UK Hoops Looks For First Win At LSU Since 1995
Jan. 27, 2010
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The 23rd-ranked University of Kentucky women's basketball team rides its three-game winning streak to Baton Rouge, La., with hopes of snapping a 16-game losing skid to No. 18/19 LSU. The Wildcats and Lady Tigers meet Thursday, Jan. 28 at 8:06 p.m. EST in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. The game will be broadcast live on the Big Blue Sports Network with Neil Price and televised regionally in Louisiana on Cox Sports Television.
The Cats' last win over LSU was Feb. 26, 1999 in the SEC Tournament but the last win in Baton Rouge was Feb. 25, 1995 (63-49).
“This will be a difficult test for our team,” UK Hoops Coach Matthew Mitchell said. “We have not played very well on the road in conference as of late and it will be a challenge to go win against a really good team. LSU is extremely talented and probably has more size then we do. They are probably a better athletic matchup then some of the more recent teams have been. It will be a difficult test and we will have to play extremely hard to win.”
The Wildcats (16-3, 4-2 Southeastern Conference) are coming off a 68-50 victory over Auburn at home on Sunday. Defensive pressure was the name of the game once again as UK forced the Tigers into 25 turnovers and held them to 38.0 percent shooting. UK, which leads the nation in turnover margin at +9.9, has forced 20-plus turnovers in 16 of 19 games, including 12 games with 25 or more. The Cats are 12-0 when forcing 25-plus miscues.
Thursday will be a matchup between the league's top offensive and defensive teams. Kentucky leads the SEC in scoring offense, averaging78.2 points per game while LSU leads the SEC in scoring defense, limiting the opponent to just 49.8 points per game.
“It will be key for us to get points off turnovers and get as many transition buckets as we can get because it is hard to score on LSU in the half court,” Mitchell said. “They are big and powerful and tough. Anytime we can get an easy bucket or go to the free-throw line and knock some down, those are points that are at a real premium in this game.”
LSU (14-4, 3-3 SEC) is looking to get back on the winning track after losing three of its last four games. The last loss came in Baton Rouge on Sunday at the hands of No. 3 Tennessee, 55-43. Senior guard Allison Hightower led all scorers with 17 points but the Lady Tigers hit just 26.4 percent from the floor (14-of-53) and were outrebounded, 39-32.
Two players average in double-digit scoring this season. Hightower leads the team and ranks fifth in the SEC (all games), averaging 16.1 points per game. Sophomore LaSondra Barrett follows with 12.8 points per game overall but leads the team in conference play with 19.3 ppg. Barrett also is the team's leading rebounder with 6.6 overall and 8.0 in league action.
Van Chancellor is in his 22nd season overall as a head coach, his third at LSU. Prior to LSU, Chancellor served a 10-year stint with the WNBA's Houston Comets. He returned to college basketball and the SEC for the first time since the 1996-97 season when he left Ole Miss after 19 seasons. He and Mitchell are both natives of Louisville, Miss.
Thursday will mark the 36th meeting between Kentucky and LSU. The Lady Tigers lead the overall series 28-7, including a 11-2 advantage when the game is played in Baton Rouge. UK has dropped 16 straight games to LSU, including eight in a row in Baton Rouge. This will mark the first meeting between the teams when UK has been ranked in the top 25.