UK Hoops Prepares for Lady Eagle Thanksgiving Classic
HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- The No. 9 hot-streaking Kentucky women’s basketball team travels to Hattiesburg, Miss., this weekend to participate in the Lady Eagle Thanksgiving Classic sponsored by LaQuinta Inn. The Wildcats will face intrastate rival Murray State on Friday at 8:30 p.m. EST in the Reed Green Coliseum. The game will be broadcast live on the Big Blue Sports Radio Network with Neil Price. Host-team Southern Miss and Louisiana-Lafayette meet in the opening game at 6:30 p.m. EST.
UK is 3-0 for the second consecutive season after wins over Morehead State, Miami and No. 12 Notre Dame. The Wildcats have scored 80-plus points in all three contests, ranking second in the Southeastern Conference in scoring offense with 82.3 points per game.
UK's tenacious defense is once again its bread and butter as the Cats are forcing an impressive 27.0 turnovers per game while charting 11.7 steals per game. The Cats lead the SEC in turnover margin (+12.3) and blocks per game (6.7 bpg) and are second in steals (11.7 spg).
“We had a great Thanksgiving holiday in New Orleans where we had the opportunity to see a great city and be together as a team,” UK Hoops Coach Matthew Mitchell said. “We traveled to Hattiesburg today and now it’s time to get down to business. We must be focused and come prepared Friday because after watching film on Murray State, we can see they are a play-making team who can shoot the three very well. We look forward to this weekend and participating in this tournament.”
Five players are averaging in double-digit scoring led by reigning SEC Player of the Year and State Farm/WBCA All-American Victoria Dunlap (Nashville, Tenn.). The senior forward paces the squad in almost every statistical category, averaging a league-high 19.3 points, 10.7 rebounds, 4.3 steals and 3.3 blocks per game. Following Dunlap is reigning SEC Freshman of the Year A’dia Mathies (Louisville, Ky.) with 13.3 ppg, redshirt-freshman guard Bernish Pinkett (Washington, D.C.) with 12.0 ppg, junior guard Keyla Snowden (Lexington, Ky.) with 11.5 ppg and freshman guard Maegan Conwright (Arlington, Texas) with 10.3 ppg.
The Racers enter the weekend with a 2-2 record after dropping their last two games on the road at Evansville (60-54) and at Saint Louis (72-55). MSU opened the season with wins over St. Catharine (78-59) and Mid-Continent (76-54).
UK is 12-0 against Murray State since the Cats became a varsity sport in the 1974-75 season. The last meeting between the teams was a 74-67 UK win in 1994 in Murray, Ky. The Cats owns a 117-45 (72.0 percent) record against teams from the Commonwealth of Kentucky, including a 1-0 record this season after defeating Morehead in the season opener.
Kentucky is 83-36 all-time in regular-season tournaments with 27 tournament titles. The Cats’ last tournament title was during the 2008-09 season when they won the Courtyard LaGuardia Turkey Classic in Long Island, N.Y. UK did not participate in a regular-season tournament last season.
For ticket information visit www.SouthernMiss.com.