Cats Struggle Early; Fall To Nationally Ranked Georgia
Feb. 3, 2002
Lexington, Ky. - Freshman sharpshooter Sara Potts tied a season and career high with 15 points, but it was not enough to lift Kentucky past No. 19/18 Georgia, as the Wildcats fell to the Lady Bulldogs, 76-50, at Memorial Coliseum on Super Bowl Sunday in front of a season-high 2,139 fans.
Potts was the only player to notch double figures in the scoring column for UK (8-13, 1-8 Southeastern Conference), as the Dogs held UK's leading scorer and rebounder, SeSe Helm, to a season-low seven points. Helm entered today's contest as the SEC's seventh-leading scorer, posting a 16.6 scoring average through 20 games. Freshman center Kara Braxton paced UGA (15-6, 4-5 SEC) with 24 points and 10 rebounds, while freshman guard Ebony Felder recorded her first career double-double, chalking up 10 points and claiming 10 boards.
"This team is much better than the way they played today," UK Coach Bernadette Mattox said. "Georgia proved today why they are a top-25 team. We shot well in practice but we just didn't execute out there. Last year, this group had to learn how to compete, this year, they have to learn how to win."
The Lady Bulldogs, snapping a two-game losing skid, jumped to an early 9-0 lead before junior Rita Adams knocked down UK's first field goal at the 16:00 mark. Adams finished with nine points, 2.5 below her season average. Senior forward LaTonya McDole was held scoreless for the second time this season, as the Cats shot a season-low 32.0 percent (16-of-50) from the floor.
"Missing so many shots in the beginning of the game really affected our confidence," McDole said. "When you're struggling with your shots, hesitation comes into play and it's tough. But when your confidence is down, you have to keep going and continue trying to make things happen. We have to start doing that better."
Georgia took a 39-20 lead into the half, led by Braxton's 14 points and six rebounds. Potts' team-leading 15 points all came in the last 17 minutes of the game, nabbing her first bucket on a driving layup from one of Rita Adams' nine assists with 16:44 to play. Still recovering from a foot injury, the Rochester Hills, Mich., native is 7-of-14 (50 percent) from behind the arc in the last two games.
"I decided I had to pick it up and do everything I could to help the team," Potts said. "We were struggling with our shots today and I tried to provide a spark to get our offense going."The Lady Bulldogs own a 22-8 advantage in the all-time series, including an 8-5 lead when playing in Lexington.
The 16 field goals made was also a season low for Kentucky, who will next travel to Ole Miss on Thursday, Feb. 7 to battle the Lady Rebels in C.M. "Tad" Smith Coliseum at 8 p.m. ET. The game can be heard live on WLXG Sports Radio 1300 with Chris Cross.