No. 7 Kentucky Ends Nonconference Slate vs. Tennessee State

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Coming off a seven-day break between games that started with a victory over highly ranked Duke last Sunday in front of the fourth-largest crowd in program history, the No. 7 University of Kentucky women’s basketball team returns to Memorial Coliseum on Monday at 7 p.m. ET to end its 2015 nonconference schedule against Tennessee State. 

Single-game reserved tickets are $9 for all ages, while adult general admission single-game tickets are $8. For those aged 6-18 or 65-and-over, general admission costs are $5 per ticket. Children age five-and-under are admitted free in the general admission seating area, and UK students, faculty and staff are admitted free with valid identification.

Gameday Central
Tennessee State at Kentucky
Monday, Dec. 28 - 7 p.m. ET
Lexington, Ky. - Memorial Coliseum
Game Notes: UK Get Acrobat Reader | TSU Get Acrobat Reader
Coverage

SEC Network
Radio: UK Sports Radio Network (630AM WLAP in Lexington)
Game Center (free audio, live stats)
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The game will be televised nationally on SEC Network with Brenda VanLengen and Carol Ross calling the action. The game can also be seen through WatchESPN through computers, smartphones and tablets. For the 11th consecutive season Neil Price will have the call on the UK Sports Network. Fans in Lexington can hear Price’s call on 630AM WLAP. Live stats and free audio will be available online at ukathletics.com. 

Kentucky has not seen the floor since its impressive 71-61 victory last Sunday over No. 13/11 Duke in front of 17,150 inside Rupp Arena. The victory moved UK’s record to 10-0 , marking only the fourth time in program history a team has started a season with at least 10 consecutive wins. The strong start is the best since the 2013-14 team started 11-0, which tied a program record. 

Junior forward Evelyn Akhator was the star of the game for the Wildcats, scoring a career-high 18 points with six rebounds and two steals, while senior guard Janee Thompson had 17 points and two assists and junior guard Makayla Epps had 17 points and eight assists, playing in all 40 minutes. Freshman guard Maci Morris had nine points and continued her streak of hitting at least one 3-pointer in every game this season. 

The performance against Duke continued Kentucky’s impressive all-around numbers this season as the Wildcats rank high in several national categories. UK is shooting 49.1% from the field this season to rank eighth nationally and second in the SEC, while its 3-point field goal percentage is at 41.5, which is fourth nationally and first in the league. The strong percentages can be partly attributed to Kentucky ranking 12th in the nation in assists per game at 18.5. 

On the defensive end of the floor, UK ranks 12th in the nation and second in the league in field goal percentage defense at 33.0, while sitting 27th nationally in scoring defense, allowing 54.4 points per game. The Wildcats are also forcing 21.1 turnovers a game, which ranks 21st nationally. 

Individually, Epps ranks 11th in the nation in assist-turnover ratio, 29th nationally in assists per game and 74th in field goal percentage, while Thompson is 21st nationally in assists per game and 20th in the nation in 3-point field goal percentage. Akhator is averaging 10.1 rebounds per game, which ranks first in the Southeastern Conference and 32nd in the nation. 

UK is ranked seventh in the latest USA Today/Coaches Top 25 and the Associated Press Top 25. The Wildcats have been ranked in each poll since week 13 of the 2009-10 season, the longest-ranking streak in program history. Kentucky is 2-0 against ranked teams this season and is scheduled to face several teams also ranked in both major polls, including No. 2/2 South Carolina (twice), No. 14/16 Tennessee, No. 8/8 Mississippi State and No. 16/14 Texas A&M and No. 25/rv Missouri. Kentucky is also scheduled to face Florida and Georgia who are receiving votes in both polls. 

Tennessee State enters the contest with a 5-6 record, most recently dropping a pair of games at the Lady Griz Classic to Utah State, 63-46, and Florida Atlantic, 69-64. Kentucky will be the second opponent from the Southeastern Conference that Tennessee State will face this year, as the Lady Tigers fell in an 82-54 decision to No. 9/9 Mississippi State on Dec. 6.

The Lady Tigers are led in scoring by junior guard I’mani Davis, who is posting an average of 13.5 points per game and is tied for first on the team in rebounding with an average of 6.7 boards per contest.  Also leading in the rebound category is Jayda Johnson, who is averaging 12.5 ppg. Brianna Lawrence is the third Lady Tiger averaging in double figures with 10.8 ppg and leads the team in 3-point field goals made, with 20.  The senior also leads the team in steals with 39, which ranks fifth in the nation.

Monday’s meeting will be the sixth time that the Wildcats and Lady Tigers will square off on the hardwood, with UK holding an unblemished 5-0 record in the all-time series. Kentucky leads the all-time series in games played in Lexington, 4-0. The series began in 1987 with Kentucky and Tennessee State meting two different times last year, with the Wildcats first taking an 87-75 regular-season victory in December 2014. The two teams then faced each other in the first round of the NCAA Tournament inside Memorial Coliseum, with Kentucky recording a dominant 97-52 victory on March 20, 2015.

Tennessee State will be the second Ohio Valley Conference opponent that Kentucky has faced this season with the first being Morehead State. The Wildcats defeated the Eagles 112-57 on Nov. 18 in Lexington. Kentucky holds a 92-17 all-time record against the current alignment of the Ohio Valley Conference.

Following the TSU game, Kentucky will turn its attention to SEC play as the league schedule beings. The Wildcats will begin the always tough 16-game conference slate at Auburn on Jan. 3, before hosting Alabama in its SEC opener on Jan. 7 in Memorial Coliseum. 

For more information on the Kentucky women’s basketball team, follow @UKHoopCats on Twitter and Instagram, or like Kentucky Women’s Basketball on Facebook. 

Spectator parking is located in the following areas:
  • All E-lots surrounding Memorial Coliseum are off control beginning 3 hours prior to tip.  This includes the College of Education E-lots, located off Scott Street.
  • The South Limestone Garage (PS#5, adjacent to Kennedy's Bookstore) and the Rose Street Garage (PS#2) are available 2 hours prior to tip-off. 
  • Lexington Authority Transit Center Parking Garage is available after 5 p.m. ET on weekdays and all day on weekends.
  • When parking in the Transit Center, pull a yellow token from the dispenser and keep in your vehicle.  See the event staff attendant at the entrance near Lexington Avenue/High Street to receive a free parking voucher before the game.  When exiting the garage after the game, place your yellow token in the machine, then scan the barcode on your free parking voucher to exit.
  • Disabled parking is available in the E-Lot (Employee Lot) north of the Joe Craft Center, adjacent to the metered spaces running along the front of the Craft Center with a valid, state issued disabled hang tag.  These spaces are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis until full.
Please note: parking is prohibited in any R-lots (Residential). Vehicles parked in Residential 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.

Shuttle Information:
  • Free shuttle services are available beginning 2 hours prior to tip off from the South Limestone Garage located off Limestone and Upper Street and the Transit Center Parking Garage located off High Street and Vine Street.
  • The Parking Structure #5 shuttle (blue route) picks up/drops off on Administration Drive, at the end of the pedestrian sky bridge accessed from the 3rd floor of the parking garage.  The pickup/drop off point near Memorial Coliseum is at the Euclid entrance.  
  • Transit Center Parking Garage (green route) picks up/drops off near the corner of High Street and Martin Luther King.  The pickup/drop off point near Memorial Coliseum is near the Ticket Office at the Lexington Avenue entrance. 
  • Shuttles will start back up at halftime and continue until 1 hour post-game to return guests to their parking areas.
Game day Information:
  • Doors to Memorial Coliseum will open one (1) hour prior to tip-off.
  • UK Athletics encourages women's basketball fans to arrive early to ease traffic and parking congestion around the Coliseum.
  • Surface lots (i.e. Joe Craft Center North, Rose Street lot and the Alumni Center lot) reach capacity approximately 1.5 hours prior to tip-off, at which point vehicles should proceed directly to the South Limestone Garage (PS#5), Rose Street Garage (PS#2), the E-lots near the College of Education or the Lexington Authority Transit Center Parking Garage near High Street and Lexington Avenue.
For more information on parking around Memorial Coliseum and other game-day questions visit ukathleticsgameday.com/hoops.