The Wildcats, who trailed 36-35 at halftime, used a 14-1 run out of intermission and held the Titans (2-7) without a field goal for the first 5:54 of the final period to turn back a stingy Detroit team. The Cats were led by four players who scored in double figures, but were forced to overcome 18 turnovers that resulted in 21 Detroit points.
"We played like a young team today, but we were able to find a way to win," UK Coach Mickie DeMoss said. "We got some gutsy plays from some gutsy players, but we're going to need to work on playing a lot smarter as a team."
Kentucky came out blistering in the second half, knocking down the first four baskets of the final period, highlighted by two Elliott baskets and a resounding trey by freshman point guard Carly Ormerod (Louisville, Ky.). The Wildcats' 14-1 run out of intermission included five points from Humphrey, to extend their advantage to 13 points (49-37) with 14:38 left.
The Titans kept trimming away at the UK advantage to come within seven, 49-41, after back-to-back field goals. Eleia Roddy (Columbus, Ohio), however, scored two of the game's next three hoops to push the Cats back ahead by nine, 53-44. A basket by Humphrey put again UK up by 11, 68-57, with just under three minutes remaining, but Detroit wouldn't give up. Shawanna Stubblefield and Lindsey Pasquinzo hit back-to-back three-pointers with 1:16 left to cut Kentucky's lead to 68-63, but the Cats, who made 6-of-8 free-throws in the final 4:50, hung on for the victory.
Humphrey's 14 rebounds were a season-high and one board shy of her career-best mark. The 6-foot-3 Humphrey was also just one point shy of her second consecutive double-double, finishing the game with nine points, three assists and two steals. Humphrey has brought down at least seven rebounds in six-of-eight games this season.
"[Humphrey] was all over the boards today," DeMoss said. "She had 14 rebounds and nine points - that's a good day's work. I was very pleased with how our front line played today."
Ormerod chipped in 15 points and tied her career-high with five rebounds, while sophomore Samantha Mahoney (Detroit) added 12 points. Ormerod was 5-of-6 from the free-throw line and knocked down two three-pointers. Roddy was the fourth Wildcat to reach double-figure points with 10.
The game marked a homecoming for sophomore Motor City natives Chante' Bowman and Mahoney.
The Titans started the game strong offensively, knocking down three three-pointers within the first four minutes of the game to take an 11-7 lead with 15:55 remaining in the opening period. Kentucky cut Detroit's lead to 15-13 on a crafty basket in the lane by Ormerod, but the Titans scored the game's next two baskets capped off by a Pasquinzo jumper to extend their advantage to 20-13.
From there, the Cats went on an 8-2 run capped off by basket by junior guard Jenny Pfeiffer (North Vernon, Ind.) to come within one, 22-21, with 8:16 to go in the half. After a Detroit basket, UK scored seven unanswered points including a shot in the paint by Roddy to give the Cats their first lead at 25-24 at the 6:19 mark. Pfeiffer was fouled shooting a three-pointer and made each of her three free-throw attempts to move UK in front 28-24. Trailing 30-26, the Titans wouldn't give up, scoring three of the game's next four baskets to reclaim the advantage at 33-32. Detroit went into the locker room with a 36-35 lead.
The Wildcats shot 41.7 percent (25-of-60) from the field in the game and out-rebounded Detroit 44-29. The Cats were aided by a strong post presence of Elliott, Humphrey and Roddy that combined for 36 points and 24 rebounds. UK out-scored Detroit 28-18 in points in the paint. The Titans shot 42.9 percent (24-of-56) from the floor and made 5-of-9 three-pointers. Detroit was led by Pasquinzo's team-high 16 points, as one of four Titans scoring in double figures.
Kentucky has a week off for final exams before returning home to play host to No. 3 LSU in Memorial Coliseum on Sunday, Dec. 18. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m. EST in Memorial Coliseum and the game will be televised by Fox Sports Net South and aired live on the Big Blue Sports Network (radio) with Neil Price. Live audio and statistics for all UK Hoops games are available on ukathletics.com.
Season tickets cost only $20. Single-game general admission tickets are available for $5 adults/$2 senior citizens and children ages 18 and under. UK students, faculty and staff are admitted free with valid identification. For ticket information, log on to ukathletics.com or call the UK ticket office at 859-257-1818 or 1-800-928-CATS (2287).