Nov. 16, 2012
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The No. 6/7 Kentucky women’s basketball team looks to get back on the winning track when it plays host to High Point on Saturday, Nov. 17 in the first of four straight home games. Saturday’s game will tipoff at 1 p.m. ET in Memorial Coliseum.
Single-game reserved tickets are available at a cost of $9 for all ages. General admission tickets for adults are $8 while single-game general admission tickets for seniors and children (ages 6-18, 65 and over) are only $5. Children ages five and under are admitted free in the general admission seating area.
Season tickets are also still available for $65. Lower-level chair back seating ($80) is sold out.
The game can be heard live on the UK IMG Sports Radio Network with Neil Price calling the. Fans can follow the UK Hoops team on Twitter at @UKHoopCats and use #UKHoops to comment on the game. A live video stream is available on the subscription video portion of www.UKathletics.com.
UK and High Point will meet for just the second time in school history. The Wildcats, who last met the Panthers on Jan. 6, 2004, are 1-0 all-time vs. the Panthers and 9-1 vs. teams from High Point’s Big South Conference.
The Wildcats look forward to returning to the friendly confines of Memorial Coliseum, a place where they have won 20 consecutive games (21 consecutive home games counting the one game at Rupp Arena) and 32 consecutive games vs. nonconference opponents. The home winning streak is the third-longest winning streak in school history and ranks tied for fourth nationally.
“We are looking forward to getting back on the court,” UK Coach Matthew Mitchell said. “We suffered a disappointing defeat down in Waco on Tuesday so we have come back and really tried to work and continue to progress and tomorrow’s an important step in our team’s development. High Point has a good team. Their point guard, (Erin) Reynolds, is I think one of the best point guards in their league. She is very impressive on tape. And (Cheyenne) Parker, their post player, has to be considered one of the best players in their league. They’re surrounded by a bunch of hard-nosed, tough players that can make 3s. Anytime you’re playing a team with a good point guard, good post player and then people that can shoot the basketball, they are dangerous. So we have to be ready to go out and give a great effort tomorrow and I’m looking forward to getting back in Memorial Coliseum and playing a tough game.”
UK’s first road trip of the season wasn’t a very pleasant experience as the Wildcats dropped an 85-51 decision at top-ranked Baylor. It didn’t help that UK shot its lowest shooting percentage since 2008, netting 27.1 percent from the field. Baylor, along with 6-foot-8 All-American and last season’s National Player of the Year Brittney Griner, dominated the Wildcats in the paint, outscoring UK 60-16 and winning the battle on the boards, 53-35. Griner finished with 27 points, eight rebounds and five blocks.
Senior guard A’dia Mathies (Louisville, Ky.) scored a team-high 12 points in the game, while sophomore guard Bria Goss (Indianapolis) added 11. Junior forward Samarie Walker was the leader on the boards with nine. Overall, Mathies leads the team in scoring, averaging 14.0 points per game. She needs just 19 more points to move into the top 10 on UK’s all-time scoring list. She currently ranks 11th with 1,463 career points.
High Point is 1-1 after a season-opening win (85-76) over East Tennessee State and a two-point loss (64-62) at Furman on Tuesday. Redshirt-sophomore Stacia Robertson and junior Tayler Tremblay led with 13 points apiece vs. Furman, while junior center Cheyenne Parker grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds.
Overall, Parker, a 6-4 center, leads the Panthers in scoring and rebounding with an impressive 18.5 points and 11.5 rebounds per game. She was the Big South Defensive Player of the Year last season after setting the Big South single-season record for rebounds (403) and blocked shots (121).
High Point, led by first-year head coach DeUnna Hendrix, was picked to finish second in the Big South Preseason Poll by the league’s head coaches. The Panthers, who finished with a 20-13 overall record last season, were picked behind defending Big South Champion Liberty.
Due to construction around Memorial Coliseum, UK Hoops is providing two free shuttle services. Below is the updated information on where to park for the upcoming home season.
Spectator parking is located in the following areas:
- All E-lots surrounding Memorial Coliseum beginning 3 hours prior to tip-off
- Parking Structure #5 (adjacent to Kennedy’s Bookstore).
- Lexington Authority Transit Center Parking Garage (new for the 2012-13 season).
- The Lexington Parking Authority Transit Center Parking Garage, located between High Street and Vine Street, is available for parking after 5 p.m. ET during the week and all day on the weekends. Additionally, a free shuttle service will pick up in the LR Cooke Lot near the corner of High Street and Martin Luther King beginning 1.5 hours prior to tip.
- Handicap parking is available in the E-Lot (Employee Lot) north of the Craft Center, adjacent to the metered spaces running along the frontage of the Craft Center with a valid, state issued handicap tag. These spaces (typically 20-30 stalls) are available on a first-come, first-serve basis until full.
- Please note: parking is prohibited in any R (Residential) lots. Vehicles parking in Residential lots without a proper permit, along yellow curbs, grass spaces, or other non-specified and unapproved areas may be subject to ticket and/or tow.
- Shuttles are available beginning 1.5 hours prior to tip off from Parking Structure # 5 located off Limestone and Upper Street and the Transit Center Parking Garage located off High Street and Vine Street.
- Parking Structure # 5 (blue route) picks up/drops off on Administration Drive, at the end of the pedestrian sky bridge accessed from the 3rd floor of the parking garage.
- Transit Center Parking Garage (green route) picks up/drops off near the corner of High Street and Martin Luther King.
- Shuttles will start back up 1.5 hours after tip-off (to return guests to their parking areas).
- See the attached shuttle map and route information diagrams for additional information.
Game day Information:
- Doors to the Coliseum will open one (1) hour prior to tip-off.
- UK Athletics encourages women's basketball fans to arrive early to ease traffic and parking congestion around the Coliseum.
- Surface event lots (i.e. Student Center, Joe Craft Center North and Good Samaritan Surface Lot) typically reach capacity approximately 45 minutes prior to tip-off, at which point, vehicles should proceed to Parking Structure #5 (PS#5) or the Lexington Authority Transit Center Parking Garage.
Media Opportunity - Nov. 16, 2012
Opening statement …
“We are looking forward to getting back on the court. We suffered a disappointing defeat down in Waco on Tuesday so we have come back and really tried to work and continue to progress and tomorrow’s an important step in our team’s development. High Point has a good team. Their point guard, (Erin) Reynolds, is I think one of the best point guards in their league. She is very impressive on tape. And (Cheyenne) Parker, their post player, has to be considered one of the best players in their league. They’re surrounded by a bunch of hard-nosed, tough players that can make 3s. Anytime you’re playing a team with a good point guard, good post player and then people that can shoot the basketball, they are dangerous. So we have to be ready to go out and give a great effort tomorrow and I’m looking forward to getting back in Memorial Coliseum and playing a tough game.”
On what he learned from watching the tape of the Baylor game …
“First of all, I was disappointed that the game wasn’t better because I know a lot people were excited about the game. I knew going in that offensively we aren’t as sophisticated as we’re going to be at some point and it’s just a really, really tough game. So some of the nuances of our offense are not there at the level that we could perform in that game and then you throw in the fact that we missed a lot of shots that maybe we would have made. You just have to look at it and go to work on what you can control. We can control our effort and we can control making layups around the bucket. We can control setting up our screens and using our screens. All the little things where we’re just not there yet to perform in a game like that, that’s what we came back with. So the effort, making layups, that’s on the players. They have to get that done. I thought they were very receptive to that. The nuances of the offenses, the teaching of setting your player up so you can be effective, that’s on the coaching staff. So it is shared responsibility between both of us and I was just very encouraged with how our team performed yesterday in practice.”
On what he said to the team after a game like that one …
“What was very good in this is – technology’s a great thing – you’re able to go ahead and look at it right then and there and it was a two-hour flight home so we had some good information that night as far as where our effort level and our energy level needed to be. It’s hard to give a great effort if you’re not quite sure about what you’re doing and you’re playing a little bit slow and you’re thinking a lot. We just talked to them about that. You don’t ever want to go out and perform like that. It’s not the way we wanted to perform, but it is extremely early in the season and we think we have the makings of a good team. They’re going to have to do the work to get that done. Wednesday was just a day of trying to gather the facts. I did tell them that. We were going to work with the facts. We weren’t going to get emotional about it. We were going to react appropriately. We weren’t going to overreact, we weren’t going to underreact. We were just going to see where the facts led us and I think we’re in a good spot moving forward.”
On whether the rotation will stay the same …
“You couldn’t get much from the rotation Tuesday night because nobody really had just a stellar outing. And Baylor is a very difficult, difficult team to play. They have the best point guard in the country, they have the best center in the country and they have a whole bunch of good players around them. So that is where they are right now. They are better than we are right now and we have a lot of work to do to try to improve. The rotation, we’ll figure that out through practice and performance and it’s still very early in the season.”
Were you glad to play Baylor so early in the season …
“Oh yeah. I’ll tell you, that is one thing—as embarrassing as the loss was, if you’re thinking about yourself and all of us are human and do that, I was embarrassed as a coach, the players were embarrassed. You don’t want to go on national television and look like that. But you have to move on from that quickly and think about the team and where we are and what we can become. When you stop thinking about all that selfish stuff about being embarrassed about the performance and then you start really looking back on what the experience can be, I’d much rather be in this position than having played maybe a 300 RPI team that same night here in Memorial and won by 50. I would much rather – as painful as it was – have that experience because if we can ever – and there’s a long way (to go) – but if we can ever become the team we think we can and we were ever to come across them again, I think it’ll be much more valuable to have that experience and know that we have a lot of things to improve upon. Even if you don’t play them again, there’s excellent teams remaining on our schedule and you have to be able to function against the best teams in the country if you’re trying to be among those. I was really happy that we played the game. I’m sure that sounds a little silly or crazy right now, but I’m real happy that we had the experience of playing them.”
On if any leaders have emerged since the Baylor game…
“I saw them take responsibility. It’s really hard when you are young and you are playing on what everybody has been telling you is a big stage. You start performing poorly and you get down, it just happens. I thought they really took responsibility for the things that they could have done better. I think they listened and watched and learned in our video session yesterday. I saw some good things there. One thing I was encouraged by is a lot of times A’dia Mathies would not have ended up with 18 shot attempts in a game like that. It would have been somewhere around seven or eight when things started going south. I thought that was really positive, she kept firing the ball, even if it wasn’t go in. We have been as a program the last three years and it has taken us a long way, is being able to disrupt opponents. That has worked far more times than it hasn’t. We are the belief that this is a team that can be a top team and when we have run into the top teams and our pressure hasn’t been able to affect them, we have not been equipped to score at a high enough level. So it is a long process of trying to make sure that that happens. We are still of the belief that, that will happen, we believe it’s going to happen. I think one night, soon, maybe not very soon but soon, against a real quality opponent you are going to see our offense half-court be better than you have ever seen it the last three years. That does not happen because I say it’s going to happen, it happens because we have to go through the process of building that. What I do feel good about is the players from a conceptual standpoint, understand what we are trying to do, we just have to have more repetition and getting the little things right that make it all work. Yeah, I didn’t leave that game discouraged, I was disappointed with the way it came out but I made a decision long before that night that we were going to try to do some different things offensively and it has taken us a little time but we really made some progress yesterday. We are going to make some more today. That’s just our mindset right now.”
On what has been missing in the half-court offense…
“I think it is, from a coaching standpoint, our sets. We were really set oriented in the half-court so we were running this frantic up-and-down pace, getting a lot of scores, lot of points off turnovers. Then when we would have to set up, it was more set oriented and if the set doesn’t work, so a set play, comes to a conclusion and the conclusion means score and then after that you sort of have to play. That’s what our sets, by the time you get to the end of the year, are scoutable. So what you have to try to become is a team that can read more and that can play off of the defense more and that is something different from what we have been doing. We spent a lot of time on our defense; we spent a lot of time on trapping and rotating because we didn’t feel like we had the athlete or the talent maybe to match up with some teams. This team I think is different, I think this team has more ability to read defenses and make more plays and its happening but it’s just taking a little bit of time.”
On the 2013 recruiting class…
“I’m very excited. We have three quality players, three quality people. I’m really appreciative of the work that our current players do when these young women come to campus, communicating to them what it means to play at Kentucky. We have ended up with three people that we believe are the exact right kind of people to be here and continue our forward momentum and our progress. I’m really happy with their skill level, their talent level, basketball, but really pleased with the kind of people they are, so we were thrilled with our recruiting class.”
On if they are recruiting to their system or if they are still trying to get the best players they can get…
“In this class we were trying to get the most talented players we could get because we have pretty solid people at most positions, so it depends class-to-class. The next class we would love to try to find some mobile, athletic, tall, fast, post players and there are some out there and so I would say that we are trying to stay close to this idenetiy. Not being locked in to it because it really depends on who you can attract and then we have the character piece that is really important to us. What kind of people do we want to be involved with? I would rather be involved with great people than married to a particular style. So it will always start with what kind of quality of people we can attract. I am in the belief there are quality people who possess the physical talent too so we are trying to recruit to stay close to this identity.”
On how important the 2014 class will be…
“That is the key to keeping something going, is you have to be looking toward the 2014 class. We are looking toward the 2015 class so the 2014 class is I think excellent. I think it has a lot of talent in it. I think it clearly has some players that fit into our identity and our style. It’s going to be an extremely important class for us and we are excited about where we are with it now and we just have to keep plugging and we are going to try to sign the best class in the country in 2014.”
On if there is pressure to replace the large junior class…
“We will probably have six leaving so you don’t necessarily sign six, you may. There is going to be a very good class leaving here and you need to get a very good class coming in to help bridge that gap and there is no doubt about the 2014 class is very important for us.”
On if there is room to sign additional players in 2013…
“I think we probably have something available. I haven’t given a lot of thought to it. We are real comfortable where we are with our roster and feel real good about the three that we’ve signed. If something popped up that could make our program better we would certainly be interested in that but I’m thrilled and real appreciative to our assistant coaching staff, our support staff, everybody involved in our program has a hand in recruiting and they do an outstanding job and I’m real appreciative of that.”
Jr. – C/F - DeNesha Stallworth
On the work being done since the last game…
“We’re just working on our execution and trying to get better on our offense.”
On how the team is responding to the loss at Baylor...
“I think we’re responding well, we’re just trying to get better as a team. Baylor is a great team and they played a great game, so we just have to learn from that and try to get better day by day.”
On individual players stepping up as leaders since the loss…
“I feel like everyone is starting to be more vocal on the court. We’re talking more and trying to read offensive plays better, so I think that everyone is stepping up”.
On playing against Brittney Griner…
“It was definitely difficult because she’s a great side blocker. So you can’t always do normal plays that you would do against a normal size 6-2/ 6-3 player, so it was difficult but you just have to be smart.”
On things to work on as an individual after the game…
“My rebounding and my footwork are by far the things I want to improve on. I had two early fouls the last game just because of my footwork and that’s something that I can definitely work on and help contribute more to the team.”
Sr – G- A’dia Mathies
On taking losses and recovering from them…
“I’ve experienced a loss like that maybe once a year since I’ve been here, but I think we’ve had great seasons regardless. I don’t think one loss defines our team, especially not the second game of the season. We’re just working on the things that we need to work on, watching the film from the game, and that’s where we are right now.”
On playing Baylor early and what it would mean to play them again…
“It would mean a lot to get to play them again. I think playing the team that won the National Championship last year so early didn’t do anything but help us.”
On taking more shots even when they weren’t falling…
“My main focus was being more aggressive because I know that’s what I need to do and I know that’s what (Coach Mitchell) wants from me. Usually when you miss that many shots you just stop shooting, but I knew that I needed to keep shooing to help out my team so that’s what I did.”