Kentucky-UNC Asheville Postgame Notes
Kentucky Women’s Basketball Postgame Notes
NCAA Tournament First Round
FINAL: #3 Kentucky 85, #14 UNC Asheville 31
Memorial Coliseum – Lexington, Ky.
March 19, 2016
Team Records and Series Notes
Kentucky advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament with an 85-31 victory over UNC Asheville on Saturday in Memorial Coliseum. With the win, the Wildcats move to 24-7 on the season, while the Big South Conference regular-season and tournament champions end its season at 26-7 overall.
UK now leads the all-time series in games played against UNC Asheville 3-0. This was the first meeting in the NCAA Tournament between the two teams and the first meeting overall since squaring off twice in 1995.
Kentucky will play Oklahoma in the second round on Monday inside Memorial Coliseum. Tickets are available online at ukhoopstix.com. A time has yet to be determined.
With the win, Matthew Mitchell is now 248-117 overall and 218-88 in his nine-year tenure at Kentucky. Mitchell is 14-6 in the NCAA Tournament and 34-18 in the months of March and April.
This is Kentucky’s 13th all-time appearance in the NCAA Tournament, including a school-record seventh straight. The Wildcats are 18-12 all-time in the event, including 1-0 this season.
The Wildcats are the No. 3 seed in the NCAA Lexington Regional and hold a 3-2 all-time record as a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
This is the third year in a row that Kentucky has hosted the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament at Memorial Coliseum. The Wildcats hold a 5-2 all-time in NCAA Tournament games played in Lexington.
Kentucky is one of nine schools from the Southeastern Conference to be awarded a bid into the NCAA Tournament, tying an NCAA Tournament record for most teams from the same conference in the event.
Kentucky started with Batouly Camara, Janee Thompson, Maci Morris, Evelyn Akhator and Makayla Epps for the 10th straight game. UK is 9-2 with this lineup.
The Wildcat held a 21-point lead (37-16) at halftime thanks to 16-5 run to end the second quarter.
Kentucky shot 45.5% from the field in the first half on 15-of-33 shooting, including 5-11 in 3-pointers also for 45.5%.
The Wildcats won the battle in the paint in the first half, outrebounding UNCA 24-14 and winning the battle in points in the paint, 20-6.
UK had six turnovers in the first half and forced the Bulldogs into eight turnovers. Kentucky turned those eight UNCA turnovers into 10 points, including eight fast-break points.
Kentucky’s defense was impressive in the first half, limiting the Bulldogs to just 21.4% from the field on 6-of-28 shooting, including 3-of-12 from 3.
The first and third quarters continue to be good to the Wildcats as Kentucky scored 24 points in the first quarter to take its season total to 572 points. Kentucky scored 26 points in the third quarter to take its season total up to 613.
UNCA Asheville broke a five-minute scoring drought in the third period with a basket at the 2:10 mark of the quarter. During that time, Kentucky extended its lead to 35 points and went on a 12-0 run.
o The 12-0 run was its 23rd run this season of 10 or more points.
Kentucky improved to 331-22 (since 1974) when scoring 80 points or more, including 85-4 under Matthew Mitchell.
The Wildcats ended the game on a 15-0 run over five-plus minutes to finish off the game.
Kentucky NCAA Tournament Records:
• The 54-margin of victory is the largest margin of victory by UK in an NCAA Tournament game. The previous high was 46 vs. Wright State on March 22, 2014.
• Kentucky held UNCA to a UK NCAA Tournament low 31 points. The previous low was 41 points by Navy on March 24, 2013.
• UK held UNCA to a UK NCAA Tournament low 20.6 percent shooting (13 of 63), including just 12.0 percent from the 3-point line (3 of 25). The previous low was 22.9 field goal percent by Wright State on March 22, 2014 and 16.7 3-point field goal percentage four other times.
Makayla Epps led Kentucky with a game-high 24 points, marking the 11th time this season she has accomplished that feat.
o Epps has scored 10+ points in 27 games this season, including each of the last eight games.
o Epps had 16 points in the first half alone on 7-of-12 shooting from the field, including 2-of-5 from 3.
o Epps ended the game with three rebounds, five assists and two steals.
Janee Thompson finished with 13 points and two assists, marking the 21st time this season she has scored in double figures and the 55th time in her career.
o Thompson now has 997 points, needing just three more points to become the 32nd player in program history to score over 1,000 points.
Evelyn Akhator just missed a double-double with 10 points and seven rebounds in the game. It is the 22nd time this season Akhator has scored in double figures.
Maci Morris went 3-of-3 from 3 in the game and now has hit 44 3-pointers on the season, which moves her into third all-time in freshman 3-pointers hit.
Taylor Murray finished with 11 points, five rebounds, four assists in just 24 minutes.
o Marked her 10th double-digit game of the season and first since netting 13 at Mississippi State on Feb. 18.