Rupp Arena proved to be the house of horrors once again for the Wildcats as they fell to the Auburn Tigers 71-57. The Rupp Arena court has proven very unfriendly to the Cats as they fell earlier this season to the University of Louisville.
Trailing 57-43 at the 6:37 mark of the second half, the Cats went on a 9-2 run to get within to 57-52 at the 3:05 mark. They did it with a tenacious press that Auburn didn't handle well for several possessions. However, Auburn re-grouped and went on a 14-5 run to finish the game.
Kentucky has two more opportunities to prove to themselves they can play well in Rupp Arena. The next game there is against the powerful TennesseeVols in seven days. Surely coach DeMoss would like to win at Rupp but better still she doesn't want it to get into the minds of her players that they can't win there this season.
Until the 8:10 mark of the first half where the scoreboard read 19-18 in favor of the Cats, the Wildcats played on even terms with the Tigers. From that point until 3:06 in the half, the Cats went on 5 minute and fifty-three second scoring drought. In the meantime the Tiger were shooting 51.5 percent for the half.
Auburn brought a lot of size into Rupp Arena, though they were winless in four SEC games. Coach DeMoss was asked if Auburn's size intimidated them in the game? "Obviously, we must be easily intimidated because the first three minutes we were shying away," Lamented DeMoss. "We've got to learn to handle that size – they weren't any bigger than we were. We were very disappointed with our defensive effort tonight."
From late in the first half to early in the second half, the Wildcats were held in the game by their freshman point-guard Carly Ormerod, who leads the Sec in three-point percentage. She scored the last five points in the first half and the first 10-points in the second half. Truly, Rupp Arena did not haunt her.
Twelve points and 11 rebounds in the middle by a surprise starter trashed the Cats for the Auburn Tigers. They started a freshman 6-foot-7 Keshonda "KeKe" Carrier for her first start in SEC play. The women don't list weights in their facts book but several guesses around the pressroom gestimated her weight to be around 275-pounds. That height and weight was a constant load for UK all night long. UK's Eleia Roddy was ask if she had ever played against a girl that size and she said, "No!"
"That height and size take takes up a lot of room in the paint," said Auburn head coach Nell Fortner. Why did she start Carrier? The coach said: "We were 0-4 in the SEC and we had to try something."
Another freshman DeWanna Bonner was the leading scorer for the Tiger with 18 points. She said they didn't know they were would be playing in Rupp Arena. She said, "Oh, My god! The crowd really motivated us. I said come y'all, let's play!"
Perhaps, the Cats can put this game behind them and get ready for Ole Miss because this obviously was not their night.
DeMoss' Wildcats fall to Auburn in Rupp
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