A’dia Mathies, Diary 2
The Kentucky guard recalls UK’s big win at Louisville.
The SEC’s reigning Player of the Year, A’dia Mathies, will be linking back with SLAMonline throughout the season, as her seventh-ranked squad aims to reach the Final Four. Her second entry discusses the rivalry game against in-state foe Louisville. The Wildcats have been sizzling hot over the month of December with seven straight victories.—Ed.
by A’dia Mathies / @A1Mathies_UK
What’s up SLAMonline fans? I was really looking forward to doing this post because a lot has happened with UK Hoops since my last diary. Our team has won seven straight games and we are improving every day.
So far, December has been a great month for us. On December 2, we traveled to Louisville, our biggest rival. UK-Louisville has been one of the biggest rivalries in all of college basketball for a while. If you aren’t familiar with the two schools, every game is a battle, and either you are a U of L fan or you are a UK fan—you can’t be a mixture of the two. This is always the most anticipated game on the schedule, and this time, both teams were ranked in the top-10 for the first time ever.
We were trailing by 14 points in the second half before we battled back to cut their lead to two. With the clock running down, my freshman teammate Janee Thompson hit a huge three-pointer to put us ahead, 48-47, with 8.4 seconds left. On the last play, Louisville had a chance to win the game but Azia Bishop stepped up and blocked the final shot as time ran out to give us the win.
It was an unbelievable finish, and the first time we have won in Louisville since 1999! Getting the win in the KFC Yum! Center with 15,000-plus Cardinal fans rooting against us made it that much sweeter, and it was so cool to celebrate with my team after the game.
We returned home to prepare for DePaul, who we would be facing five days later. Every year we have a “Pack the House” game where we play in the 23,000-seat Rupp Arena (UK men’s basketball arena) and DePaul was our opponent this season.
The night was amazing! Our fans brought their A-game that evening by breaking the school record of 18,488 fans. The crowd was electric and they had our back every shot. We got another win that night and then just two days later, another win against a tough Middle Tennessee team.
I’m excited where our program is headed. On Sunday, we will be heading to California for a week where we will play Pepperdine and UC Santa Barbara. I’m really looking forward to being in some warm weather and hanging out in southern California with my teammates.
Two of our players, DeNesha Stallworth and Brittany Henderson, are from California, so it will be cool to play in front of their friends and family. If we take care of business on the court, I think we are going to get to do some fun things while we are there. I can’t wait! Well, that’s the update on UK Hoops. I hope everyone is doing well and thanks for tuning in again. I will check back in a few weeks down the road as SEC play starts up.
Have a safe and Happy Holiday!