Cats Face Gators in SEC Tournament Quarterfinals
March 1, 2012
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky women’s basketball team will face the eighth-seeded Florida Gators on Friday at 1 p.m. ET in the quarterfinals of the 2012 Southeastern Conference Tournament. The Gators topped the Auburn Tigers, 70-60, in the first round of the tournament on Thursday afternoon in Nashville, Tenn.
(1) Kentucky vs. (8) Florida
Fri., Mar. 2 - 1:00 p.m. ET
Game Notes: UK | UF
Radio: UK IMG
Live Video via WatchESPN
Kentucky will enter Friday’s game coming off its first SEC regular season championship since 1982 after going 24-5 and 13-3 in the SEC. Kentucky has faced Florida twice already this season, winning both games. Kentucky topped Florida in its SEC opener, 59-56, in Gainesville, Fla. Kentucky then held off a late Florida rally in Lexington, Ky., with a 57-52 win.
“Well I think Florida knows us very well,” UK head coach Matthew Mitchell said. “They’re very well coached, a senior laden team, so they can absorb scouting and do things to try to counteract what you’re trying to accomplish. I think Florida, more so than a lot of teams, the two times we played them have been such close games. The makeup of their team, I think they will be familiar with what we’re going to try to do.
In its win Thursday afternoon over Auburn, Florida was led by junior forward Jennifer George who recorded her 15th double-double of the season, scoring a dozen points to go with 14 rebounds. Redshirt-senior guard Jordan Jones led UF in scoring with 17 points, including three 3-pointers. Kentucky earned a first-round bye in the SEC Tournament. Kentucky will play Florida at 1 p.m. ET on SportSouth.
Pre-Florida Media Opportunity - Mar. 1, 2012
Head Coach Matthew Mitchell
On playing against a team that has already faced Kentucky’s pressure defense and if it’s easier for them…
“Well I think Florida knows us very well. They’re very well coached, a senior laden team, so they can absorb scouting and do things to try to counteract what you’re trying to accomplish. I think Florida, more so than a lot of teams, the two times we played them have been such close games. The makeup of their team, I think they will be familiar with what we’re going to try to do. I thought the game in Lexington, we were hovering around double digits most of the second half, and it was a real tough ending to the game. The thing that concerns me the most about them is you have to believe they’re really hungry for an NCAA bid. While I think they’re in (the NCAA Tournament), I know being on the other side when you’re trying to think that maybe you’re not. I think that can motivate your team. This is going to be a real tough one tomorrow.”
On the first game in the SEC Tournament often times being one of the most difficult games…
“I think to start the game, not playing the first day can sometimes be a disadvantage. That’s what I’m going to try to put so much emphasis on is starting fast and starting focused and trying to prepare as much this afternoon for that good start. Because then once you get going, I think the day off helps you if you can start fast. I look for it to be a real tough game.”
On the current health of the team…
“(We are) as healthy as we’re going to be. All three seniors are dealing with things – they’re a little banged up. But they’re not going to get any healthier this weekend. Now they may benefit from some time off before the NCAAs, but we’re healthy. Sam(antha Drake) had a knee cap slide out and she kind of tweaked her knee a little yesterday. We held her this morning. She looks great, maybe a little sore. That doesn’t look like it’s going to hold her from the game. We won’t know until tomorrow. Other than that, we’re really healthy.”