No. 20 Kentucky Welcomes Samford for Sunday Tip at Memorial
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The No. 20 Kentucky women’s basketball team returns to the hardwood Sunday when it plays host to Southern Conference opponent Samford at 2 p.m. ET inside Memorial Coliseum.
The game will be broadcast live on the SEC Network+ with Jeff Piecoro and Christi Thomas on the call. The action can be seen through WatchESPN on computers, smartphones or tablets. Now in his 12th season, Neil Price will have the call on the UK Sports Network. Fans in Lexington can hear Price’s call of the game on WLAP 630AM. Live stats and free audio will be available online at ukathletics.com.
Season tickets are $65 and still available in upper level chairbacks, lower level bleachers and general admission upper level bleachers. Single-game tickets for all Kentucky home games are available through the UK Ticket Office and through ticketmaster.com. Single-game tickets are $9 for reserved seating (all ages), $8 for general admission seating (adults) and $5 for general admission seating (youth 6-18/seniors 65+). General admission seating is free for ages five and under.
Kentucky, which fell to No. 20 in the latest Associated Press Top 25 this week, has started its season with a 4-1 record. UK suffered its first loss of the season last weekend against Colorado, falling 79-69 in Boulder. The Wildcats are 4-0 at home this season with wins over highly ranked Miami (Fla.), Albany, New Hampshire and most recently Morehead State. Sunday’s game is the second game of a three-game home stretch for Kentucky.
Against Morehead State, the Wildcats dominated the Eagles in the paint, out-rebounding Morehead State 46-34 with a 40-6 advantage in points in the paint. Four Wildcats scored in double figures in the game with sophomore guard Taylor Murray and senior guard Makayla Epps each scoring 18 points. The strong performance was a career-high in points for Murray, who also added a career-high eight rebounds. Senior post Evelyn Akhator scored 11 points with nine rebounds, while sophomore guard Maci Morris had 14 points and six rebounds.
In its first five games, Kentucky is averaging 77.4 points per game and allowing just 56.2 points per game. The Wildcats are hitting .456 from the field, including .351 from 3 and .688 from the free-throw line. Opponents are hitting just .318 from the field against UK and just .302 from 3. UK is out-rebounding opponents by 5.6 rebounds per game, while averaging 15.4 assists per game.
Akhator leads Kentucky in scoring by averaging 17.2 points per game, adding 11.4 rebounds per game. Akhator had four straight double-doubles to start the season and had five straight double-doubles dating back to last season before finishing one rebound short of a double-double against Morehead State. Akhator was the first Kentucky player since Eleia Roddy in 2008-09 to record five or more consecutive double-doubles. For her career, Akhator has 17 double-doubles to rank seventh most in program history.
Epps is second on the team in scoring by averaging 16.6 points per game. The native of Lebanon, Ky., leads the team in assists and steals with 29 and nine, respectively. Epps is hitting at a .438 clip from the field this season. For her career, Epps has 1,290 points ranking 18th-most in program history.
Two other Wildcats are averaging double figures this season. Morris has scored in double figures in four of the team’s five games, averaging 11.4 points per game with eight assists, four blocks and five steals. Murray is the final Wildcat in double figures with 10.0 points per game after earning double-figures in each of her last two games.
Samford started its season with a 62-57 loss at Georgia Tech before a 48-41 win against Memphis in its home opener. The Bulldogs enter Sunday with a 2-3 record after defeating UT Martin, 69-62 on Wednesday.
In its first five games, Samford is averaging 57.8 points per game, hitting 41.4% from the field. The Bulldogs are allowing 60.2 points per game and teams are hitting 42.3% from the field against them. Opponents are out-rebounding Samford by 4.6 rebounds per game.
Junior guard Kassidy Blevins leads Samford by averaging 15.2 points per game with 4.0 rebounds per game and hitting .510 from the field, while junior guard Hannah Nichols is also averaging 15.2 points per game with 3.2 rebounds per game. Freshman forward Samantha Fitzgerald is averaging 8.6 points per game with 5.2 rebounds per game.
The Bulldogs earned their first 20-win season in program history last year, finishing 20-11 overall. Samford had one of the best defensive teams in the country last season only allowing 50.2 points per game, which ranked third best in the nation.
Samford is entering its 15th season under head coach Mike Morris, who holds a 244-186 (.567) all-time record with the Bulldogs. The Bulldogs lost their top three scorers from last season, including their top rebounder.
Sunday's game is the second all-time meeting between Kentucky and Samford with the Wildcats holding the all-time lead in the series, 1-0.
The lone meeting between the two teams came in Memorial Coliseum on Dec. 21, 2011 when the Wildcats earned a 90-61 victory.
For more information on the Kentucky women’s basketball team, visit UKathletics.com or follow @KentuckyWBB on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, or Kentucky Women’s Basketball on Facebook.
- New spectator parking options include the High Street Lot, located at the corner of East High Street and South Martin Luther King Boulevard, and the Alumni Center Lot on Linden Walk, resulting in nearly 200 additional parking spaces.
- Spectator parking is located in all of the E-lots surrounding Memorial Coliseum, all lots are off control 3 hours prior to tip. Additionally, the South Limestone Garage (PS#5) and the Rose Street Garage (PS#2) are available 2 hours prior to tip. See the shuttle map and route information diagram below for all available women’s basketball spectator parking options.
- Parking is prohibited in any R (Residential) lots. Vehicles parking in R lots without a proper permit, along yellow curbs, grass spaces, or other non-specified and unapproved areas may be subject to ticket and/or tow.
- Disabled spectator parking is available with a valid, state issued disabled hang tag in the E-Lot (Employee Lot) north of the Joe Craft Center. These spaces are available on a first-come, first-served basis until full.
- A parking map can be found, here.
Transit Center Parking Garage
- UK women’s basketball fans can avoid traffic and congestion around Memorial Coliseum and park for FREE at the Transit Center Garage – available after 5 p.m. ET on weekdays and all day for weekend games.
- The Transit Center Parking Garage is accessible from Vine Street of High Street.
- Push the green flashing button upon entry, take the yellow token and store it in a safe place. Park in the garage and find the UK Athletics event staff member at the entrance of the garage near Lexington Avenue for a free parking token to use after the game when you exit the garage. Staff will remain on site until 20 minutes after tip.
- Please do not lose your token. If you lose your token, you will be charged an $8 fee for a lost token fee. If you lose your token, visit the pay on foot station located in the 7th floor elevator lobby of the garage and choose “lost token.” You will be charged $8.00 and given a new token that can be used to exit the garage.
- Shuttles are available beginning 2 hours prior to tip and pick up and drop off near the South Limestone Garage (Parking Structure # 5) (blue route) and near the Transit Center Parking Garage and High Street Lot (green route).
- Shuttles will start back up after halftime to return guests to their parking areas, the shuttle will discontinue service 1-hour postgame.
- A shuttle map with route information is available here.
Game Day Information
- Doors to Memorial Coliseum open one hour prior to tip.
- UK Athletics encourages women’s basketball fans to arrive early to ease traffic and parking congestion around the Coliseum.
- For more information on parking around Memorial Coliseum and other game-day questions visit ukathleticsgameday.com/wbb/.