will be an easy game just because the Tigers are 9-6 overall and 0-2 in SEC Conference games. They are an SEC team, and the women's part of the league is very, very competitive. HOWEVER, the Tigers have not beaten a single ranked team. (The closest they've come is a 49-56 loss to St. John's who is unranked but has 38 votes as of this week's AP Poll.) In addition Auburn was completely trounced by #1 South Carolina 77-58, and didn't fare much better against in their 60-53 loss to unranked Florida.
Prediction: Don't anticipate an easy game but don't be shocked if it's a blow out. With this club we could either win 78-60 or it could be an OT nailbiter. We call this club the Cardiac Cats for a reason, folks!
Sadly we don't have anyone named FOUL-EROO to root against this game (pity that) but we can expect to see the Tiger's leading scorer Tra'Cee Tanner giving us a hard time. She averages 12.1 points a game, and shoots a blistering 57% from the field and 70% from the stripe. She has yet to attempt a three-pointer, which tells me this young lady is very selective about where she shoots because she wants to make it count.
Unfortunately this game is not televised but you can catch all the shooty-hoops action via SECNetwork+ or ESPN3. You can also listen to ASoB fan favorite Neil Price calling it on WLAP 630 via iHeart Radio. However you chose to tune in, we hope you join the fun in cheering our Cats on to victory at ASoB. Tip Off is 6 PM EST.
Until Gametime - Go Big Blue!