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UK Rewind: Jan. 20

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Performances of the Week: Jan. 15

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Every Tuesday, UK Athletics recognizes outstanding performances for our student-athletes. These are the honorees for the week ending Sunday, Jan. 15:

Men's basketball: Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis helped lead the Wildcats to a 2-0 mark on the road this week, the only team in the league to win a pair of games on the road this week ... Davis tallied eight blocks on the week moving him to within one block of the UK single-season record after only 18 games ... Leads the league in blocks and field goal percentage ... He did break the UK freshman record for blocks this week ... Davis helped lead the Cats in a come-from-behind wins at Auburn and at Tennessee, scoring game-high 14 points at Auburn and a game-high 18 points at Tennessee ... Scored in double-figures in seven-straight games and eight of the last nine.

Swimming & diving: Greg Ferrucci

Greg Ferrucci led the Wildcats on the diving platforms this weekend, winning three of the four events he competed in. The reigning Southeastern Conference Freshman Diver of the Year scored a 327.98 on the one-meter, leading Kentucky. Ferrucci finished second in the three-meter competition, recording a 334.43, only falling short of fellow teammate John Fox who won the event with a 351.08.

Ferrucci won both the three-meter and the one-meter competitions in Atlanta, Ga., against Emory University, recording a 429.90 on the 3m, and a 405.30 on the 1m.

Women's basketball: A'dia Mathies

  • Scored a career-high 34 points vs. No. 6/7 Tennessee, and grabbed nine boards, one shy of tying a career high. Also dished out two assists, blocked two shots and had two steals.
  • Hit the game-winning shot vs. Tennessee with 4.2 seconds left to snap Tennessee's 36-game conference winning streak, give UK its first 4-0 start in conference play in program history, and give UK its third win over a top-10 ranked opponent this season, the first time the program has done that since 1982-83.
  • Her 34 points vs. Tennessee are the most points scored by a UK player since Dec. 20, 1987, when Bebe Croley scored 40 points vs. Morehead State.
  • First player to score 30 points in a game since Dec. 7, 2010 (Victoria Dunlap, 30, vs. Tennessee Tech).
  • Tied a career high with three blocks at No. 24/RV South Carolina, while also getting three steals.
  • Led UK in minutes played this week.
  • Has started in every game she has played this season.
  • Has reached double figures in scoring in 14 of 17 games she has played in.
  • No. 16 in scoring all-time at UK (1,208), and is just seven points shy of tying Stacy McIntyre at No. 15.
  • No. 9 in steals all-time at UK (220), and is just four steals shy of tying Sandy Harding at No. 8.

Track and field: Keffri Neal

  • Finished with the second-fastest collegiate time in the men's 800m run at the Kentucky Invitational.
  • Has the third fastest freshman time in the SEC in the 800m run.
  • Ran the third leg of the 4x800-meter relay, helping lead the team to a second-place finish.

Track and field: Luis Orta

  • Ran a career-best time in the one-mile run of 4:09.59.
  • Finished in second in the one-mile run.
  • Has the fastest time in the mile in the SEC.
  • Has the 32nd fastest time in the country in the mile.

Men's tennis: Anthony Rossi

Kentucky men's tennis junior Anthony Rossi claimed the SEC Coaches' Indoor Championships singles title on Monday with an impressive win against No. 10 Sadio Doumbia of Georgia. The win helped Rossi become the first Kentucky player to win the singles title in the annual event since Adam Malik did it back in 1989. The UK star is only the second player in school history to win the event.

Kentucky Sports Report (week of Jan. 16)

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Men's basketball

- The Wildcats return home for a pair of league games this week beginning with Arkansas on Tuesday night. UK just completed a two-game road stretch where they posted a 2-0 record, including a 65-62 win over Tennessee in Knoxville on Saturday.

- Kentucky had to come from behind, trailing the Volunteers by as many as eight in the second half, but the Wildcats were up to the challenge, including freshman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who led UK with his third double-double this season. He finished with 17 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.

- Fellow freshman Anthony Davis was named the SEC Freshman of the Week after he finished with a game-high 18 points and added eight rebounds and four blocks, while Terrence Jones was the only other Wildcat in double-figures with 10 points.

 

Women's basketball

- Kentucky remains the only undefeated team in the SEC at 5-0 after two hard-fought wins over No. 6/7 Tennessee and No. 24/RV South Carolina last week. The Wildcats captured a one-point 61-60 victory over the Lady Vols on Thursday in Memorial Coliseum, snapping the Lady Vols' 36-game SEC winning streak.

- Junior guard A'dia Mathies turned in one of the most impressive individual performances in UK Hoops history in the win by netting a career-best 34 points to go along with nine rebounds, two assists, two blocks and two steals. She hit the game winner with 4.2 seconds remaining to give UK its third win over top-10 team this season and first win over Tennessee in five tries. For her efforts she was tabbed the SEC Player of the Week.

- The Cats then defeated South Carolina on the road, 66-58, marking their first win in Columbia, S.C. since 2009. The balanced scoring effort was led by Keyla Snowden who came off the bench for 15 points and three steals. Ten of the 11 players who saw action scored at least two points.

 

Rifle

- Kentucky got strong outings from Emily Holsopple and Ethan Settlemires to lead the defending national champion Kentucky rifle team improved to 8-0 win a win at Army, 4693-4646, on Saturday at the Tronsure Rifle Range.

- Kentucky opened its spring portion of the schedule with the win at West Point, totaling a 2325 total smallbore score and a 2368 total air rifle team tally.

- Holsopple and Settlemires led UK in both guns, with the duo each charting a 585 in smallbore. Settlemires led UK in air rifle with a 594, with Holsopple adding a 593. Also in air rifle, Henri Junghänel finished with a 592, with Heather Greathouse recording a 592 and Stacy Wheatley posting a 589. Katie Fretts finished with a 585 in air rifle. Holsopple and Settlemires led UK with 585's, with Junghänel charting a 576, Greathouse a 579, Wheatley a 572 and Fretts a 569.

 

Gymnastics

- The No. 23 University of Kentucky gymnastics team concluded its first Southeastern Conference meet of the season by falling 196.650-191.975 to No. 11 Arkansas at Barnhill Arena in Fayetteville, Ark.

- In all, Kentucky had 19 of 24 routines performed by freshmen and sophomores in the meet, while five Wildcats made their collegiate debuts on an event in the meet.

- Kentucky's youth shined on vault with freshman Kenzie Hedges leading the way with a 9.775, while sophomore Holly Cunningham was second on the team and tied a career high with a 9.75. Freshman Sara Shipley went second in the lineup and scored a 9.725, while sophomore Audrey Harrison went 9.7. Senior Storey Morris posted a 9.65 followed by freshman Shelby Hilton, who was making her collegiate debut, earning a 9.475. Kentucky scored a 48.6 as a team on the event.

 

Men's tennis

- The Kentucky men's tennis team completed a successful four-day run in the Southeastern Conference Coaches' Indoor Championships with junior Anthony Rossi claiming the singles title at the event. Rossi used a very workmanlike performance Monday to win the final over the No. 10 Sadio Doumbia.

- Rossi becomes the first Kentucky player to win the singles title in the annual event since Adam Malik did it back in 1989. The UK star is only the second player in school history to win the event.

- Kentucky had a good showing at the event overall with three singles players making the quarterfinals in Rossi, Eric Quigley and Tom Jomby. UK also had two doubles tandems in the quarterfinals, while sophomore Panav Jha and Quigley advanced to the doubles semifinals.

 

Track and field

- The Kentucky men's and women's track and field programs began their seasons Friday and Saturday by hosting the Kentucky Invitational at Nutter Field House.

- The Wildcats got strong performances from its men's one-milers, as junior Luis Orta ran a personal-best and SEC-leading time of 4:09.59 to finish in second. Sophomore Adam Kahleifeh finished fourth with a time of 4:12.20.

- Freshman Bradley Szypka finished second in the men's shot put with a throw of 16.28m/53-05.00, while junior Darryl Bradshaw finished third in the 60-meter hurdles finals with a time of 8.18.

- The Wildcats placed in the top three in six different events Saturday.

 

Swimming and diving

- The UK swimming and diving teams combined to go 2-2 over the weekend, with both teams dropping an SEC dual meet to Alabama on Saturday, but quickly rebounding to sweep Emory University on Sunday.

- On Sunday in the women's 100-butterfly, UK had a dominating performance taking first through fifth.

Julia Gerotto led the way, recording a time of 57.49, while Anna Mattox followed up with a 58.47 for second place. Lindsay Lash, Abby Myers, and Diana Norkus rounded out the top-five for Kentucky.

- Overall on the weekend, Kentucky won seven of the contested eight diving events. Sophomore Greg Ferrucci claimed first place in three of the four events he was entered in.

 

Women's tennis

- Women's tennis traveled to Honolulu, Hawaii, for the Rainbow Wahine Spring Invitational.

- The team swept Kansas in doubles play. The 34th-ranked duo of Khristina Blajkevitch and Jessica Stiles took on the Kansas' 42nd-ranked doubles team of Monica Pezzotti and Paulina Los, defeating them 8-4.

- Freshman Stephanie Fox faced Washington State's 123rd-ranked Elizaveta Luzina and beat her in straight sets with a score of 6-1, 6-3.

 

Upcoming schedule

 

Tuesday, Jan. 17

Men's basketball hosts Arkansas - 9:00 p.m.

 

Thursday, Jan. 19

Women's basketball at Georgia - 7:00 p.m.

 

Friday, Jan. 20

Women's tennis hosts Marshall - Noon

Gymnastics hosts Florida - 7:00 p.m.

 

Saturday, Jan. 21

Men's basketball hosts Alabama - Noon

Rifle at TCU

 

Sunday, Jan. 22

Women's tennis hosts Belmont - 11:00 a.m.

Men's tennis vs. Michigan State - 2:00 p.m. (Indianapolis)

Women's basketball hosts Florida - 2:00 p.m.

Women's tennis hosts Morehead State - 6:00 p.m.

Men's tennis vs. IUPUI - TBA (Indianapolis)

Performances of the Week: Jan. 10

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Every Tuesday, UK Athletics recognizes outstanding performances for our student-athletes. These are the honorees for the week ending Sunday, Jan. 8:

Men's basketball: Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis averaged a double-double for the third straight week, helping the Wildcats to a 2-0 record on the week including a win in the SEC opener over South Carolina ... Davis has tallied five-straight double-doubles and six in his last seven games ... He now has nine double-doubles on the season, tying him for fourth most by a UK freshman in school history ... He blocked 10 shots on the week and is on pace to destroy the UK single season blocks record by nearly 70 blocks ... Davis tallied a 20-10 game against Arkansas-Little Rock, his second 20-10 performance of the season ... He then just missed a triple-double in his first-career SEC outing, with a 12 point, 10 rebound, seven block effort against South Carolina

Swimming & diving: Greg Ferrucci

  • The Kentucky diving team competed in the Georgia Diving Invitational this week in Athens, Ga. UK was paced by sophomore Greg Ferrucci who posted a score of 412.20 in the three-meter competition. The score was good enough to land the defending Southeastern Conference Freshman Diver of the Year the overall champion in the event, taking home first place. John Fox placed eighth in the same competition, posting a score of 334.10.
  • The score of 412.20 on the three-meter dive set a new school record for Ferrucci, passing Ben Starchuk, who held the record since 2005 with a score of 406.43 on Feb. 5, 2005.

Gymnastics: Head coach Tim Garrison

In his first meet as the head coach of the UK gymnastics team, Tim Garrison led the Wildcats to a second-place finish at the Excite Night at the Kentucky Classic event at Memorial Coliseum. A total of 3,686 fans helped open the Tim Garrison Era at Memorial Coliseum with an energetic atmosphere.

Women's basketball: Bria Goss

  • Scored 11 points against Arkansas on a perfect 4-4 shooting from the field, including a career-high tying three 3-pointers, to go along with five rebounds, two assists and two steals.
  • Scored 13 points, including a career-high tying three 3-pointers for the second consecutive game, and had four rebounds and three steals vs Florida.
  • Shooting 6-7 from beyond the arc over the last two games.
  • Is 8-11 from the field over the last two games.
  • Third in scoring (12.0 ppg), tied for second in rebounding (4.5 rpg) and first in steals (2.5 spg) for the week.
  • Has reached double figures in scoring in 14 of 16 games for the Wildcats, including each of the last eight.
  • Has started in every game this season.
  • Has at least two steals in seven of UK's last eight games.
  • Leading freshman scorer in the SEC.

Men's basketball: Terrence Jones

Recovering from a dislocated pinkie Jones scored in double figures in back-to-back games helping Kentucky to a 2-0 mark on the week ... Shot better than 73 pct. from the field on the week, averaging15.0 ppg ... Shot over 88 pct. from the field in SEC-opening victory over South Carolina hitting eight of nine shots ... 20 points against South Carolina was most since tallying 26 against St. John's on Dec. 1

Women's basketball: A'dia Mathies

  • Scored a team-high 21 points vs. Arkansas, including a career-high five 3-pointers, a season-high six assists, three rebounds, two blocks and two steals.
  • Scored 20 points and grabbed five rebounds in 20 minutes vs. Mississippi State.
  • Scored 20 or more points in both games this week.
  • Hit three of Kentucky's program-record 14 3-pointers vs. Mississippi State.
  • Was 8-16 from beyond the arc in wins over Arkansas and Mississippi State.
  • Led UK in minutes played this week.
  • Has started in every game she has played this season.
  • Has reached double figures in scoring in 13 of 15 games she has played in.
  • No. 22 in scoring all-time at UK (1,166), and is just four points shy of tying Jocelyn Mills at No. 20.
  • No. 9 in steals all-time at UK (215), and is just nine steals shy of tying Sandy Harding at No. 8.

Gymnastics: Storey Morris

Gymnastics senior Storey Morris performed very well in her final season opener as a UK gymnasts, scoring a 9.7 or above on vault, uneven bars and balance beam. Morris started the night by sticking her landing on vault en route to a score of 9.8, while she secured a 9.7 posting on bars and led the Wildcats on beam with a score of 9.75.

Men's tennis: Eric Quigley

Kentucky men's tennis senior Eric Quigley went 2-0 in singles play at the Rainbow Warrior Challenge over the weekend, taking his career singles record to 139-43, sitting only two wins shy of tying Jesse Witten (2002-05) for second all-time in career singles wins.

Kentucky Sports Report (week of Jan. 9)

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Men's basketball
- The Wildcats opened conference play on Saturday, tallying a 79-64 win over South Carolina, pushing the nation's longest home winning-streak to 45 games (44 in Rupp Arena; one in Memorial).
- Anthony Davis recorded his ninth double-double (12p, 10r) on the season, fourth most by a freshmen in UK history. It was the fifth-straight double-double for Davis, who also added seven blocks pushing his season total to 75, fifth on the UK single-season blocks' list.
- Terrence Jones led all scorers with 20 points, the most since scoring 26 points against St. John's.
- Marquis Teague (17) and Doron Lamb (10) also scored in double-figures for the Wildcats in the win. UK shot 59.2 percent from the field, its highest since shooting 61.3 percent in the season-opener.

Women's basketball

- Kentucky is coming off back-to-back home victories over Arkansas and Mississippi State to improve to 14-2 overall, 3-0 in conference action. The Wildcats are 3-0 in SEC play for the first time since the 1992-93 season and just the fourth time in 30 years of SEC basketball.
- Matthew Mitchell charted his 100th win at UK, becoming just the third coach in school history to do so. He is the second fastest coach to accomplish the feat, reaching the milestone in 151 games.
- Junior guard A'dia Mathies continues to dominate in almost every statistical category for Kentucky as she averaged a team-high 20.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.5 steals last week. She scored a team-high 21 points, while netting a career-high five 3-pointers vs. Arkansas and followed that performance with 20 points and five rebounds in UK's record-setting win over Mississippi State.
- The Cats' 48-point margin of victory was the largest in an SEC game in program history. The Wildcats also hit a school-record 14 3-pointers vs. the Lady Bulldogs en route to the 88-40 win.
- Freshman Bria Goss continues to impress as she has hit 8-of-11 from the field over the last two games, including 6-of-7 from beyond the arc. Goss has reached double figures in scoring in 14 of 16 games, including each of the last eight.

Gymnastics
- The Kentucky gymnastics team kicked off the Tim Garrison Era in fine fashion Saturday night, finishing second at the Excite Night at the Kentucky Classic event with a team score of 194.325 in front of 3,686 fans at Memorial Coliseum.
- UK was led in the meet by sophomore Audrey Harrison, who earned her first collegiate all-around title with a mark of 38.375. Freshman Sara Shipley finished tied for fourth on vault with a team-high score of 9.85, while senior Storey Morris was fourth on beam with a 9.750.
- Vault was the Wildcats' best event of the night as Kentucky earned a team score of 49.025. Shipley led the way for UK on the event with her high score of 9.85, while fellow freshman Kenzie Hedges made the most of her first collegiate meet with a 9.825. Morris and Harrison each posted 9.8s, while sophomore Holly Cunningham wrapped up the scoring with a 9.75.

Men's tennis
- The Kentucky men's tennis team completed its first weekend of competition in 2012 with a dominating
performance in bot singles and doubles at the Rainbow Warrior Challenge in Honolulu.
- The Wildcats, which enter the spring season ranked seventh in the nation, were led at the event by No. 5 Eric Quigley, No. 13 Alex Musialek and No. 36 Anthony Rossi. All three UK stars went 2-0 in singles
play at the event.
- Joining the three stars with a perfect 2-0 record in singles play were three sophomores in No. 85 Panav Jha, Ryuji Hirooka and Maks Gold.
- Earlier in the week, Kentucky made a splash in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association singles rankings,
earning six ranked singles players, more than any other team in the nation.

Swimming and diving

- The Kentucky diving team competed in the Georgia Diving Invitational this week in Athens, Ga. UK was
paced by sophomore Greg Ferrucci who posted a score of 412.20 in the three-meter competition. The score was good enough to land the defending Southeastern Conference Freshman Diver of the Year the overall championship in the event. John Fox placed eighth in the same competition, posting a score of 334.10.
- The score of 412.20 on the three-meter dive set a new school record for Ferrucci, passing Ben Starchuk, who had held the record since 2005 with a score of 406.43 on Feb. 5, 2005.
- The UK swimming teams defeated Indian River State College on Thursday afternoon in Ft. Pierce, Fla., as the men's team downed IRSC 165-76 while the women defeated the Pioneers 194-48. Kentucky won
10 races en route to the victory including wins by Megan Eppler, Tyler Reed, and Julia Gerotto.
- The Wildcats will return to Southeastern Conference action on Sat., Jan. 14 as the Wildcats will travel to Tuscaloosa, Ala., to take on the University of Alabama Crimson Tide in a dual meet scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m. ET at the Don Gambril Olympic Pool.

Upcoming schedule


Wednesday, Jan. 11
Men's basketball at Auburn - 8:00 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 12
Women's basketball hosts Tennessee - 7:00 p.m.
Women's tennis at Hawaii Invitational

Friday, Jan. 13
Gymnastics at Arkansas - 8:00 p.m.
Women's tennis at Hawaii Invitational
Men's tennis hosts SEC Indoors
Track and field hosts Kentucky Invitational

Saturday, Jan. 14

Men's basketball at Tennessee - Noon
Swimming and diving at Alabama - 1:00 p.m.
Women's tennis at Hawaii Invitational
Men's tennis hosts SEC Indoors
Track and field hosts Kentucky Invitational
Rifle at Army

Sunday, Jan. 15
Women's basketball at South Carolina - 3:00 p.m.
Men's tennis hosts SEC Indoors
Swimming and diving at Emory

The Scratchies (Winter 2011)

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scratchies semiannual (2).jpg While occupying his post in charge of Cat Scratches, Eric Lindsey debuted the Scratchies, a set of awards given for the best performances in UK Athletics for the preceding semester. I wasn't sure at first whether I would continue the tradition, but once I found just how quiet it gets around here during the holidays, I decided it was time to give out some hardware (or maybe I should say "software", since there are no physical awards to be given).

I'll spare you any more preambles, here are the winners for fall 2011:

MVW (Most Valuable Wildcat)
Danny Trevathan (Football) - No, the UK football team did not have the kind of season they envisioned, going 5-7, but Trevathan could not have done any more than he did to help his team succeed. For the second year in a row, the linebacker led the SEC in tackles. The senior linebacker concludes his career ranked 10th all-time in tackles in program history and has reeled in multiple postseason honors for his stellar final season. The 2011 campaign saw Trevathan log 143 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, five forced fumbles, four interceptions and three sacks.

The Dream Team (team of the semester)

Volleyball - Craig Skinner has this program on the rise. The Wildcats finished the season with a 26-4 record and a second Sweet 16 berth in three seasons. The regional semifinal was hosted in Memorial Coliseum and over 4,000 rowdy fans showed up to support the Cats as they nearly pulled an upset of Texas, the nation's No. 1 overall seed, before falling 3-1. The atmosphere, though not the outcome, was a fitting sendoff for the most decorated group of seniors in school history. The trio of Ann Armes, Becky Pavan and Gretchen Giesler depart with a record of 100-31 and the best winning percentage (.731) in school history).

In spite of losing those three, UK figures to build on a great season in 2012. Two-time defending Southeastern Conference Libero of the Year and second-team All-American Stephanie Klefot returns for her senior season and will be joined by setter Christine Hartmann and outside hitter Whitney Billings, both of whom were first-team All-SEC performers. Senior-to-be Ashley Frazier (All-SEC second team) and rising sophomore Lauren O'Conner (All-SEC freshman team) will also be very much in the mix.

Honorable mention: Women's soccer, men's basketball, women's basketball

The Adolph Rupp Award (coach of the semester)

Jon Lipsitz (Women's soccer) - Since taking over at Kentucky prior to the 2009 season, Lipsitz has built the women's soccer program in small strides. UK was just 5-10-4 in his first year, but it was clear that the culture was changing. His second season brought a trip to the SEC Tournament, but expectations were still not particularly high entering 2011, at least not outside of Lexington. Instead, the Cats got off to a great start, piling up early-season wins and moving into the top 20 of the RPI.

Under Lipsitz's guidance, Senior Kelsey Hunyadi was at the center of everything, as she had one of the best offensive seasons in UK history in helping lead the team to a 13-7-1 record, a winning mark in SEC play and a berth in UK's first NCAA Tournament since 2006. Kentucky also earned the right to host a tournament game for the first time since 1998 and the fan base responded to the excitement Lipsitz has injected into the program, as 1,065 fans attended the game, third-most of the 32 first round sites nationally.

Honorable mention: Craig Skinner (volleyball), Matthew Mitchell (women's basketball), John Calipari (men's basketball)

The Josh Harrellson Award (most improved player)
Samantha Drake (women's basketball) - The Bardstown, Ky., native had her moments as a freshman, but was not expected to be more than a role player for UK Hoops in 2011-12. Through the first five games of the season, that's exactly what she was, as she averaged 5.4 points. Over Drake's next seven games as UK rose to a No. 6 national ranking, the 6-foot-3 center established herself as one of Matthew Mitchell's most reliable contributors.

She has scored in double figures six times during the stretch, including a career-high 21 points in a trip to face No. 3 Notre Dame and 18 last week against Samford.

"It was not one moment, but it started happening one day then started snowballing," Mitchell said of her improvement. "There was a play here, then the next day she would make two or three. It was pretty dramatic.

"She had a terrific summer and I just tried to put it to her, 'There's nothing that you can't get through.' Finally she proved to herself she can really perform at a high level."

As UK enters SEC play, Mitchell will look to Drake to sustain that improvement.

The Butler-VCU Award (surprise team)

Women's soccer - For all the reasons Lipsitz is the coach of the semester, women's soccer is the surprise team. The Cats clearly had talent with Hunyadi, star incoming freshman Arin Gilliland and others, but this year's team was supposed to be one that battled to make the bottom half of the SEC Tournament bracket. Instead, UK raced out to a 7-0-0 start to the year and never looked back in earning a No. 6 seed in Orange Beach, Ala., and a home match in the NCAA Tournament, where the Wildcats lost in heartbreaking fashion on penalty kicks against Washington State.

One Shining Moment (best moment)


Fans carried Matt Roark off the field after he rushed for 124 yards in a 10-7 win over Tennessee. (Brett Marshall, UK Athletics) Fans carried Matt Roark off the field after he rushed for 124 yards in a 10-7 win over Tennessee. (Brett Marshall, UK Athletics)

Football ends the streak - This one's a no-brainer. It had been over a quarter-century since Kentucky had defeated Tennessee in football and when wide receiver Matt Roark stepped onto the field as quarterback with Maxwell Smith and Morgan Newton sidelined due to injury, it certainly looked as if the streak would continue. Instead, Roark led a gritty offense that did just enough to win thanks to a staunch defensive effort by a group of seniors who desperately wanted to defeat the Volunteers. The 10-7 win set off a raucous celebration, capped off when Roark served as the honorary 'Y' at Rupp Arena that same night.

The "Band is Out On the Field" Award (best game/match)
Men's basketball beats North Carolina - The hype for UK-UNC started way back in May when Terrence Jones, Doron Lamb, Harrison Barnes, John Henson and Tyler Zeller decided to return to their respective schools. It was clear the Cats and Tar Heels would be ranked atop the polls when the season started, setting up a potential No. 1 vs. No. 2 showdown in Rupp Arena in early December. UNC lost to undo that possibility, but that was the only part of the game that didn't live up to the hype.

UK trailed by as many as nine points early, but battled back to take a late lead in front of a delirious sellout crowd. The Cats seemed poised to seal the win, but the Heels forced a turnover by Doron Lamb and got a 3-pointer from Reggie Bullock to cut UT's lead to 73-72. Marquis Teague was then fouled and headed to the foul line for a one-and-one. He missed the front end with 21 seconds left, setting up a chance for UNC to take the last shot for the win. UK would hold on, but only because of our play of the semester...

The Doug Flutie Hail Mary Award (best play)




Davis' block seals win over UNC
- Point guard Kendall Marshall ran the clock down and used a screen to position himself for a pass to Zeller inside. As they had been doing all game, the Cats sent a double team at him and Zeller lost the ball, but conveniently right into the waiting hands of Henson. He pulled up for a short jumper, but Anthony Davis skied to get a piece of the shot and grabbed the rebound off his own block. UK would then run out the final five seconds.
Video

All-Wildcat Team (the Scratchies equivalent of the All-America Team)
Kelsey Hunyadi (women's soccer) - Her 38 points were the second most in school history.
Luis Orta (cross country) - With a fifth-place finish at the SEC Championships, Orta became UK's first first-team All-SEC performer since 2003.
Stephanie Klefot (volleyball) - The junior was a second-team All-American and won SEC Libero of the Year for the second year in a row.
Matt Lodge (men's soccer) - Lodge tallied seven goals and 10 assists during his junior season.
Doron Lamb (men's basketball) - He is the leading scorer (16.1 points per game) for the nation's third-ranked team.
Winston Guy (football) - Moving to a new linebacker position, Guy had 120 tackles and a team-leading 14 tackles for loss.
A'dia Mathies (women's basketball) - Now healthy, the junior guard has already eclipsed the 1,000-point mark for her UK career.

All-Calipari Team (all-freshman team)
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (men's basketball) - Averaging 13.1 points, 6.9 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.1 blocks through 12 games.
Anthony Davis (men's basketball) - Leads UK with 10.0 rebounds per game and ranks among nation's leaders with 52 blocks.
Arin Gilliland (women's soccer) - Blue-chip prospect split time between defense and attack, scoring four goals.
Bria Goss (women's basketball) - Has started 11 games, averaging 12.3 points and 5.1 rebounds.
Lauren O'Conner (volleyball) - Played in 124 of 126 sets on the season, totaling 284 kills and was named to SEC All-Freshman team.

All-Up-and-Comers (non-freshmen on the rise)
Ashley Frazier (volleyball) - Played her first season at UK after transferring, leading the team with 406 kills.
Christina Hartmann (volleyball) - Took over setting duties early in the season and was a first-team All-SEC performer.
Cody Martin (men's golf) - Led UK with an average round of 72.6 as a sophomore and finished second in the UK Bluegrass Fall Invitational.
Alejando Gomez (men's tennis) - Off to a running start to sophomore season with a 15-2 singles mark during the fall season.
Greg Ferrucci (swimming and diving) - Sophomore twice won SEC Diver of the Week during the fall, breaking a school record in the one-meter dive in the process.
Tyler Riggs (men's soccer) - Followed up good freshman season with an even better sophomore year, totaling 11 goals and five assists.

Best Streak Award

Men's basketball's home win streak - With eight wins in Rupp Arena to open 2011-12, UK has extended its home winning streak to 42 games, eclipsing Duke (41) for the longest in the nation. Kentucky has yet to lose a home game with John Calipari roaming the sidelines, winning all 41 games in Rupp during his three-year tenure.

He said what? (quote of the semester)

Craig Skinner, after volleyball played No. 1 Texas to a near draw in the Sweet 16 in front of over 4,000 fans in Memorial Coliseum - "I think that's about as high a level of volleyball as you can play. If you aren't excited to play in front of a crowd like that and with a group that puts their heart and soul into the game then I'd be stunned. We're on the right path and we have to continue to take steps forward and this team is so motivated that I'm not worried that won't happen."

The Dougie Award (best dance/celebration)
Matthew Mitchell at Big Blue Madness
- Mitchell's dance in the video below pretty much speaks for itself. The only remaining question is how he's going to top himself in 2012.


Best of Blue Weekly Awards (week of Nov. 7)

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Thumbnail image for best of blue logo_web.jpg It can be hard to keep up with everything going on in the University of Kentucky's 22 varsity sports. With that in mind, we will highlight the best from around Kentucky sports each week. We'll recognize the best performances from Wildcat teams and players, we'll show you the coolest videos and photos that you may have missed and we'll mix in some new stuff along the way. Here are your award winners for this week:

Team of the week - Women's soccer reaches NCAA's for first time since 2006

Jon Lipsitz and the UK women's soccer team may have lost their only game this week, a 2-1 heartbreaker against Tennessee in the Southeastern Conference Tournament, but their achievements for the season as a whole earned them this spot. On the strength of a 13-7-0 regular season, Kentucky learned on Monday they had officially earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2006. To take things a step further, the Wildcats will have the honor of hosting their first round game against Washington State (12-6-3).

UK has been led all year by the play of senior Kelsey Hunyadi, who is having one of the top seasons in school history. Hunyadi has started all 20 of Kentucky's games, leading the team in both goals (13) and assists (10) and earning second team All-SEC honors. She arrived on campus a transfer the same year Lipsitz took over head coaching duties and has played a central role in bringing the program to this point.

As much as the Cats have achieved, their season is only just beginning. Their NCAA Tournament run will get started 7 p.m. Saturday at the UK Soccer Complex. Tickets are available now and you can check out this link for complete information.

Player of the week - Greg Ferrucci continues to rewrite diving record book


Swimming and diving hosted a meet for the first time this season, with the men claiming victories over both Missouri and Southern Illinois and the women defeating Southern Illinois and falling to Missouri. Leading the way for the men was sophomore Greg Ferrucci, who claimed first place in both the one-meter and three-meter diving events.

In the one-meter competition, Ferrucci eclipsed the record score he posted just last week with a 396.25 mark. For his performance, Ferrucci earned his second consecutive SEC Male Diver of the Week award.

Game of the week - Football picks up first SEC with dominant fourth quarter

Trailing 13-10 entering the fourth quarter, UK outscored the visiting Ole Miss Rebels in the final period 20-0, carrying the Cats to their first SEC victory of the season. In his first career start, true freshman quarterback Maxwell Smith threw for 110 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the fourth, leading the Cats to three touchdowns on four drives.

Even with a freshman under center, head coach Joker Phillips and offensive coordinator Randy Sanders dialed up aggressive play calls to take the lead and eventually pull away from Ole Miss. Wide receiver La'Rod King was the primary beneficiary of the aggressiveness, catching a go-ahead 38-yard touchdown and another 55-yard bomb to set the Cats up in the red zone for a touchdown that would all but seal the victory.

Play of the week - Men's basketball puts together highlight reel performance in final exhibition



Picking just one highlight from UK's dominating 125-40 win over Morehouse College is no small task. UK's suffocating defense led to numerous opportunities in the open floor and the athletic Cats took advantage at every juncture as they raced out to a 74-13 halftime lead.

Every play in the video above is worth a second look, but my personal favorite begins at the 18-second mark. Terrence Jones tosses ahead to Marquis Teague in the open floor, who makes an acrobatic catch on the right side of the hoop. Recognizing the speed at which he was traveling, Teague decided trying a layup on his own was too tough a proposition, so he instead opted to toss the ball off the backboard back to Jones for an uncontested dunk.

Photo of the week - Bria Goss finishes at the hoop


Photo by Chet White, UK Athletics Photo by Chet White, UK Athletics

Playing their lone exhibition before the 2011-12 season, Matthew Mitchell and the women's basketball team took down Coker College by a score of 86-44. Leading the way for the Cats in her first game in a UK uniform was freshman Bria Goss. She scored 17 points, including this layup late in the second half

Video of the week - Volleyball staff shows off "Thriller" moves



The No. 18 Kentucky volleyball team had just one match this week, avenging an earlier loss to Mississippi State with a sweep of the Bulldogs in Memorial Coliseum. The Cats will hit the road for a pair of matches against Alabama and Ole Miss as they continue their run at the SEC title.

They took a break from their regular preparations though to film a "Tip of the Week" video for Sportwide/AVCA. Assistant coach Keith Schunzel and players Becky Pavan, Christine Hartmann and Gretchen Giesler demonstrated a crossover and swing block drill the Wildcats use in practice.

The demonstration was informative, but not nearly as entertaining as what happened at the end of the video. Schunzel, along with fellow staffers Lindsey Gray, Sara Sjuts and Anders Nelson one-upped UK Hoops head coach Matthew Mitchell with a nearly perfect rendition of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" dance for Halloween. The dancing commences at the 2:39 mark.

Alumnus/alumna of the week - John Conner scores first touchdown of the season


Former UK fullback John Conner, also known as "The Terminator" has established himself as the starting fullback for the New York Jets this season. He's known more for his crunching blocks, but he scored his first touchdown of 2011 on a one-yard dive as the Jets defeated the Buffalo Bills in a crucial AFC East battle. The touchdown was the second of his two-year NFL career.


UK Athletics weekend primer (Nov. 4)

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The intersection of Kentucky's fall and winter sports is upon us, meaning we're in for some busy November weekends. Over the next few weeks, I'll be putting together a post each Friday running down the UK teams that will be in action during the weekend and telling readers how best to follow the action.

Football closes three-game home stand against Ole Miss

Believe it or not, UK has just two home games left on the schedule in 2011, the first of which takes place 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Commonwealth Stadium against Ole Miss. Freshman Maxwell Smith will make his first career start and will be looking to lead an offense that has made strides in recent weeks.

How to follow the Cats
TV: ESPNU
Radio: UK IMG Sports Network
Live video: WatchESPN
Live audio: UK Athletics
Live blog: UK Athletics
Text updates

Volleyball continues run at conference title

A win over Southeastern Conference heavyweight Florida last Sunday kept Craig Skinner and the UK volleyball team within a game of first-place Tennessee in the race for the SEC title and in control of their own destiny. The Wildcats will be in action for the first time since the big win on Friday at 7 p.m. at Memorial Coliseum against Mississippi State.

How to follow the Cats

Gametracker
Live video: UK Athletics (subscription)
Live audio: UK Athletics with Dick Gabriel
Text updates

UK Hoops opens season with exhibition

Matthew Mitchell and the Cats will play host to Coker College 2 p.m. Sunday in its lone exhibition of the 2011 season. UK will be breaking a mix of talented returnees and one of the most decorated incoming classes in school history.

How to follow the Cats
Radio: UK IMG Sports Network with Neil Price
Gametracker
Live video: UK Athletics (subscription)
Live audio: UK Athletics
Live blog: UK Athletics

Swimming and diving hosts first meet of season

Fresh off of a dominating performance on the road last weekend, UK swimming and diving will host a double dual meet against Missouri and Southern Illinois beginning 10 a.m. Saturday at the Lancaster Aquatic Center.

How to follow the Cats
Live results: UK Athletics

Men's soccer closes 2011 season at South Carolina


Carrying momentum from a Senior Day upset of No. 15 SMU, Ian Collins and his Wildcats play their final game of 2011 on the road against South Carolina Friday at 6 p.m. UK won a tournament hosted by the Gamecocks earlier this season, so No. 25 USC will have revenge on its mind.

How to follow the Cats

Gametracker
Live blog: UK Athletics

Quigley, Musialek making runs at National Indoors

Playing its indoor season, the men's tennis team is having a strong follow up to its Elite Eight run last spring. Closing out the fall, seniors Eric Quigley and Alex Musialek, ranked No. 3 and No. 20 in the nation), are playing in the USTA National Indoor Championship this weekend. Both won first round matches on Thursday to advance to the tournament's round of 16 and will play matches each day starting on Friday until they lose. http://t.co/ApmkCfrE

How to follow the Cats

Live scoring updates
Live chat: ITAtennis.com
Twitter updates: @UKMensTennis

Performances of the Week: Oct. 30

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Every Tuesday, UK Athletics recognizes outstanding performances for our student-athletes. These are the honorees for the week ending Sunday, Oct. 30:

Volleyball: Whitney Billings

Sophomore Whitney Billings always seems to have the biggest matches of her career during the biggest of times for UK. Billings charted a season-high 17 digs on a .333 hitting clip while adding 12 digs in an upset of No. 13 Florida. Billings' double-double effort was the third of the year, but first in conference action. With the win, UK controls its own destiny and remains in the hunt for the SEC title. Billings provides a consistency in all-around play that is unmatched by any other UK player. She charted 3.00 kills per set on nearly a .300 hitting clip, while also passing out nearly an assist per set. Defensively, she picked up 2.62 digs per set and charted a perfect 1.000 serve-receive percentage while being served at a team-high 41 times. Furthermore, she contributed offensively with a team-high three service aces including a pair against the Gators.

Swimming & diving: Megan Eppler

Megan Eppler continued to see success in the pool for the second consecutive week for Kentucky, claiming the title to the 50, and 100-freestyle events on Saturday. Eppler posted a season-best 23.35 in the 50-freestyle, claiming victory by over .5 in the event. Eppler led Kentucky in a 1-2-3 finish in the 50-freestyle, as the Wildcats swept the podium. Eppler also led Kentucky to a 1-2-3 sweep of the podium in the 100-freestyle, claiming a career-best time of 51.22, winning by .77 in the event.

Swimming & diving: Greg Ferrucci

Greg Ferrucci had a career-best day on Saturday in Nashville, tabbing a career high in the one-meter diving competition, posting a score of 387.37. That score in the competition also set a new University of Kentucky school record. The reigning SEC Male Freshman Diver of the Year also set a career-best score in the three-meter showdown as Ferrucci earned a 405.07. Ferrucci helped lead Kentucky to a 1-2-3 finish in the three-meter competition.

Volleyball: Stephanie Klefot

Kentucky libero Stephanie Klefot continues to provide a consistent presence for UK's back-line defensive effort. In an upset win over No. 13 Florida, Klefot charted a season-high and match-high 28 digs to lead the Wildcats. It marked the 19th time in her career she has posted 20 or more digs in a single match. Her five assists in the match marked a season-high and just the third time in her career she has notched five or more assists. Klefot helped in the scoring effort as well with a pair of service aces. In the three-set victory over South Carolina, Klefot charted 18 digs which was good for an average of 6.00 scoops per set. Klefot leads the league with 435 digs on the year and sits just 20 scoops shy of breaking into UK's top-10 for most digs in a season with six matches remaining in the regular season.

Women's soccer: Caitlin Landis

Caitlin Landis tallied her second multi-goal game of the year netting a pair of goals in Kentucky's 4-2 win over Vanderbilt ... Landis also recorded the game-winning goal, her second this season ... Landis ranks second on the team in goals (6), points (14) and shots (53) ... Landis' efforts in the victory helped guide UK to a six-seed in the SEC Tournament, the Wildcats' highest seed since 2006.

Men's golf: Cody Martin

Sophomore UK men's golfer Cody Martin paced the Wildcats on Sunday with a fantastic round of 4-under par at the Forest Oaks Country Club (par 72, 7,212 yards). Martin had five birdies on the day, including back-to-back birdies on Nos. 6 and 7.

Martin got off to a hot start in 2011, finishing in the top five in each of Kentucky's first three tournaments. His top-15 finish on Sunday is his best finish since the Inverness Intercollegiate Invitational in late September. Martin's 68 is his best round since his 4-under par 67 in the second round of the UK Bluegrass Fall Invitational.

Men's tennis: Alex Musialek

  • Won the singles title at the USTA/ITA Ohio Valley Regional Indoor Championships, taking down fellow teammate and No. 3 Eric Quigley.
  • The win advanced Musialek to the National Indoor Championship this week in New York.
  • Advanced to the finals of the doubles main draw at the event as well.

Volleyball: Lauren O'Conner

Freshman Lauren O'Conner continues to be the epitome of consistency for the Cats. O'Conner has charted eight or more kills in all but one SEC match this season for UK. In a three-set victory over South Carolina she totaled eight hammers on a match-high .400 hitting clip. In the win over No. 13 Florida, she matched her kill output and also provided four blocks which matches a career-high. She also provided UK's offense with a pair of aces and served the final four winning points for UK in the decisive fifth set with Florida.

Men's tennis: Eric Quigley

  • Advanced to the finals of the USTA/ITA Ohio Valley Regional Indoor Championships before falling to teammate Alex Musialek.
  • Third consecutive finals appearance at the event after winning the singles title the past two seasons.
  • Advanced to the finals of the doubles main draw at the event as well.

Swimming & diving: Tyler Reed

Tyler Reed continued his impressive senior season, winning all three events he competed in on Saturday afternoon. Reed won the 200-freestyle by a staggering two seconds, and 50-the freestyle by over four-tenths of a second, recording times of 1:40.80 and 21.11 in the events respectfully. Reed as an individual has now won the 100-freestyle in both weekends that UK has been in competition this far in 2011-12.

Football: Matt Roark

  • Senior wide receiver Matt Roark totaled a career-high with both 13 catches and 116 receiving yards today. Roark's 13 receptions rank second on UK's all-time single-game list, tying Randall Cobb (vs. Tennessee, Nov. 27, 2010).
  • Roark's 116 receiving yards is the most for a Wildcat this season and the first time a UK wide receiver has eclipsed the 100-yard mark since La'Rod King earlier this season against Central Michigan.

Football: Danny Trevathan

  • Senior linebacker Danny Trevathan, who ranks first in the SEC in tackles, tied a career-high with 17 tackles in the game. Trevathan has double-digit tackles in 15 of the last 17 games, dating back to last season.
  • Trevathan's 17 tackle performance moves him up to 17th on Kentucky's all-time tackle list, passing Keith Martin (1980-83). Trevathan needs two tackles to tie Art Still (1974-77) for 16th all time.
  • Trevathan earned an interception in the game, marking the second consecutive game he has recorded a pick. He becomes the first player to notch back-to-back games with picks since Winston Guy in 2010 against Auburn and South Carolina.

Performances of the Week: Oct. 23

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Every Tuesday, UK Athletics recognizes outstanding performances for our student-athletes. These are the honorees for the week ending Sunday, Oct. 23:

Swimming & diving: Megan Eppler

Eppler swam a 23.61 in the 50-freestyle, ranking third overall in the event, which was one of the best performances of the day for the UK women in their season-opening meet in Knoxville, Tenn., this weekend. Eppler also swam a career-best 51.27  in the 100-freestyle placing fourth in the event.

Football: Winston Guy

Led UK with 12 tackles, including two pass break-ups. It marked the sixth time this season and 10th time in his career he has had double-digit tackles. Guy now leads the SEC in tackles with 79.

Volleyball: Christine Hartmann

Junior setter Christine Hartmann had the best all-around performance of her career in leading the Wildcats to a pair of tough-road victories. Hartmann notched a double-double effort, her third of the season, with 39 assists and 10 digs in a win at Georgia. The Wildcats set a school-record with 20.5 blocks in the match, and Hartmann had six. In adding to her repertoire she also posted a career-high four aces in the victory. Hartmann's impressive dispersal of the ball aided UK to have four players with .300 hitting clips or better in the match. On Sunday, Hartmann's play only improved. The St. Charles, Ill., native totaled a career-high eight blocks while passing out a career-best 54 assists in a five-set victory. Hartmann found four different players for 13 or more kills with one more posting nine.

Women's soccer: Kelsey Hunyadi

Kelsey Hunyadi tallied her third career multi-goal game against Mississippi State, leading Kentucky to a win and clinching the Wildcats a berth in this year's SEC Tournament ... She attempted a school single-game record and career-high 11 shots against the Bulldogs in the victory ... It was her career-best fourth game-winning goal of the season ... Hunyadi netted her 11th goal of the season against the Rebels, it's the most goals by a Wildcat since the 2001 season and her 30 points on the season are also the most since by a UK player since 2001 ... Hunyadi has attempted 72 shots this season, second most in school history, 15 shy of the school record.

Volleyball: Stephanie Klefot

Junior Stephanie Klefot notched 43 digs on the weekend to become just the third player in UK history to post 1,200 digs in a career. The 26 scoops vs. Auburn are the most in an SEC match this season for UK's starting defensive stalwart. In the match with Georgia, she posted a match-high 17 digs to lead five different UK players in double-figures for digs. Klefot continues to provide a steady presence for the Blue and White has she has posted 10 or more digs in every SEC match this season and in 22-of-23 matches overall this year. Furthermore, Klefot was targeted a team-high 46 times on the service line and committed just one error for an impressive .978 clip.

Football: Offensive line

Did a fantastic job for Kentucky up front, allowing the Wildcats to rush for 340 yards, which is the most since UK had 341 against Vanderbilt last season. It also marked the second-consecutive game UK has not given up a sack.

Volleyball: Jackie Napper

Freshman Jackie Napper's presence in the back-row helped lead the Wildcats to a pair of road victories this weekend. Napper recorded the first back-to-back double-figure dig efforts of her career with 12 in a win at Georgia and an SEC career-high 13 against Auburn. Napper also registered her second career kill in the win at Georgia. Furthermore, Napper's steady play on the serve-receive line continues to be impressive. This week, Napper was targeted 42 times and committed just one error for an impressive .976 average. Her 2.78 digs per set ranked as the second-best total on the team, and the best for a non-libero. For her career, she has notched seven matches with 10 or more scoops.

Football: Martavius Neloms

Started the scoring for Kentucky, sacking the JSU quarterback, causing a fumble which he scooped up and returned 40 yards for a touchdown.  The fumble recovery for a TD in the first quarter was the first for UK since Ventrell Jenkins' 56-yard return vs. East Carolina in 2009 (Jan. 2). Ended the game with eight tackles, one tackle for loss, one sack and a pass breakup.

Football: Morgan Newton

Rushed for a career-high 75 yards on 12 carries, including a touchdown run. Was also impressive in the passing game, throwing two touchdowns and going 10-for-16 on the day with 105 yards.

Swimming & diving: Tyler Reed

Placed first in the 100-freestyle posting a time of 45.24 seconds. The senior captain also placed well in the 200-freestyle with a time of 1:39.13. Reed swam the fastest split of any UK swimmer with a 20.04 split in the home stretch of the 200 medley relay in which Kentucky finished in third place.

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