Cats Meet Mississippi State in SEC Tournament Semifinals
March 6, 2010
DULUTH, Ga. - With a 65-54 win over Auburn on Friday, the No. 19/18 Kentucky women's basketball team advances to the semifinals of the Southeastern Conference Tournament for the third time in five seasons. The Wildcats will meet Mississippi State Saturday, March 6 at 6 p.m. EST on ESPNU. It also will be carried live on the Big Blue Sports Network (radio) and UKathletics.com with Neil Price.
SEC Player of the Year Victoria Dunlap (Nashville, Tenn.) paced the Cats against the Tigers, recording 24 points, six rebounds, four blocks, three steals and two assists. SEC Freshman of the Year A'dia Mathies (Louisville, Ky.) followed with 15 points, seven rebounds and two steals. Senior Lydia Watkins (Hopkinsville, Ky.) came off the bench to lead UK on the boards with eight.
Kentucky earned the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye for the third time in five years by recording one of its most impressive seasons in school history. Despite being picked to finish 11th in the preseason polls by league coaches and media, the Cats won a school-record 11 SEC games and have posted a 24-6 overall record, just one win shy of the school record. UK's second-place finish is the highest since the league moved to its current 12-team format in 1992 and since the 1982-83 squad finished second in the East when the SEC had a 10-team, divisional format.
Mississippi State also received a first-round bye as the No. 3 seed, finishing the regular season 18-11 overall, 9-7 in SEC play. The Bulldogs defeated Georgia in the quarterfinals on Friday, 67-52.
Saturday marks the 35th meeting between the teams. The series is tied at 17-17 apiece after the Wildcats took a 69-59 win over the Bulldogs in Starkville earlier this season. UK is 3-2 all-time vs. MSU in the SEC Tournament.
UK is 21-30 all-time in the SEC Tournament and holds a 1-6 mark in semifinal games. UK also advanced to the semifinal in 2006, 1992, and 1999, marking the Cats' highest SEC Tournament finishes since winning the tournament in 1982.