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Kentucky Has Bounced Back Before and Can Do It Again

Grant Grubbs03/06/21

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Article written by:On3 imageGrant Grubbs

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Not every team can come back stronger the next game after a demoralizing loss. But then again, not every team is the Kentucky Wildcats. After falling to Georgia in only the quarterfinals of the Southeastern Conference Tournament on Friday, Kentucky is hurting. Despite a couple solid individual performances, it seemed as if Georgia outplayed Kentucky in every aspect of team basketball. Kentucky may be hurt, but they’re not done. In fact, this team will be more hungry than ever heading into the NCAA Tournament. Here’s what head coach Kyra Elzy had to say about turning the loss into motivation after the game. “We’ll definitely be motivated,” Elzy said. “We have to learn from this and we still have games left to play. We will be an NCAA Tournament team and we just got to get better from here.” Certainly a positive mindset after such a negative outcome. But that’s exactly the kind of leadership this team needs right now. This isn’t the first upsetting loss for the Wildcats this season. If Kentucky’s rollercoaster of a season has taught them anything, it’s how to get back up after a fall. In all but one game this season, Kentucky has won their next contest after a loss. The one time they didn’t? They faced top-10 programs, South Carolina and Texas A&M, back-to-back. This team is battle-tested, to say the least. The ‘Cats have faced off against an astounding 11 top-25 matchups this season. They’ve won five of them. This season it’s seemed as if the Wildcats have been stuck in a pinball machine of wins and losses, bouncing all over the place. The Wildcats are unpredictable but talented. What this team needed more than anything was a chip on their shoulder heading into the tournament. Now they have it. Coach Elzy isn’t the only one ready to use this newfound motivation, either. Rhyne Howard gave her thoughts on turning the loss into something positive after the game, as well. "It's definitely always some motivation that can come from anywhere, but this is motivation," Howard said. "We knew that we were going to have to win this game and we should have won this game, in my opinion. But we know we're a better team than what we showed today, so we're going to prove it next time we step on the court." A scary message sent out to any teams that end up opposing the Wildcats later this month. Howard surely won’t be the only one with a fire in her stomach to prove Kentucky is better than what they showed. The second leading scorer for the ‘Cats, Chasity Patterson, was nowhere to be found for the vast majority of the SEC Tournament. Scoring a total 17 points in the tournament, 11 of them coming in the third quarter against Georgia. Furthermore, Dre’Una Edwards averaged a mere four points per game in the tournament, while averaging nine points per game on the season. The Wildcats have a lot to prove. Georgia may have been the higher seed in the SEC Tournament, but Kentucky surely didn’t feel that the Bulldogs were the better team. With an extended period of time before their next game and a newfound drive pushing them, anything is possible for the Wildcats. Unfortunately for them, however, they’ll have to let the passion boil inside of them while they wait for their next chance.

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2022-10-03