Kentucky (3-0) and Indiana State (2-2) battled evenly to begin the game as the first half saw four ties and six lead changes. Four Wildcats, including three starters (Elliott, Ormerod and Humphrey), were sidelined early in the half after being whistled with two fouls each. Indiana State used its free-throw shooting to stay in the game, connecting on 8-of-13 attempts, despite shooting just 29.6 percent (8-of-27) from the floor. UK Coach Mickie DeMoss was forced to go to her bench and the reserve players didn't disappoint. Nastassia Alcius (Lexington, Ky.), Jenn'e Jackson (Radcliff, Ky.), Afton Perry (Ft. Walton Beach, Fla.), Jenny Pfeiffer (North Vernon, Ind.), and Roddy combined for 14 points and eight rebounds, helping the Cats build a 34-25 advantage at the half. The Cats shot an impressive 51.9 percent in the first half (14-of-27) and were 4-of-5 from the charity stripe.
Kentucky continued to build on its lead, pushing ahead by 14 points, 46-32, at the 13:30 mark. The Sycamores wouldn't give up, however, using a full court press to force five Wildcat turnovers and hold the Cats scoreless for over four minutes. An 11-0 run pulled ISU within one, 46-45, with 9:10 to go. With the game tied at 51 each with 6:46 remaining, Elliott began to take control. The 6-6 center scored 10 of the next 13 points to push the Cats back on top 62-57 with 1:50 to go. UK hung on to hit 4-of-4 free throws in the final minutes for the win.
"I thought our depth saved us today," DeMoss said. "It was a total team effort but Sarah came up big for us in the second half. She kept us in the game. Samantha Mahoney also played well and we are excited about winning a tough game on the road. Indiana State is a scrappy team and this was a good test for us."
The Wildcats were tough on the boards, out-rebounding Indiana State 46-33 and holding the Sycamores to just 33 percent (20-of-61) shooting in the game. UK has now held 57 of its last 63 opponents to under 50 percent shooting, including 10 consecutive. UK has won the battle of the boards in all three contests this season.
The Wildcats return to action Saturday when they face the winner of the Hofstra vs. Pepperdine game. If Hostra wins the game will be played at 4 p.m. EST. If Pepperdine wins the game will tip off at 6:30 p.m. EST. The game will be carried live on the Big Blue Sports Network (radio) with Neil Price.