UK Hoops to Participate in Expanded SEC/Big 12 Challenge
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The University of Kentucky women's basketball team in conjunction with the Southeastern Conference announced its participation and matchups in the 2016 and 2017 SEC/Big 12 Challenge to be held on campus sites. The challenge will now expand to 10 games each year between the two conferences, as 10 SEC teams will participate, and all 10 schools from the Big XII will also enter the event.
In 2016, games will be scheduled over the dates of Thursday, December 1 through Sunday, December 4. Exact dates of matchups and television designation will be released when available.
In the 2016 SEC/Big 12 Challenge, UK will host the Oklahoma Sooners, while the Wildcats will travel to Waco, Texas, to face the Baylor Lady Bears in 2017 to headline the event.
UK played both Oklahoma and Baylor in the 2014-15 season, defeating both in thrilling contests. The Wildcats rallied from down 15 points in the second half at Rupp Arena to down the No. 8/9 Lady Bears, 74-64, behind 22 points from senior Jennifer O'Neill. The Wildcats are 3-2 all-time against Baylor, winning the last two regular season meetings, including a four overtime win in 2012.
Kentucky has a 1-1 record against the Sooners, with UK's first win coming in the 2014 U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam in a 92-88 overtime win. Kentucky trailed by 10 points with 1:08 to play in the second half, and led by a career-high 22 points from Linnae Harper, forced overtime and outscored the Sooners 13-9 in the extra session. The only other time the teams met was in the 2010 Lincoln Regional final, in which OU won.
The inaugural challenge was held in 2014 in Little Rock, Ark., and featured a top 5 matchup with No. 3 Texas squaring off against No. 4 Texas A&M. Oklahoma and Arkansas, who were both receiving votes in the Associated Press Poll, played in the second game. The conferences split the Challenge with the two games decided by a total of nine points.
The 2015 version will be contested in Oklahoma City on Sunday, December 20, 2015, with the opponents reversed. Texas will play Arkansas while Oklahoma entertains Texas A&M.
2016 SEC/Big 12 Women's Basketball Challenge Matchups
Baylor at Tennessee
Mississippi State at Iowa State
Kansas at Alabama
Auburn at Kansas State
Oklahoma at Kentucky
Georgia at Oklahoma State
TCU at Florida
South Carolina at Texas
Texas Tech at Arkansas
Ole Miss at West Virginia
2017 Big 12/SEC Women's Basketball Challenge Matchups
Kentucky at Baylor
Iowa State at Vanderbilt
Arkansas at Kansas
Kansas State at Missouri
Florida at Oklahoma
Oklahoma State at Mississippi State
Alabama at TCU
Texas at Georgia
LSU at Texas Tech
West Virginia at Texas A&M
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