On the heels of a strong performance in a losing effort Thursday at top-20 ranked Texas A&M, the University of Kentucky women’s basketball team looks to continue its improvement as its plays host to the Georgia Bulldogs on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET inside Memorial Coliseum.
The game will be broadcast live on the SEC Network+ with Jeff Piecoro and Christi Thomas on the call. The action can also be seen through WatchESPN on computers, smartphones or tablets. Darren Headrick, in his first year with the program, will be calling the game on the UK Sports Radio Network. Fans in Lexington can hear Headrick’s call on 630AM WLAP. Live stats and free audio will be available online at ukathletics.com.
Junior forward Ogechi Anyagaligbo is scheduled to sign autographs following the game on the main concourse near the Lexington Avenue entrance. Young fans are encouraged to take advantage of the Kid Zone pregame with games, poster making stations, coloring stations and more.
Single-game tickets are $9 (all ages) in reserved seating areas, while general admission tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for children (ages 6-18) and seniors (age 65+). Children ages five and under do not require a ticket in general admission areas.
Kentucky (8-8, 0-2 Southeastern Conference) is coming off a tough loss at highly ranked Texas A&M on Thursday, falling to the Aggies 74-70 in the final minutes. The loss was the first this season for Kentucky when it has scored at least 65 points and shot over 40 percent from the field. The Wildcats shot 44.3 percent from the field and hit 7-of-18 from long range in the game. Junior guard Maci Morris paced the Wildcats with a season-best 22 points, adding four assists and three rebounds, while guard Makenzie Cann hit four 3s and added four assists. Junior guard Taylor Murray posted seven points with six assists and four rebounds.
Morris continues to lead Kentucky in scoring this season, earning 16.5 points per game while hitting a team-best 39 from long range. Murray is averaging 10.2 points per game with a team-best 61 assists and 32 steals. As a team, the Wildcats are shooting 41.8 percent from the field, 36.4 percent from long range and scoring 70.4 points per game.
Georgia leads the all-time series against Kentucky, 36-18, including a 13-10 mark in games played in Lexington. The Wildcats have won four straight in the series including two straight in Lexington. The two teams have met at least once every season dating back to 1980.
UGA owns a 13-2 overall record this season, including 8-2 mark at home and 5-0 record in true road games. The Bulldogs had been receiving votes in the USA Today/Coaches Top 25 before its SEC opening loss at Mississippi State. Both of UGA’s losses have come to highly ranked teams in top-five Mississippi State and Texas. The Bulldogs’ best two wins have come against Virginia and Georgia Tech.
Georgia is coming off an impressive 81-52 win at Vanderbilt. In the game, UGA shot 48.5 percent from the field including 34 points in the paint and 21 second-chance points. Junior forward Caliya Robinson scored 16 points with seven rebounds, while Stephanie Paul had 18 points and four rebounds.
Georgia is led in scoring this year by Robinson, who is averaging 12.3 points per contest while leading the team with 6.7 rebounds per game. Senior Mackenzie Engram is posting 11.9 points and 6.0 rebounds per game, hitting 46.5 percent from the field. Freshman guard Que Morrison leads the team with 39 assists adding 8.5 points per game. Georgia shares the ball well, averaging a league-best 17.9 assists per game. The Bulldogs are hitting 45.7 percent from the field this season, including 36.0 percent from 3 and are out-rebounding teams by 6.1 rebounds per game.
Kentucky earned two wins against Georgia last season, defeating the Bulldogs 82-61 in Memorial Coliseum in January before a 66-56 victory over UGA in Athens in February. It was the Evelyn Akhator show in the first meeting, scoring 24 points with 16 rebounds, two blocks and two steals. UK shot 51.7 percent in the game with 24 points off UGA turnovers and 16 second-chance points. Murray had 14 points in the game, while Cann added 11 with three 3s. It was a low-scoring contest in Athens with the Wildcats hitting 39.6 percent from the field. UK was paced by Makayla Epps who scored 16 points, while Akhator had another double-double with 11 points and 17 rebounds. Morris scored 15 points going 8-of-8 from the charity stripe.
For more information on the Kentucky women’s basketball team, visit UKathletics.com or follow @KentuckyWBB on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, or Kentucky Women’s Basketball on Facebook.
– Spectator parking is located in all of the E-lots surrounding Memorial Coliseum, all lots are off control three hours prior to tip. Additionally, the South Limestone Garage (PS#5) and the Rose Street Garage (PS#2) are available two hours prior to tip. See the shuttle map and route information diagram at this link for all available women’s basketball spectator parking options.
– The Lexington Parking Authority Transit Center Parking Garage, located between High Street and Vine Street is available for parking after 5 p.m. during the week and all day on the weekends. Additionally, a free shuttle service will pick up by the Transit Center bus stop, near the corner of High Street and Martin Luther King beginning two hours prior to tip. UK Athletics Event Staff will be at the Transit Center Garage Entrance to assist with directing patrons to the correct shuttle pick-up location.
– Parking is prohibited in any R (Residential) lots. Vehicles parking in R 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.
– Disabled spectator parking is available with a valid, state issued disabled hang tag in the E-Lot (Employee Lot) North of the Craft Center. These spaces are available on a first-come, first-served basis until full.
Transit Center Parking Garage
– UK women’s basketball fans can avoid traffic and congestion around Memorial Coliseum and park for FREE at the Transit Center Garage – available after 5 p.m. on weekdays and all day for weekend games.
– The Transit Center Parking Garage is accessible from Vine Street of High Street.
– Push the green flashing button upon entry, take the yellow token and store it in a safe place. Park in the garage and find the UK Athletics event staff member at the entrance of the garage near Lexington Avenue for a free parking token to use after the game when you exit the garage. Staff will remain on site until 20 minutes after tip.
– Please do not lose your token. If you lose your token, you will be charged an $8 fee for a lost token fee. If you lose your token, visit the pay on foot station located in the seventh floor elevator lobby of the garage and choose “lost token.” You will be charged $8 and given a new token that can be used to exit the garage.
– Shuttles are available beginning two hours prior to tip and pick up and drop off near the South Limestone Garage (Parking Structure #5) (blue route) and near the Transit Center Parking Garage and High Street Lot (green route).
– Shuttles will start back up after halftime to return guests to their parking areas, the shuttle will discontinue service one hour postgame.
– A shuttle map with route information is available here.
Game Day Information
– Doors to Memorial Coliseum open 1.5 hours prior to tip.
– UK Athletics encourages women’s basketball fans to arrive early to ease traffic and parking congestion around the Coliseum.
– For more information on parking around Memorial Coliseum and other game-day questions visit ukathleticsgameday.com.
Head Coach Matthew Mitchell
Opening Statement …
“Tough game ahead with Georgia. They are a really tough team and are off to a great start this season. They are explosive in transition offense. They are very athletic, very aggressive. They are really tough on the glass, they had 15 offensive boards in each of their first two conference games and that has been a real challenge for us. Our team worked hard this past week and I think we showed improvement from the Tennessee game to the Texas A&M game. So we have two more days here Friday and Saturday and a shootaround practice on Sunday to try to continue to improve and see if we can play some winning basketball on Sunday. That will be our goal.”
On what are two areas the team needs to improve on to compete in the SEC …
“I think defensively right now, we have to make some progress in transition defense and boxing out and taking teams off the boards.”
On what improvements were made this week in practice …
“I think we just had to just understand that improvement was going to take much more intensity and much more hard work. I have tried to improve and the players are working hard to improve. They had a good week of practice and worked hard at it. I thought that our freshmen post players are starting to show a little glimmer there and if you can get Dorie’s (Harrison) nine minutes to start to translate into 27 minutes you see what she is able to do. That would be really helpful to our team. She is making progress and you can go down the line there. But we have to keep our nose to the grindstone here and keep working.”
On how frustrating it is to see improvement but still come up short …
“Listen, this is a difficult time to go through where you just come up short over a long period of time. The big key here is to understand that practice is going to put you in a position to get you what you want. I think this week we got closer to playing how we are going to play and how we need to play to be successful. It is challenging, but what a great opportunity for these young folks and for me to show up every day with a great attitude. I will tell you, the work ethic was really tremendous this week. I thought they showed some fight last night. That is what we have to do and we have to make some winning plays and see if we can win one on Sunday.”
On keeping his composure through this stretch …
“It is hard. We have won a lot of games around here so it is difficult when you don’t get the results that you want. It tests everybody in the organization, including myself, to stick to what we believe in and we know we have solid principles and things that will help us be successful. We are going to have to coach much better and make sure our practices are strong and if we do that we will get the results that we want.”
On if the team is playing at the pace he wants …
“I think going into the season I made some assumptions that we were going to be able to do some things that for whatever reason – and I look at myself first. I didn’t get those things done. I thought that we were going to be able to play up-tempo and be able to play more pressure defense. You are riding along there and feeling like you are making some improvement but we didn’t get to that level. So now we are about a few weeks into trying to control the tempo a little bit more and play a little different way because the other way wasn’t working and getting the results that we wanted. So that is a miscalculation on my part. That is my fault. I didn’t do a good job of what I thought the team was built to do. They are working really hard now and I think we have found a way that we can be successful.”
On watching film with the team and if he just focuses on the positives or the negatives or both …
“Early on we tried to accentuate the positive and right now we are trying to accentuate the improvement. What can we improve on, let’s go improve it. For instance, with our shooting, we did some shooting drills that we have won a lot of games with and had successful seasons with. You know, things that we have been doing over the course of the years and then when we got into games with this team, we were not making shots. So we really tried to put them under the gun much more and make it a lot tougher and from Sunday at home we went from 30 percent from the field to Thursday on the road at 44 percent. And I feel like it was just because we were able to get our mindset a little bit better. Those are all things that we are finding out. I wish we weren’t finding them out right now, but we are trying to get them to understand how hard they have to play and I think they worked hard at that part of it. They went from 30 percent shooting Sunday against Tennessee to almost 44 percent and then 20 from the 3 line to almost 39 percent last night. So those the things that we have to focus on. Can we get better from game-to-game. They are working hard at that.”
On the team’s rebounding …
“I think I have done a poor job there figuring out how to get that done. We have had some good rebounding teams here. We are working hard at it. I just want everybody to know that these kids have given a lot of effort. I just don’t think I have put them in the right spot. They are a great group of kids. You wouldn’t want to be around 14 other young women in the country. They are fantastic people and I just have to do a better job coaching.”
‑ GO CATS –
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