UK Meets Minnesota in Rainbow Wahine Classic
HONOLULU – The Kentucky women’s basketball team looks to continue their winning ways when they meet first-time opponent Minnesota Friday, Nov. 23 in the opening round of the 29th Annual Jack in the Box Rainbow Wahine Classic in Honolulu, Hawaii. Game time is slated for 8:30 EST/3:30 p.m. Hawaiin Time Zone. The Big Blue Sports Network (radio) with Neil Price will broadcast the game live.
“We’re having a great time in Hawaii but now it’s time to get down to business,” UK Coach Matthew Mitchell said. “Minnesota is a great team and they have a lot of weapons. Our shooting and rebounding must improve during this tournament and if that happens we’ll have a chance to be very successful.”
This marks UK’s second appearance in the tournament’s 28-year history. The Wildcats were the runners-up to UCLA in 1998-99 after defeating Louisville (73-62) in the first round before upsetting host-team Hawaii (66-57) the following day.
Kentucky (2-1) is coming off a 61-53 win over Sun Belt member Florida Atlantic on Sunday in Memorial Coliseum. Despite a dismal shooting performance of just 28.8 percent for the game and 12.0 percent in the second half (3-of-25), the Wildcats found a way to win at the foul line. UK hit 25-of-40 free throws, including 10-of-14 in the final three minutes for the victory.
Senior guard Samantha Mahoney (Detroit), a three-time All-SEC selection, leads Kentucky is scoring this season with 14.7 points per game. All-SEC center Sarah Elliott (McKee, Ky.) follows in the scoring column, averaging 10.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. Victoria Dunlap, a freshman from Nashville, Tenn., is the team’s leading rebounder with 7.3 rpg.
Minnesota (5-0) returns four starters from a team that finished 17-16 overall, 7-9 in the Big Ten last season. Emily Fox, an All-Big Ten second team selection last season, leads the team in scoring, averaging 17.0 points per game. Following Fox in the scoring column is sophomore Ashley Ellis-Milan and Brittany McCoy with 10.4 and 10.0 ppg, respectively. Milan was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team last season and is a candidate for Defensive Player of the Year honors this season in the Big Ten.
The Golden Gophers enter the Rainbow Wahine Classic fresh off a hard-fought three-point win over North Dakota State (68-65) on Tuesday and impressive come-from-behind upset of No. 22/21 Louisville last week.
This is UK’s first meeting against Minnesota. UK is 28-37 all-time vs. teams from the Big Ten Conference. UK also will face Big 10 member Michigan during the regular-season.
UK will face the winner/loser of the Virginia/Texas game Saturday, Nov. 24 at 8:20 p.m. EST.