No. 12/13 UK Hoops to Meet Top-Seeded South Carolina in SEC Tournament Semifinals
March 8, 2014
DULUTH, Ga. – The No. 12/13 Kentucky women’s basketball team is one game away from advancing to its fourth Southeastern Conference Tournament championship game in the last five years. Standing in Kentucky's way is the top-seeded and No. 5/7 South Carolina Gamecocks. The two teams will face off Saturday at Noon EST in the SEC Tournament semifinals at The Arena at Gwinnett Center, with a bid to the championship on the line. The game will be televised by ESPNU and WatchESPN with Cara Capuano and Carolyn Peck calling the action. It also will be carried live on the UK IMG Sports Radio Network with Neil Price.
Fans can follow Twitter updates on @UKHoopCats and use hashtag #BeSECWBB to talk about the game.
Kentucky (23-7) earned its 12th overall and fifth consecutive appearance in the semifinals with a 75-70 win over Florida on Friday. The win snapped a two-game losing skid to the Gators. Four Wildcats scored in double figures paced by senior forward DeNesha Stallworth (Richmond, Calif.), who scored all 13 of her points in the second half. Junior guards Bria Goss (Indianapolis) and Jennifer O’Neill (Bronx, N.Y.) followed with 11 points apiece, while sophomore guard Janee Thompson (Chicago) added 10 points and a game-high five assists. Junior center Azia Bishop (Toledo, Ohio) was key cog off the bench in the paint as Stallworth played just two minutes in the first half due to foul trouble. Bishop recorded eight points on 4-of-8 shooting to go along with five rebounds, three blocks and two steals in just 21 minutes of action. Senior forward Samarie Walker (West Carrollton, Ohio) also was a huge factor in UK’s 42-29 rebounding advantage as she grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds, including an offensive board and put back with the game on the line.
With the score knotted a 70 with 1:29 to play, UK scored five straight points, including a 10-footer from Thompson and an offensive rebound and put back by Walker with 28 seconds left in the game, giving UK a four-point lead and the win.
South Carolina (27-3), the No. 1 seed, earned a trip to the semifinals with a commanding, 67-48, win over Georgia. The Gamecocks shot 57.1 percent (13-of-24) from the floor, including 60 percent (15-of-25) in the second half. Four players netted double figures, led by SEC Freshman of the Year Alaina Coates with 13 points.
The Wildcats look to chart their first-ever win over a top seed in the SEC Tournament and snap a two-game losing streak to South Carolina. UK fell in both regular-season games vs. the Gamecocks, 68-59, in Columbia, S.C., on Jan. 9 and, 81-58, on Feb. 20 in Lexington, Ky.
Kentucky is 28-35 overall in the SEC Tournament, including 9-6 under Matthew Mitchell. The Cats are 5-3 this season vs. top-25 opponents and 3-3 vs. teams in the top 10.
Additional information on the tournament, including game times and online ticket links, can be found at www.secsports.com.