NCAA Tourney – Wildcats have all the luck as they beat the Irish to Advance to the Final Four

By Rick Blair – March 28, 2015, Cleveland, Ohio

These Cats have nine lives and they used one of them to come from behind and defeat Notre Dame 68-66 in the closing seconds of Saturday’s Midwest Regional Final. After trailing most of the second half, the Wildcats did not miss a shot in the final ten minutes of the game. Freshman Center Karl-Anthony Towns was unstoppable as he made all eight of his shots in the closing half and scored a game high 25 points in leading the Wildcats to the two-point win. Towns’ was not alone in making big plays down the stretch.

Tyler Ulis sits in locker room with net from Regional Championship - Photo by Dr. Michael Huang
Tyler Ulis sits in locker room with net from Regional Championship – Photo by Dr. Michael Huang

Freshman guard Tyler Ulis hit a three-pointer with the Wildcats trailing by six with six minutes to go in the game. Aaron Harrison who hit several big threes on UK’s magical run the championship game last year, came through again when he nailed a long three-pointer to give the Wildcats the lead with three minutes left in the contest. But Notre Dame would not go away easily and the Irish regained the lead. After Towns tied the game win one minute left, it was defense and Willie Cauley-Stein who blocked Notre Dame’s Jerian Grant’s three-point attempt that set up the final heroics.

Only 33 seconds remained in the tied tension filled game, as Sophomore Andrew Harrison held the ball, looking for the clock to count down. With about eight seconds remaining in the game Harrison drove to the basket and was fouled. Having the pressure of a trip to the Final Four hanging in the balance, Harrison calmly knocked down both free throws and clinched a trip to Indianapolis and a spot in the Final Four for a second consecutive year. Notre Dame had one last attempt, but the shot fail harmlessly to the ground and the celebration began. Nine appears to be a special number for these Wildcats. In addition to the nine lives, the Wildcats went nine for nine from the field in the last ten minutes of the game and are seeking to make it number nine, when it comes to the schools number of NCAA national championship banners that are hanging from the Rupp Arena rafters. The Wildcats will take on the Wisconsin Badgers this coming Saturday in a rematch of last year’s Final Four semi-final contest won by the Cats 74-73. Kentucky is now 38-0 on the season and are going to their fourth Final Four appearance in the last five years.

NCAA Tourney – UK now 2 away from History. 38-0 after N.D. Thriller

(All Interviews, Quotes and stats courtesy of NCAA & UK Athletics)

No. 1/1 Kentucky vs. No. 8/8 Notre Dame, Men’s Basketball – NCAA Tournament – Elite Eight

Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio, March 28, 2015 – Attendance: 19,464 

FINAL SCORE: Kentucky 68, Notre Dame 66

  • Team records: Kentucky is 38-0, Notre Dame 32-6.
  • Kentucky leads the all-time series 43-19
  • With Kentucky’s 38 consecutive victories …
    • Kentucky is the first team in the history of college basketball to start a season 38-0.
    • It extends the longest win streak in Kentucky history.
    • It extended the longest win streak for a John Calipari-coached team.
  • With its 38th win, UK has tied the most wins in a season in NCAA Division I history. John Calipari’s 2008-09 Memphis team and the 2011-12 national champion Wildcats also won 38 games.
  • Kentucky is 215-27 all-time when ranked No. 1 and has won 60 of the last 62 games as the Associated Press top-ranked team.
  • Calipari has led three schools to a No. 1 ranking (Massachusetts, Memphis, Kentucky) and has a 104-9 record as the top-ranked coach, including 63-4 at UK.
  • Calipari is now 190-37 (.837) as head coach at Kentucky, the best winning percentage of any coach in UK history.
  • Kentucky advanced to its 17th Final Four, tied for the second most among all Division I teams.
    • Kentucky makes consecutive Final Four appearances for the fourth time in program history. UK advanced to the national semifinals in 1948 and ’49, ’96-’98 and 2011 and ’12. UK won the national title in each of the previous three times it made consecutive Final Four trips (1948, ’49, ’96, ’98 and 2012).
  • Kentucky has reached the Final Four in four of the last five seasons and in each of its last four NCAA Tournament appearances, all under John Calipari.
  • Next for the Wildcats: UK will play Wisconsin on Saturday in the Final Four in Indianapolis. The matchup is a rematch of last year’s national semifinal game, a 74-73 UK win.
East Region Champs - Photo by Dr. Michael Huang - Midwest News and Sports
East Region Champs – Photo by Dr. Michael Huang – Midwest News and Sports

In the NCAA Tournament

  • Kentucky won its nation-leading 120th NCAA Tournament game. UK is 120-47 (.719) all-time in the Big Dance.
  • Since 1992, the Wildcats are 119-32 (.788) in postseason play (NCAA, NIT and SEC).
  • Kentucky also leads the country in wins in the tournament since 2010 (22), when John Calipari first led UK to the Big Dance.
  • UK is 22-3 in NCAA Tournament games under John Calipari.
  • Kentucky improved to 3-0 vs. Notre Dame in the NCAA Tournament and 2-0 in Elite Eight contests.
  • Kentucky improved to 3-1 in the NCAA Tournament as a No. 1 seed playing a No. 3 seed.
  • Kentucky is 17-18 in the Elite Eight.

Team Notes

  • Kentucky shot 53.2 from the field, the 12th time this season UK has shot 50 percent or better.
    • UK shot 37.0 percent (10-27) from the field in the first half, but connected on 75 percent (15-20) of its field goals in the second half.
    • Kentucky was 4-8 (50 percent) from 3-point range, the fifth time this season UK made at least 50 percent of its 3-pointers.
  • Kentucky was 14-20 (70.0 percent) from the free throw line, the 11th consecutive game UK shot 70 percent or better from the charity stripe.
  • Kentucky is 80-108 (.741) from the free throw line in the NCAA Tournament.
  • Notre Dame hit 10 free throws, marking the 10th consecutive game UK made more foul shots than its opponent.
  • Kentucky entered the game as the nation’s top-rated shooting-percentage defense, but Notre Dame shot 46.4 percent from the field. It is the fifth-highest shooting percentage for a UK opponent this season.
    • Kentucky is holding opponents to a combined total shooting percentage of .352.
  • UK trailed for 21:51 and held a lead for 11:42. The Wildcats have trailed for only 212:56 of a possible 1,535 minutes this season.
  • The two-point win was just the third time this season a game was decided by five or fewer points. It is tied for the smallest margin of victory of the season (UK won at LSU, 71-69 on Feb. 10).
  • UK out-blocked UND, 9-1. The Wildcats have outrebounded their opponents in all but four contests this season.
  • UK won bench points today, 15-5.  Kentucky has won bench points in all but one game this season (vs. Arkansas in the SEC Tournament championship game).
  • Kentucky won the bench points 8-0 in the second half.

Game Facts

  • Kentucky’s opening lineup featured Andrew Harrison, Aaron Harrison, Trey Lyles, Karl-Anthony Towns and Willie Cauley-Stein for the 18th time this season.
  • Marcus Lee, Devin Booker, Tyler Ulis and Dakari Johnson entered the game at the 16:22 mark.
  • Kentucky and Notre Dame were tied at the half, 31-31. UK is 3-0 this season when tied at the half.
  • The opening half featured 10 ties and 13 lead changes, the final tie coming at the buzzer thanks to a Trey Lyles tip-in.
  • Kentucky’s largest lead in the first half was two points, while Notre Dame held a four-point lead with 2:43 left.
  • Trailing 26-22, UK scored nine of the final 14 points of the half for a 31-31 halftime score.
  • Kentucky’s streak of 938 consecutive games with a 3-pointer was extended when Devin Booker connected from deep at the15:19 mark in the first half.
  • UK opened the second half on a 7-2 run to take a 38-33 lead with 18:08 left. The five-point lead was UK’s largest of the game.
  • Aaron Harrison hit a 3-pointer with 3:15 left to give UK a 64-63 lead. The three capped an 8-2 run for the Wildcats and gave them their first lead since 15:28 in the second half.
  • Kentucky was a perfect 9-9 from the field in the final 10:24 of the game. UK’s last miss from the field came with 12:05 left in the game.
    • UK trailed 61-56 with 5:21 remaining but ended the game on a 12-5 run.
    • The Wildcats held Notre Dame scoreless for the last 2:30.
  • Kentucky and Notre Dame both scored 40 points in the paint and both teams had 10 second-chance points.
  • Kentucky owned a 29-28 rebounding edge, with a 19-15 advantage in defensive boards. Notre Dame had 13 offensive rebounds to Kentucky’s 10.
  • UK had 11 turnovers and forced Notre Dame into seven. The Wildcats scored six points off turnovers, while the Fighting Irish turned in 16 points off of takeaways.

Player Notes

  • Karl-Anthony Towns led UK with a career-high and game-high 25 points.
    • The 25 points is the second most by a Wildcat in a single game this season.
    • Was 10 of 13 from the field and 5 of 6 from the free throw line. His 10 made field goals was a career best.
    • Had a team-high-tying five rebounds and recorded four assists and two steals, both tying a career high.
  • Trey Lyes had nine points, five rebounds and two blocks with a career-high-tying one steal.
    • Shot 4 of 10 from the field and was third on the team with nine points.
    • Was one of two Wildcats with five rebounds and one of three with at least two blocks.
  • Devin Booker had 10 points with two rebounds and one block.
    • Was 4 of 6 from the field, including 2-3 from three point range to record 10 points, second on the team.
    • Posted two rebounds, both defensive, and tied a career high with one block.
  • Aaron Harrison had six points and four rebounds.
    • Was one of six Wildcats to score at least six points.
    • Was one of four Wildcats with at least four rebounds.
    • Harrison is now 33 points away from 1,000 for his career.
  • Willie Cauley-Stein recorded six points with four rebounds and two blocks.
    • Went 3 of 5 from the field.
    • Totaled two blocks for 231 in his career and has posted two or more rejections in each of the last seven games.

NCAA TOURNEY – Wildcats Demolish West Virginia 78-39

Cleveland, Ohio Thursday, March 26, 2015 – By Ricky Blair

Willie Cauley Stein with the slam - Photo by Tammie Brown for Midwest News and Sports
Willie Cauley Stein with the slam – Photo by Tammie Brown for Midwest News and Sports

You should never wake a sleeping giant. West Virginia found that out the hard way by doing a lot of trash talking before their match-up with the Wildcats on Thursday in the NCAA sweet sixteen clash. West Virginia guard Daxter Miles had said before the game that the Wildcats did not play hard and that UK would be 36-1 after the game. Well what the young Miles and the West Virginia Mountaineers found out, is don’t give this number one ranked and undefeated Kentucky team added motivation. Kentucky demolished the Mountaineers 78-39 to move on the Midwest Regional final and chance to reach the Final Four in Indianapolis. Kentucky took the challenge personal about not playing hard and raced out to an 18-2 lead eight minutes into the game. The early lead came courtesy of Aaron Harrison’s ten quick points and a suffocating defense. It was 30-9 at the 8-minute mark in the first half and the Wildcats finished off the half with a 44-18 lead. Game over!

Kentucky’s defense was overwhelming for the Mountaineers. At the half West Virginia had only made 5 field goals and had shot 19 per cent from the field. Kentucky had more steals (4) and blocks (3) combined than the Mountaineers had field goals. West Virginia had been known for causing turnovers, but they had 7 at the half, compared to only 5 for Kentucky. The second half was more of the same, as the Wildcats went up by as many as 41 points before coasting to the 39-point victory. The 39-point win was the largest sweet sixteen victory of all time. It is also the first time a team had doubled the other teams score in the regional semi-final since 1940. “They had a good day today and we had a miserable day, you know, so we lose by 40.” Said WVU coach Bob Huggins. Good indeed. If the Wildcats play like this the rest of the way, banner number nine is not far behind.

The Wildcats were led in scoring by freshman forward Trey Lyles who had 14 points, but it was a balanced attack as Andrew Harrison finished with 13 points and both Aaron Harrison and Devin Booker finished with 12 apiece. Willie Cauley-Stein was his normal self with 8 points, 10 rebounds, 3 blocks and a steal. It was a terrific game for everyone except Karl-Anthony Towns who could never get into the flow, but on this night Towns was not needed.

With the win Kentucky now moves to 37-0 on the season and will now take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Saturday at 9:00 PM with a trip to the Final Four on the line.

Indiana News – Elkhart Man Arrested after Foot Chase and Battery on Trooper

Elkhart County – Shortly after 7:00 p.m. Wednesday night an Indiana State Trooper from the Bremen Post made a routine traffic stop on an Elkhart man.  That stop quickly turned into a foot chase and ended in a struggle in the middle of Hively Avenue in Elkhart.

ISP logoTrooper Ben Werner stopped Scottland B. Gregory, 22, in the area of Ridgewood Drive and Hively Avenue for driving on a suspended license.  Gregory’s activities were suspicious to Werner from the start as Gregory immediately exited his car and had to be told several times to get back into his vehicle.  Werner spoke with Gregory briefly before returning to his police car.   Gregory emerged a second time while Werner was back in his patrol car and ran north towards Hively Avenue.

Werner was able to quickly catch Gregory and a struggle ensued as Werner attempted to cuff the man.  During the struggle Gregory bit the trooper several times on his left forearm.  At some point during the confrontation Gregory was able to escape and ran east along Hively Avenue.

Werner again gave chase and got close enough to Gregory to deploy his taser bringing him to the ground.  Gregory again resisted being cuffed and continued to fight until he was subdued by Werner with the help of several bystanders.

Gregory was taken to Elkhart General Hospital for minor injuries sustained during the arrest.  He was treated and released a short time later.  Werner was also treated and released from the hospital for the bite wounds he received in the apprehension of Gregory.

Gregory was booked into the Elkhart County Jail on felony charges of Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer and Resisting Law Enforcement.

“Under Indiana law, all persons arrested for a criminal offense are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.”

Kentucky News – AG Conway Announces Indictment and Arrest of Falmouth Police Chief

FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 25, 2015) – Attorney General Jack Conway today announced the indictment and arrest of Mark Lane Posey, Former Chief of Police in Falmouth, Ky following an investigation by Attorney General Conway’s Department of Criminal Investigations (DCI).  Posey was Chief of Police from March 2008 until his resignation February 5, 2015.  

Chief Mark Posey
Chief Mark Posey

On Tuesday, a Franklin County grand jury returned an indictment charging Posey with the following:

Abuse of Public Trust Over $10,000, a Class C Felony

  • Theft by Unlawful Taking – Firearm, a Class D Felony
  • Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument Second Degree (70 COUNTS), Class D Felonies
  • Theft by Deception Under $500, a Class A Misdemeanor

 

According to the indictment, from March 2008 to December 2014, Posey is alleged to have taken over $10,000 in funds from a drug task force account.  Posey allegedly solicited donations from local businesses for drug cases and deposited the funds into one account.  Posey would allegedly write checks out of that account for cash and keep the funds for personal use.  Posey is alleged to have forged the signature of a co-signor to the account.  Also, Posey allegedly purchased a gun with Falmouth Police department funds approved by city council and then sold the gun to a friend for a higher amount.

Posey was arrested today and is being held in the Franklin County Regional Jail on a $10,000 bond.  Posey faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

Attorney General Conway’s Office of Special Prosecutions is handling the prosecution of this case.

A charge is merely an accusation.  A defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

The Department of Criminal Investigations (DCI) provides expert criminal investigative services in the following areas: Cyber Crimes, Drugs and Public Integrity/Special Investigations.  The Public Integrity/Special Investigations Branch of DCI conducts investigations regarding allegations of corruption by state and local public officials. The branch investigates numerous areas of corruption including executive, judicial, legislative, vendor contract, law enforcement and regulatory corruption. The branch is also instrumental in investigating allegations of voter fraud. The branch conducts investigations for other state agencies as requested.

 

Anyone aware of such illegal activity on the part of an elected or appointed official is encouraged to contact the DCI toll-free hotline at 866-524-3672 or email information to DCIFORCE@ag.ky.gov

Kentucky News – Jackson Man Injured by Gunfire During Argument

House Sesco Noble was shot at (Photo - B. Thorpe)
House Sesco Noble was shot at (Photo Submitted)

(Jackson, KY) – An afternoon dispute between two men in Jackson ended with one suffering from a gunshot wound and the other incarcerated.  Kentucky State Police Troopers and Detectives, along with officers with Jackson Police Department and Breathitt County Sheriff’s Office responded to a residence on Sewell Street in downtown Jackson in response to a call of a gunshot victim.  KSP Post 13 received the call at approximately 12:07 p.m.

Tom Allen - Photo Submitted
Tom Allen – Photo Submitted

Upon arrival at the scene, investigators located Sesco Noble, who had suffered a gunshot wound to his upper chest and head area.  He was transported to the

Chopper lifter off to take Sesco Noble to U.K. (Photo Submitted)
Chopper lifter off to take Sesco Noble to U.K. (Photo Submitted)

Kentucky River Medical Center in Jackson before being airlifted to the University of Kentucky Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.  It was determined that Noble had been involved in an altercation earlier this morning at the residence on Sewell Street, with Tom Allen.  Allen allegedly went to his residence on Smith Branch Road, retrieved a firearm, then returned to the residence and shot Sesco Noble.  Tom Allen fled the scene prior to officers arrived.  Deputies located Tom

Detectives checking Tom Allen's property on Smith Branch (Photo Submitted)
Detectives checking Tom Allen’s property on Smith Branch (Photo Submitted)

Allen at his residence where he was taken into custody without incident.  Allen received treatment at Kentucky River Medical Center for injuries he sustained during the earlier altercation with Sesco Noble.

Tom Allen has been charged with one count of Assault 1st Degree, and is currently lodged in Three Forks Regional Jail.  This incident remains under investigation by Detective Joel Abner with KSP Post 13 in Hazard.

Kentucky News – Skeletal Remains Located / Clay County

SkeletonOn Monday, March 23, 2015, at approximately 6:43 PM Kentucky State Police Post 11, London was notified by the US Division of Forestry about skeletal remains discovered while their officers were fighting a forest fire in Clay County. KSP Detective Nick Metcalf arrived on the scene and discovered what appeared to be a partial human skull. Preliminary investigation reveals the remains appeared to have been there for years, possibly even decades. The remains were located in close proximity to an old cemetery.   The remains were sent to Frankfort, KY to be examined by a forensic pathologist. Detective Metcalf continues the investigation and was assisted at the scene by the Division of Forestry.

NCAA Tourney – Cards Move on the Sweet 16

Louisville head coach Rick Pitino said, “Tonight, we played our best game of the season.”  Those words are very telling for a Louisville team that has struggled to find its identity this season.  They have struggled offensively and have less depth than most of Pitino’s teams at U of L.

U of L logoTonight’s victory over the No. 5 seed Northern Iowa Panthers could go a long way in giving them the identity they need.  The Cardinals were in control for most of the game.  After Montrezl Harrell’s dunk gave the Cardinals a 14 – 13 first half lead, they would never trail again in route to a 66 – 53 win over a Panthers team that had won 31 of their 34 games.

The Cardinals used their usual tough defense to bottle up the Panther’s offense.  Northern Iowa came into the game shooting 48.2 percent from the field and 40 percent from three point range.  U of L held them to only 39.1% from the field and 31.6% from three point range.

As well as the Cardinals played on defense, they played equally as well on offense.  Coach Pitino said he put more focus on offense than defense for this game and it showed.  Thanks to a heavy dose of Terry Rozier, the Cards shot a respectable 45.8 percent shooting.  The Cards even made 17 of their 21 free throws for 81 percent.  They came into the game making only 66.3 percent of their free throws.

Rozier was amazing against the Panthers, getting into the lane whenever he wanted, then making the right pass or making the shot whether inside or outside.  Rozier was 8 – 13 from the field and 8 – 9 from the line.  His stat line looked like that of his favorite player, Dwyane Wade, 25 points, 7 assists, and 5 rebounds.

Wayne Blackshear played another steady game scoring 10 points and grabbing 6 rebounds and made the play of the game late in the second half.  Northern Iowa cut Louisville’s lead to 55 – 49 and had Louisville in a scoring drought of almost four minutes.  Blackshear committed a turnover that led to what looked like an easy two points for the Panthers’ Wes Washpun.  However, Blackshear raced back to bother the dunk attempt enough that Washpun missed it.  Quentin Snider grabbed the rebound, threw it to Terry Rozier who immediately lobbed it to Harrell for an easy dunk to seize the momentum.

Harrell scored a quiet 14 points and grabbed 6 rebounds.  More importantly he made 4 – 5 free throws.

The Cardinals move on to their fourth consecutive sweet 16.  They will play in Syracuse, New York Friday against a familiar ACC opponent in the North Carolina State Wolfpack.  The Wolfpack gave the Cardinals one of their most disappointing losses of the season at the KFC Yum Center, beating U of L 74 – 65.  The tip-off is scheduled at 7:37 P.M.

NCAA Women's Tournament – UK Hoops upset by Dayton

(Notes and Interviews courtesy of UK Athletics)

UK_Hoops_TeamUK Hoops 2014-15 Postgame Notes – (7) Dayton 99, (2) Kentucky 94 – Memorial Coliseum – Lexington, Ky. – 2015 NCAA Tournament – Second Round – March 22, 2015

Team Records and Series Notes

  • Kentucky finishes its season 24-10 overall, while Dayton improved to 27-6 this season and moves onto the Sweet 16.
  • Kentucky moves to 736-495 (59.8) all-time in 41 seasons of varsity women’s basketball.
  • Matthew Mitchell, UK’s all-time winningest coach, dropped to 224-110 overall, 194-81 at UK.
  • UK is now 4-4 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
  • Kentucky is now 17-12 in the NCAA Tournament, 13-6 under Matthew Mitchell.
  • The Wildcats finish 14-3 at home this season. The loss broke UK’s streak of 54 straight non-conference wins in Memorial Coliseum.
  • UK leads the all-time series with Dayton 13-4.
  • Dayton tied the series at 1-1 in the NCAA Tournament.
  • UK is now 19-7 against Atlantic-10 teams all-time.
  • Today’s attendance was 3,320.

First Half Notes

  • UK started with the lineup of Jelléah Sidney, Makayla Epps, Bria Goss, Jennifer O’Neill and Alyssa Rice.
    • This lineup started a game for the first time.
  • Dayton led by as much as nine (20-11) at the 13:03 mark in the first half.
    • Kentucky went on a 13-2 run over the next 3:14 to take a 24-22 lead.
  • Senior Jen O’Neill scored 10 points in the first half for the second game in a row.
  • Kentucky outscored Dayton 12-2 in first-half points off turnovers.
  • UK, who leads the nation in free throw attempts per game, shot 10 free throws in the first half, going 10-of-15 from the stripe (.667).
  • Kentucky led 45-42 at the break and is now 16-5 when leading at the break.

Second Half Notes

  • UK opened the second half with Jelléah Sidney, Makayla Epps, Bria Goss, Jennifer O’Neill and Alyssa Rice.
  • In the second half, Dayton shot 64 percent from the field and 62.5 percent from three-point range.
  • UK started the second half 1 of 5 from the field, and Dayton tied the game at 48-48 with 15:50 left.
  • UK went on a 7-2 run to take a 62-54 lead with 12:18 to go.
  • Dayton forced a UK timeout when it took its first lead of the second half at 79-78 with 5:24 to go in the game.
  • Kentucky outscored Dayton 7-2 over the next 2:09 to take  an 81-85 lead
  • Dayton’s Kelly Austria hit a 3-pointer with 1:08 to go, giving Dayton a 90-87 lead that it never relinquished.
  • Jennifer O’Neill responded with two made free throws on the other side of the court, but Dayton’s Amber Deane hit another 3 as the shot clock was winding down, to give Dayton a 93-89 lead with 24 seconds remaining.
  • Dayton outscored Kentucky 57-49 in the second half.
  • Makayla Epps scored 22 of her 29 points in the second half.

Team/Game Notes.

  • Dayton shot 57 percent (30 of 53) from the floor, which was the best shooting performance by a UK opponent this season.
  • Dayton’s 3-point field-goal percentage (61 percent) on 11 of 18, was also a season-high by a UK opponent.
  • Dayton made 28 of its 31 free-throw attempts (90 percent), which was the most by a UK opponent this season and tied the best percentage by a UK foe.
  • Kentucky is now 322-22 when scoring 80 or more points under Matthew Mitchell, and 9-1 this season. In the last three seasons, UK is 70-3 (.959) when scoring 80+ points.
  • Kentucky 31 made free throws are the second-highest of the second, while the attempts are the third-highest.
  • UK won steals 11-1.
  • Dayton had 24 turnovers, compared with five by Kentucky.
  • Kentucky outscored Dayton 24-5 off turnovers.
  • Kentucky’s four seniors (Azia Bishop, Bria Goss, Jennifer O’Neill and Jelléah Sidney) concluded their careers as the winningest class in school history with 108 wins.

Individual Notes

  • Sophomore guard Linnae Harper came off the bench to grab a UK-high 12 rebounds, and she added nine points.
  • Senior guard Jennifer O’Neill recorded her 29th double-figure scoring game of the season, including 10th straight with 16 points.
    • Finished her career tied for sixth place on UK’s all-time games played list with 133.
    • She finished her career ranked 12th on the UK all-time points list with 1446.
    • She also finished her career ranked second on the all-time 3-point field-goal list with 197.
    • She is one 30 Wildcats to have scored 1,000 points in her career.
  • Senior guard Bria Goss added 12 points, her third straight game in double figures.
    • Marked her 14th double-figure scoring game this season, and 72st of her career.
    • She moved into fourth place alongside teammate Azia Bishop on the all-time games played list at UK with 134.
    • She is one 30 Wildcats to have scored 1,000 points in her career.
    • She ranks fifth on UK’s career list for free throws made (398) and ranks second in FT percentage (.819).
  • Sophomore guard Makayla Epps scored a game-high 29 points, her 27th game in double figures this season, including fourth straight.
  • Freshman forward Alyssa Rice made her 11th career start, and scored seven points.
  • Senior forward Jelléah Sidney blocked a season-high two shots
  • She scored seven points and added two blocks and four rebounds.

Kentucky Head Coach, Matthew Mitchell

Opening statement …

“First of all, I would like to thank everyone from the University of Kentucky and everyone from the NCAA that came in and was a part of putting this tournament on. It was really well-run and it was a first-class operation and we just thank everyone who had a hand in that. It was a great experience from that standpoint. I want to congratulate the University of Dayton, they just played so hard today, they wanted the game very badly, they played with great intensity, they had great resilience in the game. When they went down, they always found a way to fight back and they just played much harder than we did, and certainly down the stretch when it was time to win the game, they just played. I would congratulate them and wish them well as they move forward. It’s a disappointing end to a really, really good season for us. The good part of the season, there are a lot of moments, a lot of great wins, a lot of great victories, a lot of happy times. But I think for me, just what we learned about our players and what Kentucky needs to stand for and what Kentucky needs to be, I feel really good about that I feel really good about how we will approach the future. A disappointing end to a season that I will always remember. And I’m real grateful to our seniors. They had a great career here and what they did for us down the stretch to help us know what we needed to know what we needed to do going forward I’ll always remember.”

 

On not coming out ready to play and focused …

“I just thought yesterday was one of the best days we had from a focus standpoint and a preparation standpoint, the spirit the players were in when we talked about the gameplan, they were really focused in. I was really looking forward to the game today. Our practice was sharp yesterday, so I was looking forward to the game today. I wanted to find a way to beat a good Dayton team, because I wanted another week with this team. I really thought yesterday was what I was looking for from this team, and I thought if we could get another week of that, then we could really do something. It’s just plagued us all year — inconsistency at inopportune moments. I could really kind of tell it from the beginning. There’s just certain things that you can notice from players and we just did not have the focus and the energy and the effort that we needed and we just gave them so many opportunities in their strength zone and they took advantage of it. We needed to play harder, sharper, and we needed to play more consistently throughout the game. We had a chance to stretch it to double-digits in the first half and we missed free throws, you know, we missed 14 free throws. You can always tell with our team. There are nights where you’ll miss three or four and days like today when we’ll miss 15. In the first half, we had a wide-open 3 to stretch it to 10, got the offensive rebound, had free throws to stretch it to nine, get a stop and then really have some great momentum going into halftime, but we let them come back and cut it to three. It’s just things like that. We had a chance to stretch it to 10, the place is going crazy, everybody is fired up and we miss two free throws, let them get back going and we missed some layups at inopportune times. So, to me, we just weren’t nearly sharp enough from a mental perspective to stop Dayton. If you let them drive the ball and don’t stop them getting to the rim, they can really hurt you. (Ally) Mallot had a fantastic day and (Amber) Deane had a fantastic day. They just played up to their ability and their best and we just didn’t ever seem like we had that fire in our belly to advance, and this particular team can’t play that way. There is no in-between. We have to play really, really hard with maximum effort and greater effort than our opponent, or we get beat and that’s what happened today.”

 

On the suspension of Azia Bishop …

“My role as the head coach is I have to set the standard. February 24 was the day, a Tuesday, when the seniors came to my house and said I was not doing a good enough job upholding the standard and I needed to be much more focused with our younger players and I told them, I appreciate that, but you can’t come in here and tell me that and then not uphold the standards and so everybody was clear. Everybody needed to be in their rooms by 11 (o’clock) with nobody coming by and stopping by to see you and nobody on the floor, and I don’t think that there was anything in Azia’s mind but a lack of focus. She just lost focus at a real important time. She’s not a bad person, she’s a great person who I love a lot, but if I’m not going to uphold the standard – I don’t know whether that lost the game for us or not. We’ll never know. It’s irrelevant to me. What I have to do is uphold the standard as their coach and I can tell you if she played, whether we won or lost the game, I think we would have lost a bunch in the future if I don’t uphold the standard, so it’s not what I wanted to be dealing with this morning, but it’s what you have to deal with. I do the right thing, and I don’t really think about that. We had more than enough talent on the floor to win. We could have won the game, and so how did it affect us, I don’t know. I’ll talk to the players and we’ll see what it was. I hate that that was the way her career ended. I really wanted to get to next week because I know she feels terrible about the situation. I feel terrible about the situation. But if you’re in my shoes, you must do the right thing or if you don’t have integrity you don’t really have a program. That’s my thought on that situation.”

 

Kentucky Student-Athlete Jen O’Neill

 

Regarding Dayton shooting 57 percent …

 

“Coming into this game we were told that they were an unselfish team and they really look for their key players coming down the stretch and they were able to knock down shots.”

 

Describe the difficulty of defending Dayton …

“We just really needed to stop dribble penetration and we weren’t getting it done.  They were able to penetrate and kick.”

 

What’s it going to be like knowing you’re not going to pull on that Kentucky jersey again?

“Personally, it’s tough for me just because I’m the one who really lost the game. I let her hit that 3-point shot. That’s deflating to my team. We were on a little run and as a senior I can’t make mistakes like that. Among a bunch of other mistakes I made that was a key moment in the game and should never happen.”

 

Kentucky Student-Athlete Bria Goss

 

Regarding Dayton shooting 57 percent …

“They hit some really big shots down the stretch. They did a really good job distributing the ball and finding the open man and knocking them down when they needed to be counted.”

 

Describe the difficulty of defending Dayton …

“A lot of drives and kicks.  We were just too late on recovery in trying to help stop the drive and  just came up short.”

 

Was there anything in the game that looked different from what you saw from Dayton on Friday

“No, our coaches did a great job in getting us prepared.  It was up to us to buckle down and focus, focus for the full 40 minutes and not take plays off.  They are a great team and they executed really well but our coaches did a great job letting us know what was going to happen and what we were facing up against.  We just didn’t take advantage of it.”

 

What’s it going to be like knowing you’re not going to pull on that Kentucky jersey again?

“It’s just going to be tough … (long pause) Next question.”

Being Quick to Criticize Can Lead to Problems

by Gwen Randall-Young – Couples who are working to improve their relationship sometimes run into a dilemma. There seems to be a fine line between asking for what you need, and criticizing a partner. Add in a little sensitivity on either side, and good intentions can create near disasters. There is a way through this mine field. It has to do with our intentions, and the form our communication takes.

TitleIf our intention is to criticize, no matter how carefully we camouflage our comments our partner is likely to respond defensively. The first place to eliminate criticism is in our own consciousness. If we are feeling annoyance, and wish to make a request of a partner, it is best to take some quiet time first. Take a few moments, and list all of the things you appreciate about your partner. Then, put yourself in your partner’s place, and imagine how you would feel if your partner approached you in the way you are wanting to approach him or her. Think about the outcome you are hoping for: is your intent to start a fight, or are you hoping to enjoy the rest of the day together? Even if you are angry, it’s best to save your communication until you have cooled down.

When you are ready to talk to your partner, it is a good idea to start with some positive comments. Then, rather than demanding what you want, say that you have a request, and would like your partner just to think about it. There is a big difference between asking for help with taking out the garbage, cooking meals or looking after the children, and telling a partner that he or she is lazy, and you are the only one doing any work. Even if these criticisms were true, stating them is not likely to bring the results you desire.

It takes patience and maturity to handle differences in a way that will produce effective outcomes. Fortunately, those are options that come with adulthood. It is our choice is whether to use them or not.

Gwen Randall-Young is an author and award-winning Psychotherapist.  For permission to reprint this article, or to obtain books or cds, visit www.gwen.ca