No. 10 Kentucky 90, Mississippi 65
OXFORD, Miss. (AP)
Kentucky coach Matthew Mitchell reached a milestone in his home state.
A'Dia Mathies scored 20 points and No. 10 Kentucky routed Mississippi 90-65 on Thursday night as Mitchell tied the school record for victories.
''It's certainly has been an incredible effort from so, so many people,'' Mitchell said. ''My name is on the wins but it just wouldn't happen. ... the players are the people who really get the job done. I'm just so fortunate to be at Kentucky. It's really, really special and I hope we have a lot of wins in our future here at Kentucky.''
Mitchell, a native of Louisville, Miss., tied Terry Hall (1980-87) as Kentucky's winningest women's basketball coach with 138 victories. Mitchell will get a chance to break the record Sunday against No. 8 Tennessee.
Kentucky (24-4, 12-3 SEC) dominated Ole Miss (9-19, 2-13) the Lady Rebels on the boards and turned a season-high 57 rebounds - Ole Miss had 38 - into 21 second-chance points.
''I thought we had an energetic performance and I thought that we were really able to wear Ole Miss down,'' Mitchell said. ''It was real tough on Ole Miss to get anything going until the game was really out of reach. Those kids played real hard tonight but I just thought our energy was just too much for them to handle.''
Janee Thompson added 11 points for the Wildcats and Bria Goss chipped in 10.
Tia Faleru had 14 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Lady Rebels and Danielle McCray had 12.
During his six years at Kentucky, Mitchell has been particularly tough on his home state's two Southeastern Conference schools, compiling a 12-2 record against Ole Miss and Mississippi State, his alma mater.
Thursday's victory was Kentucky's fourth consecutive win against the Rebels.
Kentucky entered the game with a league-best plus-20.6 scoring margin. The Wildcats nearly matched that in the first half, building a 37-18 lead.
Kentucky's pressure defense led to 21 Ole Miss turnovers, which the Wildcats turned into 23 points.
Samarie Walker did a little bit of everything for the Wildcats with 13 rebound, nine points, two blocks and two steals in 19 minutes.
Eleven players got into the game for Kentucky at played at least 12 minutes.
''I think it was great that everybody was able to get into the fire tonight and get some game experience because just the ability to call on talented players at important times, and they have this experience fresh in their mind, I think that's great,'' Mitchell said.
Valencia McFarland, Ole Miss' leading scorer, averaging 11.4 points per game, was held to just six points.
''I thought we did a super job against McFarland. She is a dynamic and explosive player,'' Mitchell said. ''She can do a lot of things. She can create off the dribble and has a lot of talent.''
Ole Miss seniors Courtney Marbra and Maggie McFerrin were honored before their last home game.
Marbra fouled out with 6:08 remaining after scoring five points, with three rebounds and a team-high two blocks in 15 minutes. McFerrin scored three points in her lone start of the season.
Ole Miss coach Brett Frank credited to the two for helping lead the team through a trying season.
''It obviously starts with our seniors. They're our leaders and our captains and our stabilizing force of this program,'' he said. ''This program was in a position where the team and players could have gone in a variety of directions and I feel like the leadership they provided kept everybody motivated, encouraged and really bought in to going from being teammates to being sisters.''
Because of self-imposed sanctions, which include a post-season ban, Ole Miss' season ends Sunday at Arkansas.