No. 16/18 Wildcats Play Host to Auburn Thursday
Feb. 2, 2011
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The 16/18th-ranked Kentucky women’s basketball team looks to extend its Southeastern Conference winning streak to seven when it plays host to the Auburn Tigers on Thursday, Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. EST in Memorial Coliseum. The game will be broadcast live on the Big Blue Sports Radio Network with Neil Price.
Both teams boast a 6-2 league record and are in a three-way tie for second place with Georgia.
“Thursday is a big game for us,” UK Hoops Coach Matthew Mitchell said. “Auburn and Kentucky are tied in the standings and both are coming in here with two losses, so it’s getting to that time of year where a game like this carries great significance. In getting prepared for Auburn, we noticed that they are a very good defensive team. They really make it tough for people in conference to score and that will be a big challenge for us. They have some very good veteran players that know how to score in a game like this. We have a lot of respect for Auburn to come in here tomorrow night playing well and expect it to be a big test for us. We are just trying to get ready to win.”
Like Kentucky, the Tigers have lived off their defense this season, averaging 9.8 steals and 4.0 blocks per game. Auburn opponents average 19.4 turnovers per game with the Tigers scoring an average of 19.9 points per game off of turnovers.
The Cats rank in the top five of nine SEC statistical categories, including leading the SEC and ranking third nationally in turnover margin (+8.0) and leading the league and ranking 28th nationally in steals (11.8 spg).
Senior All-American Victoria Dunlap (Nashville, Tenn.) leads the way for UK, averaging an SEC-high 17.8 points per game, 3.4 steals per game while shooting .490 percent from the field. With 997 rebounds, she needs only three more to become just the second player in UK Hoops history to grab 1,000 or more in her career.
Dunlap is coming off an impressive week in which she averaged a team-high 21.5 points, 10.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals in UK’s two SEC road wins at Ole Miss and Alabama. Dunlap scored 18 points in the come-from-behind win over the Rebels, including 16 in the decisive second half while freshman guard Jennifer O’Neill (Bronx, N.Y.) added 10 points off the bench. Against the Tide, Dunlap paced the winning effort with 25 points and 15 rebounds, marking her 27th career and fifth double-double of the season. She also moved up to No. 3 on both the all-time scoring and steals list at UK. Junior sharp-shooter Keyla Snowden (Lexington, Ky.) came off the bench for 13 points after netting 4-of-5 three-point attempts. Sophomore guard A’dia Mathies (Louisville, Ky.) added 12 points and four assists in helping the Cats win their sixth consecutive game.
Auburn enters Thursday’s game at 13-8 overall, 6-2 in SEC play after defeating South Carolina at home on Sunday. They are 12-4 in their last 16 games after starting the season 1-4.
Senior Alli Smalley leads the team with 11.8 points per game, followed by sophomore Blanche Alverson with 11.5 per game. Senior Jordan Greenleaf pulls down a team-high 7.7 rebounds per game, along with her 9.5 points. Sophomore Morgan Toles averages 9.0 points along with an SEC-high 5.4 assists per game.
Auburn owns a 25-13 lead in the all-time series with Kentucky, including a 10-5 advantage in Lexington. During the regular season last year, UK split meetings with the Tigers, winning 68-50 in Lexington and dropping a 65-53 decision in Auburn. The Cats also met the Tigers in the quarterfinal round of the SEC Tournament with UK taking a 65-54 decision.
Single-game tickets are on sale now. Single-game reserved seats are $7 (regardless of age) while general admission tickets are $7 for adults and $4 for youth/seniors. UK students, faculty and staff are admitted free with valid identification. To purchase tickets, visit the Joe Craft Center in person, call 1-800-928-2287 or go online at UKathletics.com.
Women's basketball parking is available in the following surface lots and parking structures:
- Student Center Lot - off Euclid Ave
- MLK South Lot - between Lexington Ave and Martin Luther King Boulevard and south (towards Euclid) of the center drive lane. UK STUDENTS ARE BACK - DO NOT PARK IN NORTH MLK LOT (closest to Wildcat Lodge) AS THIS IS A RESIDENTIAL LOT AND SUBJECT TO TICKET/TOW.
- Joe Craft Center North E-Lot - large lot located north of the Joe Craft Center and accessible via Lexington Avenue or Rose Street.
- Good Samaritan surface Lot - accessible off Martin Luther King Boulevard
Parking Structure #5 - entrances off Limestone and S. Upper.
- Doors to the Coliseum will open one hour prior to tipoff.
- UK Athletics encourages women's basketball fans to arrive early to ease traffic and parking congestion around the Coliseum.
- Surface event lots (i.e. Student Center, Hardymon, MLK and Good Samaritan) typically reach capacity approximately 30-45 minutes prior to tipoff, at which point, vehicles should proceed to Parking Structure #5.
- The parking structure shuttle will begin one hour prior to tip and end one hour postgame. The shuttle picks up on Administration Drive, accessible via the sky bridge located on the third floor of Parking Structure #5.
- Handicapped parking (first come, first served until full) is located in the northeast corner of the MLK South Lot; must have valid state-issued hang tag