By: Tyrus York – On the always emotional Senior Day in Memorial Coliseum, the #12/15 UK Hoops team sent their 4 seniors off with a victory over Vanderbilt 65-63.
The emotions of Senior Day can sway teams in a good or bad way. For the Wildcats, they used that emotion to get off to a great start, leading the Commodores by as many as 17 points in the first half.
That emotion would wear off and Vandy would regain the lead halfway through the second half. From that point on, the two teams battled hard until Kentucky finally came out on top after junior guard Bria Goss ended the game on 5-6 shooting from the free throw line en route to her 12 points for the game.
Senior DeNesha Stalllworth made the best of her last official home game by dominating in the paint with 18 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 blocks. Fellow senior Samarie Walker had only 2 points, but collected 8 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1 block.
Kastine Evans, the third senior honored Sunday, had a respectable game with 5 points and 4 assists in 28 minutes of action. Senior guard Bernisha Pinkett was in the starting lineup for the Cats and produced a rebound and an assist.
It was a rare game for the Cats to pick up the win despite being virtually even in the turnover column, 16 for Vandy and 15 for UK. But Vandy was able to capitalize on Kentucky’s turnovers scoring 20 points from them while Kentucky only converted 14 points out of Vanderbilt’s turnovers.
The big story coming down the stretch to close out the regular season for UK Hoops was their ability to win 6 of their last 8 games and claim the coveted 4 seed in the SEC tournament which gives them a double bye.
It’s interesting how UK Hoop’s season has mirrored the men’s in that expectations were high but there have been several low points in the season.
The ladies however picked up huge conference wins as the season closed, defeating Tennessee in Knoxville and Texas A&M in College Station.
The Cats hope to carry their momentum into the SEC tournament which starts Wednesday in Duluth, Georgia. Kentucky will play the winner of Florida and Missouri/Mississippi State on Friday at 2:30 pm.