UK Women's Basketball Announces 2002-03 Schedule
2002-03 Schedule | Printable Schedule (PDF)
Aug. 21, 2002
Lexington, KY - The Kentucky women's basketball team opens its 2002-03 schedule with 10 opponents that advanced to post-season play last March, including six teams ranked in the Top 25, University of Kentucky athletics director Mitch Barnhart announced Wednesday. In addition to its 14-game Southeastern Conference slate, other highlights on the Wildcats' schedule includes regular-season tournaments in Seattle and Hawaii and non-conference matchups with Western Kentucky, Cincinnati and Louisville.
"I think this is a schedule that will help us prepare our players for the tough SEC play and for tournament play," Bernadette Mattox, who is entering her eighth season as head coach of the Wildcats said. "It has a good mix of opponents, different styles of play and even different time zones. I think this year's schedule will help our team mature and develop."
After two exhibition games in early November, UK opens non-conference play at home versus Missouri Valley Conference-member Southern Illinois on Nov. 25. The last time the Cats met the Salukis was in 1985. The Cats will spend the Thanksgiving holiday at the Seattle Times Husky Classic in Seattle, Wash. UK will face Big West opponent Pacific in the first round. Atlantic-10 member St. Bonaventure will take on host Washington in the second game. Following the tourney, the Cats will travel to Evansville, Ind., on Dec. 4 to meet the Purple Aces.
"We are looking forward to returning to Hawaii," Mattox said. "We play our first game at midnight Eastern Standard Time against a very good Hawaii team and it will be a good test for us prior to conference play."
A four-game homestand against Miami (Ohio), Morris Brown, Cincinnati and Marshall, bring the Cats back to Lexington during the Christmas break. The Marshall game will be a double header at Rupp Arena with the UK men's team. The women play at 5 p.m., while the men battle Alcorn State at 7:30 p.m. It marks the UK women's first game in Rupp Arena since 1995.
"This is a great opportunity to showcase both the men's and the women's team," Mattox said. "Mitch Barnhart was behind us playing a double header and it just made sense to combine the two games. We are looking forward to playing at Rupp Arena and rekindling a rival with Marshall."
On Jan. 5, the Cats will travel Interstate-64 to meet the Lady Cardinals of Louisville at Freedom Hall.
The SEC portion of the schedule will begin on Jan. 12 when the Crimson Tide of Alabama rolls into Lexington. The game will be televised on the league's regional sports network, SEC-TV (FOX Sports Net South, FOX Sports Net Southwest, Sunshine Network) at 3 p.m. ET.
UK also will play host to SEC opponents Ole Miss on Jan. 23, South Carolina on Feb. 2, defending SEC champs Vanderbilt on Feb. 9, Arkansas on Feb. 13 and perennial power Tennessee on Senior Day, March 2.
"Eight of those 10 opponents that went to post-season play last season are in the Southeastern Conference," Mattox said. "This conference is the strongest it's been since I got into coaching. That's why the SEC is the best conference in America. Sending eight teams to the NCAA tournament speaks for itself."
Other highlights of the schedule include: · UK's schedule highlights first-time games against St. Bonaventure and Morris Brown.
· The schedule includes 13 homes games, 12 to be played at Memorial Coliseum and one at Rupp Arena.
· Ten of UK's opponents advanced to post-season play, including seven teams that won their first-round game in the 2002 NCAA Tournament.
· In the rotating SEC 14-game schedule, the Cats will face Vanderbilt, Alabama and South Carolina in home-and-home series. UK will play Vandy and UA in a home-and-home series until 2003. South Carolina will remain as the Cats' permanent home-and-home opponent.