Defense, Rebounding Lead UK Hoops Over George Washington

Nov. 23, 2008

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LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky women’s basketball team used a stifling full-court press and a strong effort on the boards to mount a 67-48 win over George Washington Sunday in front of 3,813 fans in Memorial Coliseum. Four Wildcats scored in double-figures led by junior Amani Franklin’s (Stone Mountain, Ga.) game- and season-high 16 points. Sophomore Victoria Dunlap followed with 13 points and a career high-tying 14 rebounds, her second season and fifth career double-double. Senior Eleia Roddy (Columbus, Ohio) and sophomore Amber Smith (Winter Haven, Fla.) added 12 points each.

The Wildcats (2-1), who lost to the then-ranked No. 14 Colonials last season in Washington, D.C., used their speed and athleticism to pester GW into 18 turnovers and hold the Colonials (1-2) to 28.6 percent shooting (14-of-49). The Cats’ also used a strong presence on the boards, outrebounding the Colonials by 20 (50-30), their largest rebounding margin this season (50-30). UK outscored GW 24-10 in points in the paint and 16-4 in second chance points. Following Dunlap in the rebounding column were Roddy and junior Brittany Edelen (Springfield, Ky.) with seven apiece. Smith added a season-high five rebounds and senior point guard Carly Ormerod (Louisville, Ky.) added four.

“It was just people working and playing hard,” UK Hoop Coach Matthew Mitchell said. “Brittany Edelen got three (rebounds) on one possession today and I told Victoria Dunlap when she came out of the game that she was a warrior today. Eleia Roddy played well too and a lot of our players attributed. I was very pleased with our rebounding.”

Kentucky jumped out to a 5-0 lead to start the game and controlled most of the first half before GW pulled to within one (23-22) at the break after a jumper by Tiana Myers. In the second half, the Cats went up by five (40-35) before senior point guard Carly Ormerod (Louisville, Ky.) hit a three-pointer after a timeout to spark a 12-0 run over the next three minutes. Roddy, Franklin and Ormerod also combined to sink 9-of-9 free throws during the run, giving UK a commanding 52-35 advantage.

“We had just gotten three offensive rebounds and on the first two we didn’t get much offense from them, so I called a timeout so we could get the ball to somebody who knew what we needed to do organization-wise,” Mitchell said. “We wanted to get Carly an open “three” or dump the ball down to Dunlap for an open look. We knew what we wanted to do and when her “three” went in the air I was hoping it would go in because it was a key shot in the game.”

The Colonials, led by Antelia Parrish’s 13 points and five rebounds, pulled back within 11 points with 4:49 to go but Dunlap answered with back-to-back layups to push the lead back to 15 (58-43). From there, UK hit 5-of-6 free throws and Franklin sank a jumper with four seconds remaining to seal the victory.

Kentucky shot a season-high 33.9 percent from the floor (19-of-56) and 83.3 percent from the free-throw line (25-of-30).

UK is now 1-2 all-time against George Washington in the all-time series.

The Wildcats continue regular-season play when they participate in the Courtyard LaGuardia Turkey Classic in Brooklyn, N.Y., over the Thanksgiving holiday. UK will meet first-time opponent Yale on Friday, Nov. 28 at 4 p.m. ET. Host-team Long Island and New Hampshire play in the opening game at 2 p.m. ET. The event will take place at LIU’s Wellness, Recreation and Athletic Center. All the action will be broadcast live on the Big Blue Sports Radio Network.