UK Hoops Meets Kentucky Wesleyan in Lone Exhibition Game

Nov. 6, 2010

Live blog

LEXINGTON, Ky. - With the first regular-season game less than a week away, the No. 9/10 Kentucky women's basketball team looks to iron out any kinks when it takes on Division II foe Kentucky Wesleyan Sunday, Nov. 7 in its lone exhibition game of the season. Game time is 2 p.m. EST in Memorial Coliseum and admission is free of charge.
This is the second time in school history the squads have met in exhibition play. UK defeated the Panthers 83-61 at Memorial Coliseum on Nov. 1, 2007.
"We are looking forward to playing on Sunday and seeing where we are as a team," UK Hoops Coach Matthew Mitchell said. "It's been interesting with this team as the progression has not been as quick as I would have liked it to be. The freshmen have progressed at a slower pace but that's probably understandable. It will be pretty basic what we will be trying to find out. Are they in the right plays and in the right positions? Is their intensity good? Those kinds of things will be very important because we don't have that much installed."  
Seven returning veterans join six highly touted newcomers as Mitchell, who enters his fourth season at Kentucky, looks to lead his Wildcats to another banner season.
Three starters are back from a squad that finished 28-8 overall, 11-5 in the Southeastern Conference in 2009-10. On the heels of an NCAA Elite Eight appearance, the Cats were picked to finish second in the SEC by both the league coaches and the media, and are ranked in the top 10 in both national preseason polls.
Leading the charge again this season is the reigning SEC and preseason Player of the Year Victoria Dunlap (Nashville, Tenn.), last year's SEC Freshman of the Year sophomore guard A'dia Mathies (Louisville, Ky.) and junior sharp-shooting guard Keyla Snowden (Lexington, Ky.). The point guard position will be the Cats' biggest question mark as senior and last year's starting point guard Amber Smith (Winter Haven, Fla.) is out indefinitely after suffering a knee injury during a pickup game in late July.
"With Amber currently not available we anticipated having growing pains and we are having those," Mitchell said. "It's definitely something we can develop as the season goes along because I have a lot of confidence that our players have talent. I just think that could be a shaky position for us early in the year."
Additional returning letterwinners are Crystal Riley (Memphis, Tenn.), Carly Morrow (Lookout Mountain, Ga.) and Brittany Henderson (Pasadena, Calif.). Adding depth to the backcourt is redshirt freshman Bernisha Pinkett (Washington, D.C.) who will see her first action in 2010-11 after enrolling at UK last January.
UK welcomes five incoming freshmen to the squad this year. Kentucky's top-10 recruiting class of Sarah Beth Barnette (Lexington, Ky.), Maegan Conwright (Arlington, Texas), Samantha Drake (Bardstown, Ky.), Kastine Evans (Salem, Conn.), and Jennifer O'Neill (Bronx, N.Y.) featured the Wildcats' first McDonald's All-America selection (O'Neill) and three state players of the year from Connecticut (Evans), Kentucky (Barnette) and Texas (Conwright).
This will be the second exhibition of the season for Kentucky Wesleyan located in Owensboro, Ky. Co-head coaches Caleb and Nicole Nieman's team lost an exhibition game to Morehead State 66-56 in Morehead, Ky., last week. KWC returns seven letterwinners from last year and welcomes six newcomers.
Kentucky will open its 37th season of varsity women's basketball on Friday, Nov. 12 against the Morehead State Lady Eagles in Memorial Coliseum at 11 a.m. EST. It will mark the nation's first women's basketball game of the 2010-11 season.
Women's basketball parking is available in the following surface lots and parking structures:
•         Student Center Lot - off Euclid Ave
•         MLK South Lot - between Lexington Ave and MLK Blvd. and south (towards Euclid) of the center drive lane.  DO NOT PARK IN NORTH MLK LOT (closest to Wildcat Lodge) AS THIS IS A RESIDENTIAL LOT AND SUBJECT TO TICKET/TOW.
o   Handicapped Parking (first come-first served until full) is located in the Northeast corner of the MLK South Lot, must have valid state-issued hang tag
•         Joe Craft Center North E-Lot - large lot located north of the Joe Craft Center, and accessible via Lexington Avenue or Rose St.
•         Good Samaritan surface Lot - accessible off MLK Blvd
•         Parking Structure #5 - entrances off Limestone and S. Upper
-  Doors to the Coliseum will open one (1) hour prior to tip-off. 
-  UK Athletics encourages women's basketball fans to arrive early to ease traffic and parking congestion around the Coliseum. 
-  Surface event lots (i.e. Student Center, Hardymon, MLK and Good Samaritan) typically reach capacity approximately 45 minutes prior to tip-off, at which point, vehicles should proceed to Parking Structure #5 (PS#5). 
-  The PS #5 shuttle will begin one hour prior to tip and end one hour post-game. The PS #5 shuttle picks up on Administration Drive, accessible via the sky bridge located on the 3rd Floor of PS#5.