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UK Women Play Host to Arkansas




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    The University of Kentucky women’s basketball team will play host to Arkansas on Sunday, Feb. 4 at 2 p.m. in Memorial Coliseum.

    The Wildcats (5-15, 1-7 Southeastern Conference) hope to get back on track after dropping two straight contests, including a heartbreaker to non-conference opponent Virginia Commonwealth on Wednesday, 67-57. UK also hopes to avenge a 69-50 loss to Arkansas in Fayetteville earlier in the season.

    "It’s important for us to come out on Sunday and be ready to play," UK Coach Bernadette Mattox said. "We’ve worked all week in practice on taking care of the basketball to limit turnovers. That has been a key component in our last two losses."

    The Lady Razorbacks (14-7, 4-4 SEC) enter Memorial Coliseum after falling to Alabama on Thursday. Before that loss, the 'Lady Backs were riding a six-game win streak, including wins over No. 15 Vanderbilt and No. 21 Mississippi State.

    Arkansas leads the all-time series with Kentucky 8-6, but since the teams’ first meeting in 1983, Kentucky has won five out of the last six meetings in Memorial Coliseum. The Cats took a 68-60 win at home last season. Sunday’s game marks the 15th all-time meeting.

    Junior forward LaTonya McDole continues to lead the team in scoring averaging 12.5 points per game and rebounding with 7.2 rpg. She is also the league-leader in steals per game, charting 2.84 spg. Freshman center SeSe Helm follows in the scoring column with 12.0 ppg.

    Four freshmen (Dasieka Hawthorne, Helm, Stephanie Stoglin and Alvine Mendeng) are currently in the starting lineup for the Cats, the most in the senior-laden SEC. The Lady 'Backs' start two seniors, a junior, a sophomore and one freshman. The UK frosh are contributing 66 percent of the scoring and 60 percent of the rebounding.

    In UK’s last game with Arkansas, the Cats struggled to find the basket in the first half, shooting a dismal 24 percent from the floor. Arkansas also used a full-court press to force 20 first-half turnovers. In the second half, the Cats made adjustments and improved their shooting to 56 percent from the field. The Cats' rebounding effort also improved as they outrebounded the Lady 'Backs 40-36. McDole led with 12 points and seven rebounds and Stoglin came off the bench to follow with 10 points and seven rebounds of her own.

    The Lady 'Backs, led by senior Wendi Willits' 13.8 ppg, are 4-4 this season on the road and have won two of their last three meetings away from Fayetteville.

    Kentucky will hit the road in its next two games, traveling to South Carolina on Sunday, Feb. 11 and Georgia on Feb. 15.

     

     

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