UK Hoops Welcomes Alabama A&M to Memorial Coliseum

Dec. 18, 2008

Complete Pregame Notes Get Acrobat Reader | Matthew Mitchell Quotes

LEXINGTON, Ky. – After a four-day break for final exams, the Kentucky women’s basketball team returns to action Friday, Dec. 19 against first-time opponent Alabama A&M. The game will tip off at 7 p.m. EST in Memorial Coliseum and be broadcast live on the Big Blue Sports Network (radio) with Neil Price.

Single-game general admission tickets are available for $5 adults/$2 senior citizens and children 6-18. Ages five and under are admitted free. UK students, faculty and staff also are admitted free with valid identification based on availability. For ticket information, log on to ukathletics.com or call the UK ticket office at 859-257-1818 or 1-800-928-CATS (2287).

“We need to get back on the right track after dropping two in a row,” UK Hoops Coach Matthew Mitchell said. “Alabama A&M is our next game and we need to come back with a win. I thought we practiced a lot better yesterday and the players looked better on offense. It is exam week and it’s hard to balance practice and exams at the same time. Right now, we need to get healthier and more confident on offense. Hopefully Alabama A&M will give us an opportunity to do that.”

Despite playing without veteran point guard Carly Ormerod (Louisville, Ky.) for the fourth-straight game, the Cats (5-5) put up a valiant effort against No. 12/13 Louisville last Sunday. UK pulled with 10 points in the second half but couldn't overcome a season-high 26 turnovers. Louisville scored 23 points off those miscues and went on to win, 75-59. Four players scored in double-figures led by junior forward Lydia Watkins’ (Hopkinsville, Ky.) 15 points off the bench. Sophomore guard Carly Morrow (Chattanooga, Tenn.) followed with a career-high 14 points while senior center Eleia Roddy (Columbus, Ohio) posted her second-straight double-double with 13 points and a career-high 15 rebounds. Sophomore forward Victoria Dunlap (Nashville, Tenn.) rounded out the scoring column with 12 points.

Dunlap and Roddy lead the team in scoring and rebounding this season. Dunlap is tops in scoring with 11.4 points per game while Roddy follows close behind with 10.3 ppg. Roddy, who ranks third in the Southeastern Conference in rebounding, pulls down a team-high 8.6 boards per game while Dunlap trails with 7.7 rpg.

Alabama A&M (2-5), located in Huntsville, Ala., is 2-5 overall this season after dropping its last four games, including a 69-60 road loss to Murray State on Wednesday.

Junior guard Katrich Williams leads the team in scoring with 16.7 points per game. The team’s leading rebounder is Dominisha Johnson with 4.6 rpg.

Game day parking is available in the “E” lots surrounding Memorial Coliseum, including the Martin Luther King Parking Lot and the Student Center Parking Lot. The “R” lot north of Memorial Coliseum and the Joe Crafter center also will be open until Jan. 12. Due to the holiday break, Parking Structure 5 will be closed during women’s basketball games and there will there be no shuttle bus service.

Head Coach Matthew Mitchell

Opening Statement…
“We need to get back on the right track after dropping two in a row. Alabama A&M is our next game and we need to come back with a win. I thought we practiced a lot better yesterday and the players looked better on offense. It is exam week and it's hard to balance practice and exams at the same time. Right now, we need to get healthier and more confident on offense. Hopefully Alabama A&M will give us an opportunity to do that.”

On yesterday's practice…
“Yesterday we worked on making better decisions and we are putting break-down drills into practice. Our opponents are playing off of us and they are beating us with mind games right now. They are making us think that we can't make shots. We ended practice with a dynamic situation, where the players had to make the decisions. With that, we did well and we made a lot of baskets. It's important for our players to know that we aren't a bad offensive team, but we have just been playing poorly.”

On the effect injuries have on the team…
“Right now, we aren't able to practice at the level I would like to because of injuries. Victoria Dunlap did not practice yesterday because the knee she had surgery on is a little irritated. She did get an injection for that on Monday. We feel like she will play against Alabama A&M, but at practice we couldn't play the way we like. Lydia Watkins also didn't practice yesterday. When that mixes with a team who isn't feeling confident, we have to slow things down a little bit. I've tried to let them know that I have confidence in them. We have to work hard together and play like we can. If we can do that, then we'll be alright.”

On the point guards…
“If we can't play Carly Ormerod or Amber Smith for a long period of time, then we will look to Amani Franklin and Carly Morrow. They should give us enough minutes so Amber can get a good rest. If Carly Ormerod has to sit out, then Amber needs to learn to play the bulk of the minutes. We are optimistic about Carly Ormerod and she has responded well to treatment. She should be able to play for conference play. In practice Amani and Carly Morrow are practicing running the offense. That isn't the ideal situation because neither of them are true point guards, but we'll do the best we can with the players who are healthy. To be a legitimate contender and a team that can make the tournament, you need a solid point guard. Last year there were teams that made the tournament with only one point guard, and they had people fill in for them. We haven't seen Amber Smith play her best yet because she is coming back from her injury both mentally and physically. I am encouraged by her play, and she was in a tough situation on Sunday. She had a lot of turnovers and no points against Louisville, but afterward she was in a good frame of mind. I am optimistic that we will take our circumstances and make them work.”

On the losses against East Tennessee State and Louisville…
“I was disappointed in the way we played Friday, and the only thing we could work on between Friday and Sunday was our attitude. The team knows they messed up and that's a good sign. They also tried to come back from it. It's important for us to come out tomorrow night not worry about the opponent, but worry about the way we are expected to perform.”