Updated at: 02/28/2013 10:08 PM
(AP) OXFORD, Miss. - Mississippi proved to be a most gracious of host before Thursday’s game with No. 10 Kentucky, presenting Wildcats seniors A’Dia Mathies and Brittany Henderson with flowers on the Lady Rebels’ senior night.
The Wildcats then proceeded to tear apart their hosts.
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.
Due to self-imposed sanctions, which include a post-season ban, Ole Miss’ season ends Sunday at Arkansas.
"It’s one of those things where yesterday we talked about it being our last practice in this building, the (Tad Smith) Coliseum," coach Brett Frank said. "Today, our last home shootaround and our last home game. Saturday morning we’ll have our last practice .... and then Sunday our last game together. The emotions run high and they really want to compete hard and play for one another, but more than that, we’re really trying to tell them to leave their mark."
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. Kentucky has won four straight 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.
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.
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."
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)