Hot-streaking Wildcats Travel to Tuscaloosa
Jan. 29, 2011
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The No. 17/18 Kentucky women's basketball team looks to continue its winning ways when it travels to Tuscaloosa, Ala., for a Sunday afternoon matchup with Alabama. Game time in Coleman Coliseum is set for 3 p.m. EST and it will be broadcast live on the Big Blue Sports Radio Network with Neil Price.
The Wildcats (16-4, 5-2 Southeastern Conference) are coming off their fifth consecutive league win, including third straight come-from-behind victory, after clawing back from an 11-point second-half deficit to defeat Ole Miss in Oxford on Thursday, 74-68. Senior forward Victoria Dunlap (Nashville, Tenn.) led UK with 18 points, including 16 in the second half while freshman guard Jennifer O'Neill (Bronx, N.Y.) added 10 points off the bench. The Cats' pressure, full-court defense was once again the name of the game as they forced 18 second-half turnovers and 23 for the game. UK scored 25 points off those miscues and swiped 12 steals.
"Alabama is a very talented team with athleticism and size at every position," UK Hoops Coach Matthew Mitchell said. "We will have to work hard to execute offensively and we'll need to take care of the basketball and the boards in order to win. If we aren't sharp in these areas, Alabama can make it a very long day for us. This is an important game for our team."
Alabama enters Sunday's game searching for its first conference win of the season (11-10, 0-8 SEC) after falling at Florida, 70-64, on Thursday. The Tide are 8-4 at home this season, 0-4 in conference play.
Senior Tierney Jenkins is one of the league's top players as she leads her team in both scoring and rebounding. The 6-foot-0 forward has recorded double-doubles in 14 games which ranks second nationally. She averages a team-best 16.3 points per game and SEC-high 10.5 rebounds per contest after a 14-point, 16-rebound effort in her last game vs. Florida. She is the only Tide player averaging in double digits.
Like Kentucky, Alabama's defensive pressure is its forte. The Tide have forced 495 turnovers and are +7.2 in turnover margin. They rank second in the SEC and eighth nationally in turnover margin.
The Cats ranks in the top five of nine SEC statistical categories, including leading the SEC and ranking third nationally in turnover margin (+8.4) and leading the league and ranking 26th nationally in steals per game (11.8). Dunlap is the SEC's leader in scoring (17.4 ppg) and steals (3.4 spg).
Also averaging in double-digit scoring for the Cats this season is sophomore guard A'dia Mathies (Louisville, Ky.) with 13.6 points per game and junior sharpshooter Keyla Snowden (Lexington, Ky.) with 10.6 ppg, respectively.
Sunday will mark the 36th meeting in the series between Kentucky and Alabama. The Wildcats lead the overall series 20-15 but trail 9-6 when the game is played in Tuscaloosa. UK has won five straight over Alabama after defeating the Tide last season in Lexington, 88-63. UK won the last meeting in Tuscaloosa, 67-57.