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Best of Blue Weekly Awards (week of Dec. 12)

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Thumbnail image for best of blue logo_web.jpg It can be hard to keep up with everything going on in the University of Kentucky's 22 varsity sports. With that in mind, we will highlight the best from around Kentucky sports each week. We'll recognize the best performances from Wildcat teams and players, we'll show you the coolest videos and photos that you may have missed and we'll mix in some new stuff along the way. Here are your award winners for this week:

Team of the week - Volleyball takes No. 1 Texas to the wire in Sweet 16

The result wasn't what the Kentucky volleyball team was looking for, but in a 3-1 loss to top-seeded Texas, the Wildcats proved just how much they belong on the nation's big stage. UK played with the Longhorns point for point, leading UT head coach Jerritt Elliott to call the Cats "the best team we faced all year."

UK won just a single set, but lost the other three by only six combined points. Craig Skinner had four players total at least 11 kills as the Cats hit .279 as a team. SEC Libero of the Year Stephanie Klefot led all players with 21 digs and middle blocker Becky Pavan ended her career with a 12-kill, six-block performance. The match was played in front of a boisterous crowd of 4,022 who nearly cheered the hosts to victory in Memorial Coliseum.

Player of the week - Bria Goss scores career high...twice


John Calipari is known for coaching star freshmen, but Matthew Mitchell has himself a pretty good one in Bria Goss. She has been among UK Hoops' most consistent players, scoring in double figures in all but two games. Goss is the team's second-leading scorer at 12.3 points per game and has proven to be an adept rebounder from her guard position, averaging 5.2 boards per game, third on the team.

The Indianapolis native has been good all season, but she had her best two performances of her young career this week in wins over No. 5/6 Duke and Arkansas-Pine Bluff. As the Wildcats scored the upset victory over the Blue Devils in Rupp Arena, Goss scored a career-high 19 points, hitting a pair of 3's and getting to the foul line 10 times. She committed no turnovers and added a steal.

Goss followed up her big game against Duke with another 19 points on Sunday against UAPB, tallying career highs with three 3-pointers and six steals as leading scored A'dia Mathies sat out with a sprained ankle. Goss will play in her first career road game next Sunday against No. 3 Notre Dame and will also be returning to her home state to play at 1 p.m. on ESPNU.

Game of the week - Men's basketball loses in buzzer-beating fashion to Indiana

Generally, I like to make our game of the week one UK wins, but Saturday's Kentucky-Indiana showdown in Bloomington, Ind., simply could not be denied. The Wildcats rallied from a 63-53 deficit with under 10 minutes remaining to take a 72-70 lead with just five seconds left, but Christian Watford's 3-pointer as the horn sounded sent UK to its first defeat of the season. Hoosier fans rushed the floor in celebration of the win and IU's return to national prominence.

The loss was a disappointing one, but the mere fact that UK was able to rally in such a hostile environment says a lot about this team. Marquis Teague played the best half of his young career in the second, scoring 15 of UK's final 35 points on perfect 6-for-6 shooting while Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had 18 points and nine rebounds while playing 38 minutes, the most for a UK player in any game this season.

Play of the week - Snowden goes behind the back



In the second half against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, senior guard Keyla Snowden made a steal at mid-court, went behind her back to avoid a defender and finished at the rim with her left hand. Fast forward to the 1:39 mark of the video above to see the play. The most entertaining part of the highlight: Snowden starts smiling at the behind-the-back move she just made while she's still dribbling to the hoop. She clearly enjoyed herself.

Photo of the week - UK Hoops celebrates Duke win


Photo by Britney McIntosh, UK Athletics Photo by Britney McIntosh, UK Athletics

Alumnus/alumna of the week - Knight, Liggins, Harrellson sign NBA contracts

The last few months have been tough for former Wildcats Brandon Knight, DeAndre Liggins and Josh Harrellson. After being selected in the 2011 NBA Draft, they've been in a state of limbo as league players and owners negotiated a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. All three have spent significant time in Lexington as they waited, but they need bide their time no longer as a CBA has been reached.

Even more importantly for the rookies, all three have agreed to terms with their new teams: Knight with the Detroit Pistons, Liggins with the Orlando Magic and Harrellson with the New York Knicks. Congratulations to all three and good luck as the season approaches.

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