UK Hoops Meets Georgia on Senior Night

Feb. 25, 2009

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LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky women's basketball team returns to Memorial Coliseum Thursday, Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. EST for its final home game of the regular season against Georgia. The game will be broadcast live on the Big Blue Sports Radio Network and FSN South. Three seniors – Jenn'e Jackson, Carly Ormerod, and Eleia Roddy will be honored in a pregame “Senior Night” ceremony.

Single-game general admission tickets are available for $5 adults/$2 senior citizens and children 6-18. Ages five and under are admitted free. UK students, faculty and staff also are admitted free with valid identification based on availability. For ticket information, log on to UKathletics.com or call the UK ticket office at 859-257-1818 or 1-800-928-CATS (2287).

“It is a special night because it will be our last regular-season home game and we get to honor three very deserving seniors,” UK Hoops Coach Matthew Mitchell said. “Carly Ormerod (Louisville, Ky.), Eleia Roddy (Columbus, Ohio), and Jenn'e Jackson (Radcliff, Ky.) have all made significant contributions to the program. In my estimation, they have left the program better than they found it and that is how you measure what they have done with their time here. We are excited to honor them and the very best way we can send them off is by getting a win over Georgia. Georgia has a talented team and a tough match-up for us. It will be a really big challenge for us to beat the Lady Bulldogs.”

The Wildcats (14-13, 4-8 Southeastern Conference) are looking to capture their third straight win over Georgia (15-12, 5-7 SEC) but its first over the Lady Bulldogs in Memorial Coliseum since 1999.

The Cats are led in scoring and rebounding by All-SEC candidate Victoria Dunlap (Nashville, Tenn.). The 6-1 sophomore, who also has established herself as a top contender for SEC Defensive Player of the Year, leads the SEC and ranks 46th nationally in rebounding (9.2 rebounds per game) and ranks in the SEC's top 15 in steals (1.6 spg) and blocks (1.2 bpg). All-SEC nominee Eleia Roddy (Columbus, Ohio) will be back in action after missing the LSU with a stomach virus. It snapped her 26-game starting streak. She is UK's second-leading scorer and rebounder, averaging 12.2 points and 8.5 rebounds per game.

“She looked better yesterday,” Mitchell said. “It looks like it was a 24-hour deal and that is how we felt considering it came on so fast. I talked to her about 5:30 p.m. Monday afternoon and she said ‘coach I feel like I am getting back to it.' Then I saw her 24-hours after that at practice and she had a good practice yesterday. Everybody seems healthy and ready to go.”

UK is coming off a one-point (57-56) road loss to LSU on Sunday. Despite just seven healthy players, the Wildcats battled LSU to the wire. UK scratched back from a 12-point deficit late in the second half to pull within one with eight seconds to go. A last-second shot by Carly Morrow (Chattanooga, Tenn.) at the buzzer was off the mark and LSU held on for its 16th straight win over the Cats.

Georgia is looking to snap a five-game losing skid after falling at No. 3 Auburn on Sunday, 65-59. Junior Ashley Houts leads three players in double-figure scoring, averaging 11.6 points per game. Junior Angel Robinson, UGA's top rebounder with 9.0 rpg, follows in the scoring column with 11.1 ppg. Sophomore Porsha Phillips adds 10.2 ppg. Coach Andy Landers is in his 34th season overall, including his 30th at Georgia.

Thursday will mark the 41st meeting between the teams. UGA leads the all-time series 29-11, including a 10-7 advantage in Lexington. The Wildcats have won the last two meetings against the Lady Bulldogs. Kentucky took both wins last season, upsetting No. 17/14 Georgia in Athens on Jan. 31 (47-44) and then later defeating No. 23/21 Georgia (57-50) in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament. UK's last win over the Lady Bulldogs in Lexington came on Jan. 13, 2005 in Rupp Arena. The last win in Memorial Coliseum vs. UGA was Feb. 7, 1999 (80-76).

Fans are encouraged to park in Parking Structure 5 located next to Kennedy's Bookstore on Limestone Avenue. Parking within Parking Structure 5 will be available free of charge. A shuttle bus service also will be provided and begins one hour prior to game time until one hour after the game. Additional game day parking is available in the E lots surrounding Memorial Coliseum including the Martin Luther King Parking Lot and the Student Center Parking Lot.

Head Coach Matthew Mitchell

Opening statement …
“It is a special night because it will be our last regular season home game and we get to honor three very disserving seniors. We are looking forward to having a nice ceremony for them. Carly Ormerod, Eleia Roddy and Jenn'e Jackson have all made significant contributions to the program. In my estimation, they have left the program better than they found it and that is how you measure what they have done with their time here. We are excited to honor them and the very best way we can send them off is by getting a win over Georgia. Georgia has a talented team and a tough match-up for us. It will be a really big challenge for us to beat the Lady Bulldogs, but that is what we will be intent on doing.”

On if he will cry tomorrow during senior night …
“You never know until you get out there. It is a very emotional time and I would say that I was more smiles last year. I won't really know till the moment hits.”

On if this team still has something to play for …
“Absolutely, we have everything to play for. The first thing is putting on the Kentucky jersey. That is an unbelievable thing to play for, in my opinion. Anytime we have the opportunity to go out and play for Kentucky it's big. All the other implications are still in place. We need to finish as strongly as possible and that starts to determine what your future looks like. The fewer games we win down the stretch the less there is to play for. If we can win Thursday night, which we are intent on doing, there are a lot of different things that this team can do.”

On if he expects Georgia's best tomorrow considering they are on a five-game losing streak …
“If you watch them on film it is hard to believe because they are a talented team. They have played well at times during that stretch. They have a lot of talent and they are going to be extremely motivated to play tomorrow night. They still have a chance to finish above .500 in the league and that is significant for them. I think they are going to be very tough tomorrow night.”

On a win moving them up in the SEC standings …
“We need to pass as many people that we can. For us, playing well tomorrow night gets us one step closer to playing well in the tournament. We clearly need to get on a roll here and win a bunch of games. Tomorrow night is huge for us from that stand point. I have maintained this for the last few weeks, if we would just execute at a high enough level over the entire course of a game we have a great chance to win. We need to perform well tomorrow night and if we do we will have a great chance to win.”

On if Eleia Roddy is over her stomach virus …
“She looked good yesterday. It looks like it was a 24-hour deal and that is how we felt considering it came on so fast. I talked to her about 5:30 p.m. Monday afternoon and she said ‘coach I feel like I am getting back to it.' Then I saw her 24-hours after that at practice and she had a good practice yesterday. Everybody seems healthy and ready to go.”