UK Hoops Faces Ole Miss in Oxford on Super Bowl Sunday

Jan. 31, 2009


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LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The Kentucky women’s basketball travels to Oxford, Miss., to face Ole Miss on Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) looking to end its three-game losing skid. Like the Wildcats, the Rebels also are riding a three-game losing streak after falling to No. 13 Tennessee on Thursday. Tip-off is slated for 3 p.m. ET and the game will be broadcast live from C.M. “Tad” Smith Coliseum on the Big Blue Sports Network (radio) with Neil Price.

Despite a season-high 19 points from senior point guard Carly Ormerod (Louisville, Ky.) and the fourth straight double-double (16 points/12 rebounds) for sophomore forward Victoria Dunlap (Nashville, Tenn.), the Wildcats (12-9, 2-4 Southeastern Conference) could not overcome the hot-shooting Gators, falling 74-59 in Gainesville. Florida hit 46.7 percent from the floor and outrebounded the Cats, 42-36, marking just the fifth time this season UK has lost the rebounding battle. The Gators also scored 25 points off UK’s 23 miscues.

“We had a good practice yesterday and we just have to continue playing with a lot of intensity and passion,” UK Hoops Coach Matthew Mitchell said. “We made too many mistakes at Florida and we have to get those corrected. Ole Miss is a dangerous team and they have a lot of weapons. They lost in the final seconds to Tennessee and they are gunning for a win just like we are. We need the entire team to step up their game, especially in this SEC road game.”

Overall, Dunlap and senior center Eleia Roddy (Columbus, Ohio) are UK’s main weapons in scoring and rebounding. Dunlap averages a team-high 12.3 points and a SEC-high 9.0 rebounds per game while Roddy follows close behind with 12.1 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. In SEC play, Dunlap averages a double-double with 12.5 points and a league-high 10.3 rpg. The duo has combined for 17 double-doubles this season.

Like Kentucky, the Rebels (13-8, 2-4 SEC) are looking to get back on the winning track after dropping three straight games. Ole Miss had a chance to get back in the winning column Thursday against No. 13 Tennessee in Knoxville. The Rebels led by five (59-54) with 1:16 to go but Tennessee scored the final six points, including a three-pointer by Angie Bjorklund with six seconds in the game. Her three thwarted the upset and the Lady Vols went on to win, 60-59.

Overall, junior guard Bianca Thomas and senior center Shawn Goff are the Rebels’ leading scorers, averaging 13.6 and 13.4 points per game, respectively. Goff also pulls down a team-high 5.9 rebounds per game. On Thursday against the Lady Vols, she became the 22nd player in school history to score 1,000 or more career points.

The Rebels are 9-3 at home, including a 2-1 mark in conference play. Ole Miss’ lone SEC loss at home came against South Carolina on Jan. 22, 76-67.

This is the 30th meeting between Ole Miss and Kentucky. The Rebels lead the series 19-10, including a 10-4 advantage when the game is played in Oxford. However, UK has won five of the last six meetings, including two straight in Oxford and last year’s meeting in Lexington, 59-54. UK’s last win in Oxford came in 2007 (69-61). The Cats haven’t lost in Oxford since a 90-88 setback in double-overtime on Feb. 1, 2004. Coach Mitchell is 1-0 all-time vs. the Rebels.