Victoria Dunlap’s first-rate performance Tuesday was not enough to get the University of Kentucky’s women’s basketball team to its first Final Four.
The junior forward out of Brentwood Academy became the program’s first All-American when she was named to the Associated Press third team prior to the contest. She then made 10 of 18 shots and 11 of 12 free throws, and finished with 31 points, but the fourth-seeded Wildcats lost 88-68 to Oklahoma in a regional final contest at Kansas City.
Dunlap, the 2010 Southeastern Conference Player of the Year, had just six points in the first 6:30, when her team jumped out to a 17-4 lead, but then handled most of the scoring from there.
As a team, Kentucky (28-8) shot 32.9 percent from the field. Outside of Dunlap, who also had 13 rebounds, three assists and three steals, the rest of the team was 13-for-52 (25 percent).
Oklahoma’s Nyeshia Stevenson matched that performance with 31 points of her own. Two other players scored in double figures for the Sooners (27-10), who shot 61.5 percent as a team.
Kentucky had no other players with more than nine points.
The Wildcats earned their way into the regional final for the first time since 1982 when they upset No. 1 seed Nebraska two days earlier. Dunlap had 18 points and seven rebounds in that one.
For the season, Dunlap led the team in scoring (18.8 points per game) and rebounding (8.4). She also set a school record with 66 blocked shots and had a team-high 107 steals.