Cats Tipoff 2000 With Winthrop

(Jan. 2, 2000) -- The University of Kentucky women's basketball team will open the21st century at home on Monday, Jan. 3 when it faces Big South opponentWinthrop for the first time in school history at 7 p.m. in MemorialColiseum.

The Wildcats (7-4) look to bounce back after a heartbreakingone-point loss to Xavier on Saturday. The Musketeers snapped Kentucky'sfour-game home win streak when XU's Kim Holz nailed a free throw withless than a second remaining to seal a win 68-67. UK ended the '90s(Jan. 1, 1990-Dec. 31, 1999) with a 155-133 (54.0%) overall record.

"We need open this new millenium with a win because thebasketball only gets harder from here," UK Coach Bernadette Mattox said."The brutal SEC schedule begins Thursday with Auburn and we need to comeout against Winthrop with intensity and full court pressure. They are agood basketball team and we can't take anyone for granted."

Winthrop, located in Rock Hill, S.C., enters Memorial Coliseumfor the first time ever with a 3-7 overall record, 0-3 on the road. TheLady Eagles, led by sixth-year head coach Robin Muller, are coming off a76-53 win over USC Aiken on Thursday at home.

The young Lady Eagle team is comprised of four juniors andsophomores and three freshmen, with no seniors. Winthrop's leadingscorer is sophomore Charlotta Wennefors who averages 9.4 points pergame. Following in the scoring line is junior Crystal Green who averages8.6 points and leads the team in rebounding with 8.5 rebounds per game.

Winthrop returns two starters from last year's team that went11-18 overall and 4-6 in the Big South Conference. Its three wins thisseason came versus Jacksonville (56-49), Fairleigh Dickinson (71-62) andUSC Aiken (76-53).

Kentucky boasts four of its five starters in double-figurescoring averages this season. Junior forward Laura Meadows leads with13.2 points per game while sophomore LaTonya McDole, who has led theCats in three consecutive games, continues to climb the scoring columnwith 12.5 ppg. Senior guard Erica Jackson averages 11.9 points per gameand is followed by senior center Shantia Owens with 10.4 ppg. Seniorguard Tiffany Wait, who will start her 100th career game on Monday,marginally misses the double-figure mark with 8.5 ppg.

Admission is only $10 for a family of four or more.