UK drives by Lady Vols’ streak
Posted: Friday, January 13, 2012 7:00 pm
By COLIN FLY
AP Sports Writer
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Glory Johnson will not focus on the last play when A’dia Mathies abruptly ended sixth-ranked Tennessee’s 36-game Southeastern Conference winning streak. Instead, she’ll dwell on all the little things the Lady Volunteers did wrong in a 61-60 loss to No. 9 Kentucky on Thursday night.
Mathies drove the lane and scored in traffic with 4.2 seconds left to finish with a career-high 34 points.
“Mathies did a great job of getting to the basket,” said Johnson, who had 17 points. “We’re not going to look at that one play, we’re going to look at missed layups and missed free throws and turnovers and everything that happened that shouldn’t have.”
With Kentucky trailing 60-57, Mathies followed her own shot to cut it to one with 46 seconds left.
After Tennessee (12-4, 3-1) was called for a charge and Kentucky (15-2, 4-0) used a timeout, Mathies took the ball at halfcourt, dribbled into the lane and hit a 7-foot floater.
“We didn’t have an answer for her tonight, it didn’t start with the last shot,” Tennessee associate head coach Holly Warlick said. “She was outstanding. My hat’s off to her.”
Tennessee’s Kamiko Williams drove the length of the floor, but missed an off-balance 16-footer as time expired. Tennessee rallied from 12 points down with 7:46 left to take a lead, but lost for the first time in the SEC since falling 53-50 at Georgia on Jan. 21, 2010.
Vicki Baugh scored 16 points and Shekinna Stricklen 11 for Tennessee, but it wasn’t enough to keep Kentucky from winning its first four games in conference play for the first time in history.
Kentucky led 50-38 off two free throws by Mathies with 7:46 left when Tennessee used a 16-4 rally to tie it. Meighan Simmons and Stricklen hit 3s, while Ariel Massengale’s three-point play made it 54-all.
Then, after Mathies made two more free throws, Stricklen hit a layup, Kentucky’s Amber Smith threw a pass away that led to a free throw by Johnson and Mathies fell and lost the ball that started Tennessee’s 3-on-0 break that ended with a layup by Baugh to give the Lady Vols a 59-56 with 2:06 left.
At the timeout, the Kentucky pep band played “Don’t Stop Believin”’ with the game seemingly getting out of control.
Bria Goss made one of two free throws for the Wildcats and Johnson hit the second of two attempts to put Tennessee back ahead 60-57.
Goss then missed a 3 that would’ve tied it, but grabbed her own rebound and Kentucky got another possession.
Published in The Messenger 1.13.12