Cats Meet Middle Tennessee in First of Back-to-Back Home Games
Dec. 28, 2010
Cat Scratches: Video: Mitchell on playing back-to-back games
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The 11th-ranked Kentucky women's basketball team returns from the holiday break with rare back-to-back nonconference matchups, the first vs. Middle Tennessee on Wednesday, Dec. 29 at 6 p.m. EST in Memorial Coliseum. The game will be televised live on the Big Blue Sports Network and FSN South and broadcast on the Big Blue Sports Radio Network with Neil Price. In addition, the game will be available nationally on the ESPN Full Court package and ESPN3.com as well as UKathletics.com.
Season and single-game tickets are on sale. Season tickets in the upper level chair backs, lower level bleachers and general admission season ticket areas are only $45. Lower level chair backs are $60 for the season. Single-game reserved seats are $7 (regardless of age) while general admission tickets are $7 for adults and $4 for youth/seniors. UK students, faculty and staff are admitted free with valid identification. To purchase tickets, visit the Joe Craft Center in person, call 1-800-928-2287 or go online at UKathletics.com.
"We are excited to play tomorrow after coming back from a few days off," UK Hoops Coach Matthew Mitchell said. "The players have put in a couple days of hard work and preparation for a very important game tomorrow against a quality team. Middle Tennessee has developed an identity of having a very tough inside game and have surrounded that with great shooting. They will test us with a lot of different defenses so this will be a tough game and will be a measuring stick to see where we are right now. We'll have to play hard to win."
Mitchell charted his 100th career victory with a 107-35 win over Arkansas Pine-Bluff last week. Four Wildcats scored in double-figures led by junior Keyla Snowden's (Lexington, Ky.) career-high 28 points off the bench. The sharp-shooting guard nailed a career-high tying six 3-pointers and tied the school record for consecutive games with a trey (20). She was named Southeastern Conference Player of the Week for her efforts. UK's 72-point margin of victory was the third-largest in school history. The last time UK defeated a team by 70-plus points was in 1989 when the Cats defeated Kentucky State, 121-44.
Overall, senior forward Victoria Dunlap (Nashville, Tenn.) continues to dominate in almost every statistical category as she ranks fourth nationally in steals per game (3.9) and is listed in the top five of seven SEC statistical categories, including leading the league in scoring (18.7 pgg), free-throw percentage (75.0 percent), blocks (2.1 bpg) and steals.
The UK/MT matchup holds special meaning to one UK staffer as Blue Raiders' head coach Rick Insell is the father of UK assistant coach Matt Insell.
Kentucky (9-1) owns a 23-game home winning streak and has won 19 in a row against nonconference opponents. The home winning streak is the school's second-longest and ranks eighth nationally. The school record is 30 consecutive wins from Feb. 12, 1980 through Jan. 31, 1982.
Middle Tennessee has won three-straight games after capturing the UTSA Holiday Classic title last week. The Blue Raiders, who lead the Sun Belt Conference with a 9-3 overall record, defeated St. Bonaventure (58-53) in the opening round and Kansas State (63-49) in the championship game.
Lexington native (Dunbar High School) and freshman guard Ebony Rowe leads Middle Tennessee in scoring and rebounding, averaging 16.3 points and 9.3 rebounds per game.
The Cats lead the overall series against Middle Tennessee 9-3, including a 5-1 mark in Lexington. Ten of the 12 matchups have been decided by 10 points or less. UK went 7-3 in those close games, including a 1-0 mark in overtime. The Cats will look to avenge a 57-51 loss to the Blue Raiders last season in Murfreesboro, Tenn. Despite a game-high 20 points and 16 rebounds from Dunlap, Kentucky suffered its first loss of the season which snapped an 11-game winning streak.
UK returns to the hardwood Thursday, Dec. 30 to face UT-Martin at 6 p.m. EST. That game also will be televised on the Big Blue Sports Network and FSN South.
Women's basketball parking is available in the following surface lots and parking structures for Saturday's game: