LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — A'dia Mathies was in such a groove she didn't even notice how well she was playing.
The senior guard made eight of her nine shots and had a season high 24 points for No. 5 Kentucky in a 97-53 win over Auburn on Sunday.
"No, I really didn't feel it," Mathies said. "I didn't know I missed one shot. I was just out there playing. Luckily the shots went in, and my teammates did a great job of setting me up."
Mathies was perfect from the field at halftime, hitting all five of her shots — including three 3-pointers. She had 16 of her 24 points before the break. Her only miss of the day was a 3-pointer off the back rim with 15:48 to play in the game. At that point the Wildcats (18-1, 6-0) were up 64-27.
Mathies' five made 3-pointers tied a career high.
"I think she's just playing with tremendous control right now and confidence," Kentucky coach Matthew Mitchell said. "If you leave her open right now at the 3-point stripe, you are paying dearly because she's shooting the ball so well."
The Wildcats, who have now won 17 games in a row and are tied with No. 4 Duke for the longest win streak in the country, put the game away in the first half, running out to an 11-point early. Auburn (13-6, 2-4) closed the lead to eight points with 11:04 until halftime.
But over the next 7 1/2 minutes, Kentucky went on a 24-2 run, during which six different Wildcats scored.
Kentucky led 51-21 at halftime. The Tigers scored consecutive field goals only once in the first half. It was those two field goals that snapped the Wildcats' 24-2 stretch that put them on top 46-15.
Auburn, which entered Sunday's game averaging 15.8 turnovers per game and a plus-6.4 turnover margin, had a season-high 30 turnovers (16 at halftime) against the Wildcats' full-court press.
Auburn coach Terri Williams-Flournoy was not pleased after the game with Mitchell's insistence to run the full-court press during periods of 40-point leads all the way to the final buzzer. She voiced her opinion after the game to Mitchell, and she reiterated her point during a brief and disturbed appearance at the post-game news conference.
"I thought it was pretty un-classy to continue to press when you're up by 46 points," Williams-Flournoy said. "We're a pressing team also, and at some point, we do take the press off because that becomes not respectful of the other team."
Mitchell defended his coaching decision saying his team plays all 40 minutes. The phrase "40 Minutes" is printed on the team's media guide cover and is easy to spot on advertising around Memorial Coliseum and on the team's website_and to follow the scouting report until the game goes final.