Unbeaten Cats Look to Tie Longest Win Streak in School History
Dec. 21, 2009
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The undefeated Kentucky women's basketball team looks to tie the longest win streak in school history when it meets the University of Tennessee at Martin Tuesday, Dec. 22 at 7 p.m. EST in Memorial Coliseum.
Single-game general admission tickets are available for $5 adults/$2 senior citizens and children 6-18. Ages five and under are admitted free. UK students, faculty and staff also are admitted free with valid identification based on availability. For further ticket information, log on to UKathletics.com or call the UK ticket office at 859-257-1818 or 1-800-928-CATS (2287).
Game day parking is available in the "E" lots surrounding Memorial Coliseum, including the Martin Luther King Parking Lot and the Student Center Parking Lot. Due to the holiday break, " R" lot north of the Joe Crafter Center also will be open. However, because of construction around the area, the Lexington Avenue entrance to the R1 lot will be closed. Fans may enter through the Rose Street side. Parking within Parking Structure #5, located behind Kennedy's bookstore, is available free of charge. A shuttle bus will be provided to and from the parking structure and Memorial Coliseum. The service begins one hour prior to game time until one hour after the game.
The Wildcats (10-0) are off to their best start in school history but now have their sights set on tying the program's longest win streak of 11 games set in 1983 from Jan. 6 to Feb. 9.
"We are coming off a great win over Louisville on Sunday but this game is a quick turnaround for us," UK Hoops Coach Matthew Mitchell said. "Our key word is still `focus' and we have to remain focused on our defensive fundamentals, that's what got us here."
The key behind UK's best start in program history has been its defensive prowess. The Cats lead the nation in turnover margin (+11.1) having forced 20 or turnovers in eight of 10 games this season, including seven in a row. UK forced Louisville into a school-record 38 miscues while only committing 13 of its own.
"To play the way that our players play, you have to work extremely hard not only in the gym (on gameday), but you have to work extremely hard every day fundamentally," Mitchell said. Our group gets after it every day in defensive fundamentals. Hopefully, that will continue to allow us to be successful. We have a long way to go, though."
The Cats are turning their defense into scoring opportunities as they rank fifth nationally in scoring offense, averaging 83.6 points per game. UK is outscoring its opponent by a +28.2 margin which ranks second nationally and has defeated all 10 opponents by double digits, including four opponents by 30 or more.
Four Wildcats are averaging double figures led by the reigning SEC Player of the Week Victoria Dunlap's (Nashville, Tenn.) 19.4 points per game. Dunlap also is the team's leading rebounder with 10.3 rpg. Freshman and Louisville native A'dia Mathies follows Dunlap in the scoring column with 12.3 ppg. Junior Amber Smith (Winter Haven, Fla.) and Carly Morrow (Chattanooga, Tenn.) round out the double-digit scorers, averaging 11.3 and 10.2, respectively.
UT Martin is 1-7 overall after falling at Indiana (80-46) and Marshall (65-48) last week. Freshman forward Alecia Weatherly leads the Skyhawks in scoring, averaging 12.1 points per game. The three-time Ohio Valley Conference Newcomer of the Week also ranks second on the team in rebounding with 6.8 rpg. Junior forward Darnisha Lyles is the team's leading rebounder with 8.0 caroms per game.
Coach Kevin McMillan is in his first year as head coach of the Skyhawks. Prior to UT Martin, he spent two seasons as an assistant coach at MTSU and 17 years in the high school coaching ranks.
This is the fourth all-time meeting between the teams but the first since 1999. UK leads the series 3-0, including a 1-0 advantage in games played in Lexington.