Top-seeded UK Hoops Prepares for SEC Tournament
Feb. 26, 2012
LEXINGTON, Ky. – After winning the Southeastern Conference regular season championship with a school-record 13 league wins, the Kentucky women's basketball team earned the No. 1 seed and a first-round bye in the SEC Tournament. The Wildcats are preparing to square off against the winner of Florida (No. 8 seed) and Auburn (No. 9 seed) in the quarterfinals on Friday, March 2 at 1 p.m. EST at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn. The game will be carried live on FSN and the UK IMG Sports Network (radio) with Neil Price.
Florida (18-11, 8-8 SEC) earned the eighth seed in the SEC standings after falling to Tennessee on Sunday, 75-59. Auburn, which defeated Ole Miss, 46-43, is the ninth seed after finishing 13-16 overall record, 5-11 in the SEC.
During the regular season, UK defeated both of its possible opponents. The Wildcats handed the Gators two losses, winning in Gainesville 59-56 on Jan. 1 and in Lexington on Jan. 22 57-52. UK also defeated Auburn in Auburn, Ala., on Jan. 26, 66-48.
The Wildcats, who were picked to finish second in the SEC standings by the league coaches and media, have had another remarkable season under the direction of head coach Matthew Mitchell. He has led the Cats to their third straight 20-win season with a 24-5 overall record, including a 13-3 mark in SEC play. The 13 league wins were a school record for SEC wins in a season and UK’s regular season championship is its first in 30 years.
Leading the way for the Wildcats is junior All-America and SEC Player of the Year candidate A’dia Mathies (Louisville, Ky.). Mathies leads the team in almost every statistical category, including scoring (15.3), steals (2.7), 3-point field goals made (44) and 3-point field goal percentage (.370). SEC Freshman of the Year contender Bria Goss (Indianapolis) follows in the scoring column with 11.6 points per game. She has scored in double digits in six of the last eight games. Sophomore forward and All-SEC candidate Samarie Walker (West Carrollton, Ohio) is the team’s leading rebounder with 6.5 rebounds per game.
UK is 24-32 all-time in the SEC Tournament and holds a 9-12 mark in quarterfinal games. The Cats have earned a first-round bye in five of the last seven tournaments, including three in a row. UK has advanced to the SEC Tournament finals the past two seasons.
Additional information on the tournament, including game times and online ticket links, can be found at www.SECDigitalNetwork.com.