LOUISVILLE (AP) - Authorities say a pedestrian was struck by a van and killed in a Louisville neighborhood.
WAVE-TV reports 40-year-old Felecia Burton of Lexington was struck by a van around 4:30 a.m. on Sunday in Okolona. Her friends told police that they had just left a bar and that Burton staggered into the roadway before being hit. Officials say alcohol may have been a factor.
Burton was pronounced dead at the scene from blunt force trauma.
Authorities say they don't expect any charges to be filed against the van's driver, who has not been identified.
Louisville Police Department spokeswoman Carey Klain said the area was dark and that the driver of the van could not see the woman.
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A Montgomery County woman made a scary discovery when she was visiting her mother Friday evening. She found a bullet hole in the kitchen window.
It was a loud noise that woke Javota Treadway up after she had fallen asleep in the living room.
"Like magnets will hit a dart board something like that real loud like two or three of them now that's what it sounded like," Treadway said.
She was home alone Thursday evening but says it was loud enough to cause a commotion, scaring both her and her cat.
"I didn't know if something had just fell and broke in the kitchen or what, but then when I got up later I didn't see anything," Treadway told LEX 18.
It wasn't until a day later when Treadway's daughter came to check on her and realized a bullet hole in the kitchen window. "It was a good thing I wasn't standing there washing dishes," said Treadway.
They immediately called the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office. She says they spent much of the evening searching both inside and outside the home trying to find anything that would resemble a shell casing.
"The sheriff looked but didn't find anything but he said it looked like a bb gun to him," she said.
Regardless if it was or not, she says she knows most of her neighbors and doesn't know who would do something like that. Treadway's lived in the area for many years and says it's always been very quiet.
A Lexington church is taking a lot of heat after one of its members dressed in blackface for an event at the church. Now, the pastor of Clays Mill Road Baptist Church is apologizing.
When this boxing skit hit YouTube Friday it showed Lexington Assistant Pastor Joseph Pickens dressed in blackface. Much of the feedback was not positive.
"They said, 'What are you doing with blackface?' And I really didn't know what they were talking about to be honest," said pastor Jeff Fugate.
Fugate says he watched Pickens perform in blackface twice this week and didn't have a second thought until he started receiving emails about it.
"I'm not trying to be ignorant, but I guess I am," he said.
The boxing skit at the church youth conference was supposed to teach teens an inspiring lesson and make them laugh, says Fugate. Many viewers didn't think it was funny and commented saying, "this is so cringy, it makes me embarrassed to be human," and "this is why the rest of the country hates you, Kentucky."
Pickens did not comment. Fugate says the church accidentally sent the wrong message.
"I'm not a racist, and I sure am sorry if I've offended you or anybody," Fugate said.
The pastor also adds the church wants to show that it is welcoming to all races, and says the black members of the church have not had anything negative to say about the skit.
2014 Ohio Valley Conference Men's Basketball Championship Game 7 - Finals - #3 Eastern Kentucky 79, #1 Belmont 73 March 8, 2014 - Municipal Auditorium (Nashville, Tenn.) Post-Game Quotes Eastern Kentucky head coach Jeff Neubauer "For me, the most rewarding part of this and it's not even close - it's just watching these guys celebrate. Feeling Glenn Cosey's emotion right now and how excited he is but not just Glenn all 15 of our players. There are 12 teams in the OVC that work for this opportunity to be the one team to go the NCAA Tournament and to end up on top at the end is an amazing feeling especially when you've spent so much time with these young men." On going to the NCAA Tournament "In these last two and a half weeks of the season, my focus was to coach for these seniors and just to get them to have the opportunity to get to experience what they're going to experience right now - this media room, celebrating cutting down the nets and then everything that goes with playing in the NCAA Tournament. Not that I don't love Corey Walden and all the other guys on this team but my focus was on coaching for these seniors. They're going to enjoy every minute of this. I'm going to make sure of it. So maybe that's one thing that maybe I'm more aware of right now is that the seniors had one chance here this year to get this done and they did it." Eastern Kentucky junior Corey Walden On Belmont having more rest "I think it just comes down to toughness. We knew that we would have to play one game more but we didn't let us affect us. We just wanted to come out and play hard basketball." On if it felt like EKU was ever in trouble "No, we didn't. We just stayed with it. We knew that they would make a run but we just had to control their run and just play good defense and stay in it." Eastern Kentucky senior Glenn Cosey On going to the NCAA Tournament "It feels great. I'm super excited right now." Belmont Head Coach Rick Byrd "Well, I was really concerned about this game...I watched our last game with them and we won by three, but we were up by 20 at halftime and they really handled us in the second half. I knew it was going to be tough. In fact, we were really able to move the ball and get higher quality shots than I was concerned that we could get. We just didn't have a good shooting day and they did...I don't think we played poorly. We just didn't shoot the ball like this team needs to in order to win big games...and they did shoot the ball well. I thought they played really well...Jeff does a terrific job and I think they have more guys on the floor doing what their coach asks them to do than anybody that we play, conference or otherwise. I've said that for two years after trying to play those guys and figure out a way to beat them. So, I'm happy for him...he's a good guy...and for their team, and disappointed for ours." On falling behind 17-2 to open the game "Well, I'd rather be the team that was down 17-2 and tied it at 52 than the team that was up 17-2 and then tied. I don't think took any more out of us...They were the team playing their third game in three days. I liked our chances when we caught up, and give them credit for making some big plays. They made four or five...really late...tough, contested threepointers at the shot clock buzzer. They deserve a lot of credit, and I think they are good enough to make a tough night for somebody in the NCAA Tournament." On Eastern Kentucky's experience and senior leadership "They were picked No. 1 in this conference for a reason...they had the best experience players in this league back. I thought they were just as good, a year ago, as us and Murray State, and they had everybody back. I'm still proud that we were able to finish ahead of them in the regular season because I think they are a really, really good team...and they deserved to be picked to win." Belmont Senior J.J. Mann "We fought back and tied it up at 54, I think, and it was a really good comeback. Then, I think they went on a quick 8-0 run. Cosey and Walden both hit big three's, and we had a couple bad turnovers that led to that...that late in the game, it cost us." Belmont Junior Reece Chamberlain "You have to give credit to them. They came out ready to play and we were ready to play...to start the game, we missed some open shots and they were able to hit them. They got off to the hot start."
Post-Game Notes Eastern Kentucky improves to 24-9 on the year and wins the school's sixth title and first since 2007.
The Colonels are now 38-33 all-time in the OVC Tournament.
EKU is also now 7-4 all-time as the No. 3 seed in the OVC Tournament. The Colonels are also 7-19 against higher seeded teams since seeding began in 1975.
The Colonels improve to 7-7 in OVC Tournament games under head coach Jeff Neubauer and 5-9 in tournament games played in Nashville Municipal Auditorium.
EKU entered the contest just 1-8 all-time against the No. 1 seed in the OVC Tournament since 1975. Its other victory came over Austin Peay in the 2007 championship game.
EKU snapped a nine-game conference tournament win streak for Belmont. The Bruins are now 3-1 all-time in the OVC Tournament and 19-3 in conference tournament games since 2006.
Belmont had previously won three straight conference tournament championships - winning the 2011 and 2012 Atlantic Sun Tournament and the 2013 OVC Tournament Championship.
EKU extends its season-best winning streak to seven games while Belmont had a seven-game win streak snapped.
Belmont now leads the all-time series 4-3 after winning the only regular season matchup between the two teams 84-81 at home.
Belmont senior J.J. Mann finished with 18 points, marking the 71st time he has scored in double figures in his career.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Corey Walden celebrated by draping a net around his neck and hanging a piece of string over each ear. Senior guard Glenn Cosey had a quick quip for Jeff Neubauer as the Eastern Kentucky coach walked in to talk with reporters.
"Welcome to the winner's circle, coach," Cosey said.
Well, Neubauer has been here before, and now he has Eastern Kentucky back here again.
Walden scored 22 of his career-high 29 points in the second half to help Eastern Kentucky upset top-seeded Belmont 79-73 Saturday night for the Ohio Valley Conference tournament championship and an NCAA tournament berth.
The Colonels (24-9) won their seventh straight game - and third in as many nights - in clinching their first OVC tournament title since 2007 and their eighth trip to the NCAAs overall. Neubauer was in his second season with that 2007 team and appreciates this visit even more with six seniors.
"There are 12 teams in the OVC that work for this opportunity," Neubauer said. "To be the one team to go to the NCAA tournament to end up on top at the end, it's an amazing feeling, especially when you've spent so much time with these young men."
Cosey added 23 points for Eastern Kentucky. Tarius Johnson had 15 before fouling out.
Belmont (24-9) failed to add its second consecutive tournament title to its regular-season championship and will miss the NCAA tournament for just the third time in the past nine years and first since 2010. Coach Rick Byrd said that stinks, though he knows it's a great feeling for the Colonels.
"When you get a taste of it and been fortunate to get as many trips as we've had, there's nothing like it," Byrd said. "J.J. (Mann) and Blake (Jenkins) would've had the most incredible record of all time to win all regular-season titles and all-tournament championships in a career, and seven out of eight's not bad."
Mann, the OVC player of the year, led Belmont with 18 points. Evan Bradds and Drew Windler each added 14, and Reece Chamberlain had 11.
Eastern Kentucky never trailed, and Belmont tied it up only twice with the last time at 54. The Colonels scored the next eight points and finished the game hitting 9 of 10 at the free throw line in the final 1:16.
Belmont had cruised through a season in which it won at North Carolina in November and went 14-2 in league play. The Bruins came into the final having won seven straight and 12 of their last 13.
But Eastern Kentucky jumped on the Bruins from the start in the Colonels' third game in as many nights, scoring 17 of the first 19 points. The Colonels hit six of seven shots with five beyond the arc, and Marcus Lewis became the fourth different player to knock down a 3 to put Eastern Kentucky up 17-2 with 14:08 left.
"That's the start we needed so Belmont was trying to chase us," Neubauer said.
They wound up hitting 11 of 22 3-pointers and shot 51.1 percent overall while holding Belmont to 46 percent.
"It just comes down to toughness," Walden said. "We knew we would have to play one more game. We didn't let it affect us. We just wanted to come out and play hard basketball."
Belmont didn't score until Craig Bradshaw threw down a dunk with 16:20 to go, and Mann didn't score until a 3-pointer with 12:59 remaining. Eastern Kentucky led 36-28 at halftime.
Walden scored the first 10 points of the second half as the Bruins worked to make a game of it. Belmont reeled off seven straight points keyed by a pair of steals by Mann, finishing off the second with a layup to pull the Bruins within 41-35.
They finally tied it up at 52 with a 7-1 spurt capped by two free throws by Chamberlain. Eric Stutz hit two free throws for Eastern Kentucky, and Bradds tied it for the last time at 54 with a layup for the Bruins.
"We knew they would make a run," Walden said. "We just had to control their run."
Then Cosey put Eastern Kentucky ahead to stay with a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 5:28 to go. Johnson added two free throws, then Walden knocked down a 3 for a 62-54 lead with 4:28 left. When Mann hit a 3 to pull Belmont within 63-59, Cosey hit another 3 with 1:35 to go, padding the Colonels' lead.
LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles Athletic Club today has selected Kentucky freshman Julius Randle as one of 15 finalists for the 2014 John R. Wooden Award presented by Wendy's.
For the season, Randle has hauled in 324 rebounds which stand as the fourth most in UK freshman history. He has also poured in a team-high 477 points on the year. The 477 points are sixth among UK freshmen in the record books.
The forward's 18 double-doubles is tied for 13th most in a single-season in NCAA history for a freshman. He now ranks seventh among any UK player in program history and third among all UK freshmen behind DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis who both notched 20 during their freshman campaigns.
The Dallas, Texas, native is currently leading the Wildcats with 15.4 points per game and 10.5 rebounds per outing.
Selected by the Wooden Award National Advisory Board, the ballot is made up of 15 student-athletes who are the eligible for college basketball's most prestigious honor. All balloted players have proven to their universities that they are making progress toward graduation and are maintaining at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA.
The Wooden Award All American Team, consisting of the nation's top 10 players, will be announced the week of the "Elite Eight" round of the NCAA Tournament after voting by nearly 1,000 media members from March 12 through 24 and through the Fan Voting site (www.woodenawardvote.com) sponsored by Wendy's. The John R. Wooden Award Player of the Year presented by Wendy's will be announced on ESPN during the Final Four Weekend in Dallas, Texas. The 38th annual Wooden Award Gala presented by Wendy's will honor the male and female Wooden Award winners, and will include the presentation of the Wooden Award All American Teams and the Legends of Coaching Award, this year given to Stanford Head Women's Basketball Coach Tara VanDerveer. The Gala will take place the weekend of April 11-12, 2014 at The Los Angeles Athletic Club.
There are a lot more bald men in Lincoln County Saturday evening. Hundreds rallied around a Lincoln County Sheriff's Department employee who is battling cancer.
It may have looked like a barbershop, but it's not. As a matter of fact, the men aren't even barbers. But men were lined up Saturday afternoon to get their heads shaved.
"I am going to have a bunch of deputies with bald heads," said Lincoln County Sheriff Curt Folger.
The show of support was all for a good cause.
"I was diagnosed on the 15th of February with brain and lung cancer," said Donna Sheron, deputy clerk for the Lincoln County Sheriff's Department. Sheron's battle against cancer isn't one she is going to have to fight alone.
"I told her you aren't going to be by yourself when you lose your hair, we are going to lose our hair with you," said Sheriff Folger.
A state trooper came up with the idea just a few days ago and it spread like wildfire. All of the sudden, fish and wildlife officers, firefighters, jail employees, social workers, the sheriff's department and even some of the general public were all ready to get new haircuts. All of the donations combined with the money raised during a silent auction will go to Sheron as she continues her treatment.
"My prognosis is I'm thinking my God is going to take care of this, he has it under control and we are going to go with it," she said.
And she is going to now have a bunch of bald men standing beside her along the way.
"And i am going to love everyone one of them and rub all of their heads," Sheron said.
Kentucky Basketball Postgame Notes #1/1 Florida 84, #25/24 Kentucky 65 March 8, 2014 Stephen O'Connell Center - Gainesville, Fla.
Team Records, Notes
· Kentucky falls to 22-9, and 12-6 in conference, while Florida improves to 29-2, and 18-0 in Southeastern Conference action.
· Kentucky still leads the series 94-36 including a 33-24 record when the game is played in Gainesville.
· Today's contest concludes the 2013-14 regular season. UK has clinched the No. 2 seed in the SEC Tournament scheduled to begin on Wednesday, March 12 in Atlanta, Ga. UK has a double-bye and will not play until 7 p.m. ET on Friday, March 14.
· Kentucky is now 6-14 all-time against teams owning the Associated Press' No. 1 ranking. UK is 1-2 when Florida is the nation's top-ranked squad.
· Today's attendance was 12,604.
· Kentucky's starting lineup was sophomore Willie Cauley-Stein and freshmen Aaron Harrison, Andrew Harrison, Julius Randle and James Young. UK previously used that lineup for the first three games of the season and again for a 13 game stretch in the middle of the season. UK is 11-6 with that lineup as the starters.
· Alex Poythress was the first sub off the bench for UK. It was his team-leading 17th time this season as the team's first substitution.
· Young hit a 3-pointer at the 17:50 mark in the opening half to extend UK's 3-streak to 891 consecutive games. It is the third largest streak in the country.
· UK trailed 49-28 at halftime. It is the largest halftime deficit of the season for UK. The Wildcats are 4-7 overall and 2-5 in conference this season when trailing at the break.
· Florida's 59.6 field goal percentage and 60 percent from behind the arc marks the best shooting performance by a UK opponent this year.
First Half Facts
· A 5-0 spurt in between media timeouts gave the Gators a 17-8 advantage into the second media break with 11:46 remaining in the opening half.
· Trailing 44-22, it marked the largest deficit the Cats have faced this season.
Second Half Facts
· A 15-0 run by Kentucky brought the game all the way back to a two possession contest on a hook shot from Dakari Johnson to make the score 53-47 with just over 12 minutes to play. The run tied the most consecutive points scored by the Wildcats this season.
· Leading 72-60 with 3:49 to play in the game, Florida scored seven consecutive points to pull away and take a 19-point lead with 1:45 remaining.
· Andrew Harrison tallied eight points and five assists.
o Logged a career-high three steals.
o Had four assists before halftime.
o Dished out five assists, his most assists in a game since Feb. 4, vs. Ole Miss and seventh consecutive game with at least three assists.
· Dakari Johnson recorded nine points and five rebounds.
o Has scored at least eight points in each of the last three games.
· Julius Randle led Kentucky with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
o Notched his team-leading 26th double-figure scoring effort of the year.
o Logged his 18th double-double of the season. He has seven in the last eight games.
· James Young knocked down three 3s in the first half.
o Posted his 22nd double-figure scoring effort of the season.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) - Patric Young scored 18 points in his final home game and No. 1 Florida routed 25th-ranked Kentucky 84-65 on Saturday, becoming the first team in Southeastern Conference history to go 18-0 in league play.
Fellow seniors Casey Prather (15) and Scottie Wilbekin (13) also reached double figures for the Gators (29-2, 18-0), who have won 23 straight and 32 in a row at home.
Coach Billy Donovan called timeout with 36.9 seconds remaining to get his four seniors another standing ovation.
They certainly deserved this one.
Young, Prather, Wilbekin and fellow starter Will Yeguete have now won 113 games in four seasons, four shy of tying the school record held by Walter Hodge.
The latest one seemed a lock early but was in doubt for a while in the second half.
Julius Randle, who had his right knee treated during the first half, led the Wildcats (22-9, 12-6) with 16 points and 10 rebounds. James Young added 14 points, and Aaron Harrison chipped in 10.
With Florida's ranking, the finale for four popular seniors, history at stake and the opponent, it was the biggest home game in school history. Single tickets to the nationally televised matchup were going for as much as $500 on the street, and there even was a successful marriage proposal on the court beforehand.
The Gators delivered, especially early.
Florida made 14 of its first 21 shots. Young, who scored 14 points in the first half, did most of the damage inside. Michael Frazier II, who made a school-record 11 3-pointers Tuesday at South Carolina, got hot again from outside.
Frazier's consecutive 3s pushed the lead to 19 and had the O'Dome rocking.
The Gators were up 22 after Dorian Finney-Smith's third 3 of the half and led 49-28 at the break.
But Kentucky coach John Calipari must have delivered some kind of halftime speech. The Wildcats opened the second half by pounding the ball inside, getting Randle more involved.
Kentucky used a 15-0 run to cut the lead to 53-47, quieting the arena and giving the Wildcats confidence they could pull off the upset.
But Wilbekin responded with a huge 3 with 12 minutes remaining. Prather followed with several driving layups, none bigger than the one that turned into a three-point play and pushed the lead back to 17.
Florida coasted from there, and shortly after the final horn, Young announced to the crowd that they would cut down the nets. The Gators opted not to do that after they clinched the SEC regular-season title last week, but wanted to do it Saturday.
It was a fitting end to what was an emotional day for the seniors, who have national title expectations.
They were honored at midcourt before the game and presented with framed jerseys. They had to notice the sign that read, "Hey Kentucky, this is what Senior Day looks like."
They topped the first celebration with the net-cutting ceremony.
The conference played an 18-game conference schedule from 1967 through 1991, and then expanded the league slate last season with the addition of Missouri and Texas A&M. Only two SEC schools have managed a 17-1 mark: Kentucky accomplished the feat twice (1970, 1986), and LSU did it in 1981.
THE MODERATOR: We'll start with an opening comment from Coach Mitchell and then open it up for questions.
COACH MITCHELL: Really proud of our players today. They just played a tremendous game against a very, very good team. South Carolina is an outstanding team. Very well-coached. They have great players.
You had to play well in this game, and our players did. So real proud of them. We're excited to be in the championship tomorrow. Intend on getting prepared to win it.
THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. Can you talk about the 12-2 start to the game, how important that was.
COACH MITCHELL: Well, I just thought the players really listened to what our plan was, and that was to be in attack mode all day. That was the word that we wanted to rule the day for us. Don't worry about the outcome, the result, just get in attack mentality and stay there.
I thought you saw a heavy dose of that early in the game. We were able to sustain it for 40 minutes. It was really impressive. I'm extremely proud of the players. This is a great effort.
Q. Coach, talk about the way you took care of the basketball today. Only four turnovers.
COACH MITCHELL: They just did a really nice job of keeping their poise. We probably had more poise and patience today than I've seen in a long time. We didn't have that in Lexington. We had a lot of quick shots, South Carolina really put it to us. That was the key to the game.
It's just a different way for us to get the turnover margin where we wanted it. We took care of it. We turned them over 16 times, took care of it. That plus 11 in turnover margin, you're in pretty good shape in a game if you can get that.
Q. You've won seven of the last eight. What does this say about your team since that 5-5 start?
COACH MITCHELL: It says a whole lot. It says a lot about what kind of kids they are, what kind of character they truly have. I've said it many times. We could have gone several different ways than the way we've gone.
So I'm really, really happy about today. But I do want to stay focused on what we came down here to do, and that's to win the championship.
I think no matter what happens tomorrow, they've done an outstanding job of pulling it together in difficult circumstances when things weren't going how any of us had planned.
I would really be happy for them if they can prepare and finish the job tomorrow.
Q. DeNesha, the rebounding margin in Lexington, you called it embarrassing at one point. What kind of motivation did you walk into this game?
DeNESHA STALLWORTH: A lot of motivation. We knew that the way we performed in Lexington was not our best. We just wanted to leave it all out there, no regrets, no matter the outcome.
Every single one of us, we left it out there. All credit to my team because we did a fantastic job.
Q. There was a moment late in the second half when you were crouched on the sidelines almost in a prayerful pose. What was going through your mind? Can you speak to Linnae's performance off the bench tonight.
COACH MITCHELL: I was in deep prayer at the time. I can't share with you why I was in deep prayer, but I was in deep prayer at the time, trying to get myself ready to coach those final minutes.
It was a tough call. The officials really worked hard today. It was a very physical game. So I was just really wanting to win so bad. At that point in time I was just trying to, you know, clear my mind of any upset feelings that I had about a call or whatever was going on. I really tried to get to where I could coach the last couple minutes there.
Linnae was really, really tough today. She really played with poise. The two freshmen have come so far with their defense. I thought she was a really good defender today. I was really proud of her defense. She just played a terrific game.
You know, I thought she was sort of a great example of the entire team. We played with a tremendous amount of poise and toughness. We got down to the last seconds of shot clocks a few times and made buckets. So it was a terrific performance. I was real proud of Linnae today. She played a great game.
Q. I don't want to put you on the spot, but is that something you do often, turn to prayer during a game?
COACH MITCHELL: Yeah, as a matter of fact it is something I do often.
Q. Linnae, can you talk about your mindset today.
LINNAE HARPER: Really our coach, he just made big emphasis on attacking the zone. I think that was my whole mindset, to attack the entire game. I just took what the defense gave me and attacked the whole game.
Q. Y'all didn't let them any closer than eight points from about 6:47 in the first half on. Talk about that.
DeNESHA STALLWORTH: We wanted it. I mean, at the end of the day we just wanted to win. We knew that we couldn't, you know, have them come close. We tried to answer back and play incredible defense even if they scored. Just get it back on offense. Like Linnae said, stay in attack mode. They couldn't stop us when we were in full force.
Q. What kind of benefit does your team derive from the fact that either opponent you play tomorrow you've beaten on their home court the last month of the season?
COACH MITCHELL: I don't know how much we'll even talk about that. I think what we've done a nice job in the first two rounds is understanding what we needed to do to be successful in the game.
Whoever the opponent is, we'll figure out what we need to do to be successful in that game, and we'll just focus on tomorrow.
I told the players today, Don't spend any time in the past today, and don't worry about the future either. Just stay right squarely focused on the play in front of you. They did that today. That's what we'll need to do tomorrow, no matter who we play.
Q. Linnae, last time y'all played South Carolina, you only played five minutes. Today you played 27 minutes. Do you think being able to sit back on the bench and watch the South Carolina playing style helped you today?
LINNAE HARPER: Yeah, I think it helped a lot. Just watching from the side, seeing how they play, their defense, it was an advantage to me for today's game.
UK Hoops Postgame Notes The Arena at Gwinnet Center
March 8, 2014
Final Score: No. 12/13 Kentucky - 68, No. 5/7 South Carolina - 58
Team Records and Series Notes
UK improved to 24-7 overall this season and has now won five straight. Kentucky's all-time record is 710-484 (.595) in 40 seasons of varsity basketball. The Wildcats are 29-35 all-time in the SEC Tournament. Mitchell is in his seventh season as the head coach of the Wildcats and owns a record of 168-69 at UK. Overall, Mitchell is 198-98 in nine seasons. He already ranks first on UK's all-time wins list with 168 and winning percentage (.709). Mitchell is now 10-6 in the SEC Tournament. UK is 32-21 all-time vs. South Carolina, including a 2-0 mark vs. the Gamecocks in the SEC Tournament. UK fell to the Gamecocks in both regular-season matchups. The Wildcats have advanced to the SEC Tournament Championship game for the fourth time in the last five seasons and second straight. The win marks the first in school history over a No. 1 seed in the SEC Tournament. UK was 0-6 entering today's game. UK is looking for its first SEC Tournament Championship since 1982. Kentucky is 6-3 vs. ranked opponents this season, including 4-3 vs. teams ranked in the top 10. Marked UK's largest margin of victory over a higher ranked team since defeating No. 8 Tennessee last season in Lexington, 78-65. Next up: The Wildcats will face the winner of Tennessee and Texas A&M in the SEC Tournament Championship game on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN. Team/Game Notes
UK started with the lineup of Janee Thompson, Kastine Evans, Bria Goss, DeNesha Stallworth and Samarie Walker. Kentucky is 17-4 this season when using this starting lineup. UK led at the half, 37-29, and is now 20-2 this season when leading at the half. UK has hit a 3-pointer in 359 consecutive games. The Wildcats have forced double-digit turnovers in 183 consecutive games. Kentucky only committed five turnovers in the game, marking the lowest this season and the lowest in the Matthew Mitchell era. The Cats are 67-40 overall in close games (games decided by 10 points or less), including an 11-6 mark this season. UK's last five games have been decided by 10 or less. UK's freshmen, Makayla Epps and Linnae Harper, came off the bench and combined for 22 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Individual Notes
Junior Bria Goss finished with a team-high 14 points, marking her 16th game of the season and fourth straight game with 10 or more points. Senior DeNesha Stallworth finished with 12 points. Scored 10 or more points in 17 games this season, including eight of her last nine games. Freshman Linnae Harper scored 12 points off the bench. Marks her 11th game of the season in double digits. Freshman Makayla Epps tallied 10 points off the bench for her fifth double-figure scoring game of the season. Junior Azia Bishop came off the bench and recorded a season-high three steals.
DULUTH, Ga. (AP) - Bria Goss scored 14 points and No. 12 Kentucky upset No. 5 South Carolina 68-58 Saturday to advance to the Southeastern Conference tournament championship game.
DeNesha Stallworth and Linnae Harper each had 12 points for Kentucky (24-7), which will play Sunday in its fourth SEC tournament final in the last five years. The Wildcats won their only title in 1982.
South Carolina (27-4), the SEC regular-season champion, had 16 turnovers, most coming in the first 10 minutes. The Gamecocks were playing in only their second semifinal, following an appearance in 2012.
The Gamecocks scored the game's first points on a basket by Elem Ibiam, who had 16 points. Kentucky scored the next 12 points and never lost the lead.
South Carolina's Tiffany Mitchell, selected by coaches as the SEC player of the year, had 11 points while making only 4 of 12 shots.
Kentucky took its second straight SEC tournament win over a team that swept the Wildcats in the regular season. Kentucky beat Florida in the quarterfinals.
The Gamecocks battled turnovers and cold shooting during Kentucky's early 12-0 run.
Ibiam, the 6-foot-4 center, ended South Carolina's 7-minute scoring drought with an inside basket, but the Gamecocks' struggles kept coming. When Epps scored to give Kentucky a 19-11 lead, South Carolina's 11 turnovers matched its points.
Bria Goss sank back-to-back 3-pointers to give Kentucky its big lead of the half at 33-20. Ibiam had 12 points in the half, including South Carolina's last three baskets before the break, to trail 37-29.
Kentucky again stretched its lead to 13 points in the second half. South Carolina never made a serious surge, pulling no closer than eight points in the final 20 minutes.
Trailing by 12 points, South Carolina coach Dawn Staley pulled her starters with 1:16 remaining.
Aleighsa Welch had 12 points for South Carolina, and Makayla Epps added 10 points for Kentucky.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Corey Walden scored 5 of his 24 points down the stretch as No. 3 seed Eastern Kentucky held on to defeat second-seeded Murray State 86-83 in an Ohio Valley semifinal Friday night.
Eastern Kentucky (23-9) will play top-seeded Belmont (24-8) in the championship game on Saturday.
Orlando Williams scored to give EKU a 66-55 lead with 10:18 remaining before T.J. Sapp hit a 3-pointer for Murray State to tie it at 79 with 1:33 left. Walden answered with five straight points and Glenn Cosey made two of four free throw attempts to make it 86-83 with 18 seconds left. Murray State's Jeffery Moss and Cameron Payne each missed 3-pointers to end the game.
Walden was 9 of 14 from the field and had six steals. Cosey finished with 17 points.
Payne scored 24 points and Moss added 18 for Murray State (18-11).
NASHVILLE -- The Belmont men's basketball team knocked down 53 percent from the field on its way to an 86-63 win over Morehead State on Friday night in the semifinals of the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament at Municipal Auditorium.
The top-seeded Bruins, who have won 12 of their last 13 games, improve to 24-8 on the season. The fourth-seeded Eagles, who have dropped four of their last five, slip to 20-13 overall. BU ends up winning all three contests in the season series.
Belmont advances to the championship game of the conference tournament, which is slated for Saturday at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN2. The Bruins will square off with the winner of second-seeded Murray State and third-seeded Eastern Kentucky.
Belmont has won 20-or-more games in nine of the last 11 seasons and been to postseason play eight of the last 10 years. The defending tournament-champion Bruins have enjoyed NCAA Tournament berths in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012 and 2013.
"Belmont is a terrific basketball team with a really good coach," Head Coach Sean Woods said. "They earned a double bye in this year's tournament, which made them fresh tonight. They were prepared, followed their script and made shots."
The Bruins connected on 27-of-51 from the floor, including 16-of-27 (59 percent) in the second period. Belmont drilled 11-of-24 (46 percent) from three-point range for the night and limited MSU to 3-of-17, which translated to 24 more points.
BU posted advantages of 22-10 in assists, 13-0 in fast-break points, 21-10 in points off turnovers, 28-24 in paint points, 28-18 in bench points and 32-31 in the rebounding department. The Eagles were outrebounded for just the second time all season.
The league's Player of the Year, senior J.J. Mann, paced Belmont with 16 points. Four other Bruins tallied double figures in scoring, while senior Blake Jenkins collected six rebounds and junior Reece Chamberlain was credited with eight assists.
"Belmont is one of the nation's best shooting teams," Woods said. "They can score with just about anyone in the country. I didn't think we played particularly well, but you have to give their players a lot of credit. They dictated everything tonight."
Junior Angelo Warner and sophomore Brent Arrington led MSU with 15 points, four rebounds and three assists apiece. Senior Chad Posthumus, who has ranked in the top five nationally all season, pulled down a game-best eight boards for the Eagles.
Belmont opened up a 10-point advantage by intermission and pushed it to a game-high 31 points with 3:24 remaining. The Bruins manufactured a 12-2 spurt after the contest was tied at 14. BU then recorded 51 points in the second half to pull away.
The game was televised by ESPNU. It was MSU's sixth national-TV appearance this season.
"The future continues to be bright for Morehead State men's basketball," Woods added. "We didn't have enough veterans playing at a high level tonight to beat a really good Belmont squad, but I expect we will be in that position before too long."
DULUTH, Ga. - The No. 12/13 Kentucky women's basketball team is one game away from advancing to its fourth Southeastern Conference Tournament championship game in the last five years. Standing in Kentucky's way is the top-seeded and No. 5/7 South Carolina Gamecocks. The two teams will face off Saturday at Noon EST in the SEC Tournament semifinals at The Arena at Gwinnett Center, with a bid to the championship on the line. The game will be televised by ESPNU and WatchESPN with Cara Capuano and Carolyn Peck calling the action. It also will be carried live on the UK IMG Sports Radio Network with Neil Price.
Fans can follow Twitter updates on @UKHoopCats and use hashtag #BeSECWBB to talk about the game.
Kentucky (23-7) earned its 12th overall and fifth consecutive appearance in the semifinals with a 75-70 win over Florida on Friday. The win snapped a two-game losing skid to the Gators. Four Wildcats scored in double figures paced by senior forward DeNeSha Stallworth (Richmond, Calif.), who scored all 13 of her points in the second half. Junior guards Bria Goss (Indianapolis) and Jennifer O'Neill (Bronx, N.Y.) followed with 11 points apiece, while sophomore guard Janee Thompson (Chicago) added 10 points and a game-high five assists. Junior center Azia Bishop (Toledo, Ohio) was key cog off the bench in the paint as Stallworth played just two minutes in the first half due to foul trouble. Bishop recorded eight points on 4-of-8 shooting to go along with five rebounds, three blocks and two steals in just 21 minutes of action. Senior forward Samarie Walker (West Carrollton, Ohio) also was a huge factor in UK's 42-29 rebounding advantage as she grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds, including an offensive board and put back with the game on the line.
With the score knotted a 70 with 1:29 to play, UK scored five straight points, including a 10-footer from Thompson and an offensive rebound and put back by Walker with 28 seconds left in the game, giving UK a four-point lead and the win.
South Carolina (27-3), the No. 1 seed, earned a trip to the semifinals with a commanding, 67-48, win over Georgia. The Gamecocks shot 57.1 percent (13-of-24) from the floor, including 60 percent (15-of-25) in the second half. Four players netted double figures, led by SEC Freshman of the Year Alaina Coates with 13 points.
The Wildcats look to chart their first-ever win over a top seed in the SEC Tournament and snap a two-game losing streak to South Carolina. UK fell in both regular-season games vs. the Gamecocks, 68-59, in Columbia, S.C., on Jan. 9 and, 81-58, on Feb. 20 in Lexington, Ky.
Kentucky is 28-35 overall in the SEC Tournament, including 9-6 under Matthew Mitchell. The Cats are 5-3 this season vs. top-25 opponents and 3-3 vs. teams in the top 10.
Additional information on the tournament, including game times and online ticket links, can be found at www.secsports.com.
DULUTH, Ga. (AP) - DeNesha Stallworth overcame foul trouble to score 13 points and No. 12 Kentucky continued its string of Southeastern Conference tournament success with a 75-70 win over Florida in the quarterfinals on Friday.
Kentucky (23-7) advanced to the SEC semifinals for the fifth straight year. The Wildcats, who have reached three of the last four finals, will play No. 5 South Carolina, the top seed, on Saturday.
Kayla Lewis had 18 points and eight rebounds for Florida (19-12). The Gators swept two regular-season games with Kentucky.
"Florida is a difficult team to defend," said Kentucky coach Matthew Mitchell. "Schematically against man-to-man, they're so active and take advantage of their personnel, it's hard to play defense against them. It's also hard to stay in the zone because of their 3-point shooters."
Bria Goss and Jennifer O'Neill each had 11 points for Kentucky.
Stallworth played only 2 minutes in the first half after picking up two quick fouls.
"It was very frustrating," Stallworth said, adding Mitchell and his assistants "did a great job of telling me to just stay in the game."
"In the past, I'd probably get frustrated and check out," Stallworth said. "I knew my team needed me, so I just stayed strong."
There were 13 lead changes and eight ties, the last at 70-70 following back-to-back 3-pointers by Florida's Cassie Peoples, who had 18 points while making five 3-pointers. Florida made 10 of 25 3-point shots.
Kentucky reclaimed the lead on a basket by Janee Thompson and stretched the lead on Samarie Walker's offensive rebound and layup. Walker had seven points and 11 rebounds.
Kentucky took a 42-39 advantage in rebounds and a 16-6 edge in second-chance points.
"I thought we were playing great basketball but kept giving them second chances," said Florida coach Amanda Butler. "A good team's going to take advantage of that."
Kentucky continued its strong late-season surge. The Wildcats were 5-5 in the league before winning five of their last six regular-season games to earn the fourth seed in the tournament.
Mitchell said the win over Florida provided evidence of his team's improvement.
"Our players have worked really hard to improve since the last time we played them," Mitchell said. "So it was very gratifying to win this game and also to shake off a very poor first half."
Florida led 36-29 at halftime.
"I thought the players showed a lot by coming back in the second half, finding a way to win," Mitchell said.