The University of Kentucky women’s basketball team will conclude a two-game home stretch Thursday at 7 p.m. ET as it plays host to Alabama inside Memorial Coliseum.
The game will be broadcast live on the SEC Network+ with Dick Gabriel 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 guard Amanda Paschal 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 (9-11, 1-5 Southeastern Conference) is coming off a 81-64 loss to No. 10 South Carolina on Sunday at Rupp Arena. The Wildcats scored just 20 points in the first half, but shined offensively in the second half by scoring 44 points, including 28 in the third quarter. UK shot 42 percent from the field in the second half and hit four 3s. Junior guard Maci Morris, who had missed the previous game due to injury, returned and led Kentucky with 19 points, adding four assists, while fellow junior guard Taylor Murray scored 17 points with two assists and a steal. Freshmen KeKe McKinney and Dorie Harrison each scored in double figures in the game with McKinney posted 12 points with seven rebounds, while Harrison had 11 points and seven rebounds.
Morris leads Kentucky in scoring this season by averaging 15.6 points per game and 4.2 rebounds per game. The native of Bell County, Kentucky, has hit a team-best 41 3s and ranks top-20 nationally in 3-point field-goal percentage. Murray is earning 11.1 points per game while leading the team with 72 assists and 45 steals. She also ranks second on the team in rebounds per game. As a team, the Wildcats rank top 30 in the nation and fourth in the SEC in fewest turnovers per game at 13.1.
Kentucky leads the all-time series against Alabama 28-17, including a 13-6 mark in games played in Lexington. The Wildcats have won four straight games in the series, including six of the last seven games. Alabama’s last win in Memorial Coliseum was a 57-55 victory on Jan. 23, 2014. Prior to that, the Crimson Tide hadn’t beat UK in Lexington since 2002. Matthew Mitchell is 11-2 all-time against Alabama as a head coach.
Entering Thursday’s contest, Alabama owns an 14-6 overall record, including a 4-3 record in Southeastern Conference play. The Crimson Tide is 10-2 at home, 4-2 in true road games and 0-2 in neutral-site games. Alabama began its SEC season with a 3-1 record, which was its best mark since the 1997-98 season. The Crimson Tide is coming off a 77-75 win over Vanderbilt on Thursday. Senior guard Meoshonti Knight led Alabama in the contest with a team-high 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting.
On the season, Alabama is led in its scoring efforts by senior guard Hannah Cook, who is averaging 11.7 points per game. Junior guard Ashley Williams is the only additional UA player averaging double figures, posting 10.6 points per game. Williams also leads the Crimson Tide on the boards, grabbing 6.8 rebounds per game.
Alabama returns its entire team from last year’s squad that won 22 games and advanced to the SEC tournament and WNIT quarterfinals.
Kentucky and Alabama met twice last season with UK earning a 71-54 win over the Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa on Jan. 12 before taking down Alabama 65-55 in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament.
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.
‑ GO CATS –
For more information contact:
Evan Crane; firstname.lastname@example.org; (859) 257-8431
Karlie Kinneer; Karlie.email@example.com; (859) 257-8431
Kentucky WBB Pre-Alabama News Conference
Memorial Coliseum – Lexington, Ky.
Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018
Head Coach Matthew Mitchell
Opening Statement …
“Alabama has a really good team. It will be a big challenge for us. Love how they play. They’re athletic and very strong, really get after you on defense, have the ability to disrupt you and turn you over. It’s going to be a big challenge for us to handle that. Tremendous offensive rebounding team. Lot of athleticism there. They pound the boards to get to the free throw lines, so very aggressive team. Love what they do. Run a lot of great stuff on offense. They’ve got a good team, so it’s going to be a tough game for us, and we have to work hard to prepare and see if we can get out here and earn a victory.”
On Tatyana Wyatt’s status …
“She has not progressed any, so she’ll be out for Alabama.”
On Alabama’s style of play …
“They are really athletic and so balanced offensively that I think they are one of the more versatile teams that we’ve played. I think they have a lot of weapons, lot of people that can beat you on a given night, and they are really playing great together as a team right now. It’s impressive what they are doing.”
On UK’s freshmen post players continuing their momentum from Sunday …
“Just need to keep working. We had another great day of work yesterday and growth. You would love for it to happen real quick and real fast, but I’m enjoying the process of working with them. You can see it happening when you work with them every day. You can see it happening. The game moves very fast for them, but that’s starting to slow down. They’re starting to make better decisions. One of the big challenges we had is for them to finally surrender to the fact that their game had to change to be successful in college. I was at a high school game a few days ago, and it was a really high-rated prospect. What a high school post player has to do in a high school game, it’s just not nearly as dynamic. They just don’t have to think as much, do as much. I think we’re finally to a spot where Dorie and KeKe on Sunday really tried to go and do the things we’ve talked about them doing, and they had success. So, that’s a big moment. You go into that game, and you make some progress, and you have some tangible proof when you leave the game because your coach can tell you you’re getting better. I think it’s important for them to feel that way too. It’s been fun watching them progress and grow and get better. We’ll go back at it today.”
On what Dorie and KeKe are focusing on in the next couple of weeks …
“They’re two different people. They’re similar in this, they’re both hard on themselves. They will get in their own way at times. That’s one thing as their coach every day I can’t go in there and not pay attention to their psyche and how they’re processing things. I’m on them a lot about you to process that after practice. We got to get on to the next play. They’re getting better at that. They both want to do so well. You have to understand about all of our newcomers they signed up at a time when everyone else was trying to get out. Everybody else was leaving, and everybody else was walking away, and these folks walked through the door and said I want to be here. That tells you a little bit about them and where they are. They’re strong individuals, so that can be really good for you if you manage that well, but if you’re too much of a perfectionist and you can’t see anything but perfection, you’re going to have a lot of disappointment as a freshman post player that needs to develop in this league. Just trying to make sure that they stick to the facts. That’s why we talked about KeKe. You’re missing shots because you’re straight up, and you’re not the biggest post player and so you shoot right into her hands because you don’t load your hips. Until we start doing that over and over you don’t need to worry about the rest of it. I think a lot of times they want it to be more complicated than that. They want it to be something that is more difficult to learn because it shouldn’t be that simple, but it is that simple for her. And Dorie has had a few 2-for-11 nights before she was in too big of a hurray and she has really improved with that. KeKe really tried to do it against South Carolina, load her hips, slow down and do what we are trying to get her to do. That is the key right now is for both of them to continue to be coachable. There is no doubt that they want to be really good and they will be, they are going to be good players here there is no doubt about that.”
On them using the word purple and what it means to him and the team …
“Yeah, early on when they were getting down on themselves they came up with that as a group. They would start saying ‘purple.’ Then I would start getting after them and they would say it and I was like, ‘what are you saying?’ They said, ‘Purple stands for positive. So anytime it starts getting rough, Coach, and you start yelling at us we start saying purple.’ Purple stands for positive. They say that and then I started saying it to now because there are a lot of times that I want to go negative because they are not doing what I want them to do. They want me to go positive, then they ask themselves to go positive, everybody needs to go positive. There have been days we have gone negative because it’s been a tough go. But what I love about it is they are still coming to practice hungry and that they even care enough to understand that they need to be positive and keep going on. That just tells you about them as kids. They are not where we want them to be skill wise, but you can teach skill, you cannot teach the other. I am just so excited about what they can do and all of our newcomers. As soon as Tot can progress back, she is making strides and getting better. Amanda and Kameron just have to keep working and making strides. But they are great people and if they will continue to show up and work they will have terrific careers.”
On “purple” and if he has ever had a word with a team like that before …
“Purple! Purple! No I would rather it be, ‘Blue! Blue!’ for Kentucky. Purple sounds like LSU and I don’t particularly have anything against LSU but it’s the wrong color and we should be shouting ‘Blue!’ all the time. Thank you for bringing that up, I will try to change the positive work from purple to blue, but we may be too far down that road to change now. Listen, this has been a real journey for us to try to get to a spot of improvement and success for this team. We are still working towards that and there is over a month left before Senior Day and we need to take advantage of every day and try to get better. Tomorrow night is another opportunity to go earn a victory.”
On the team fighting back Sunday vs. South Carolina …
“It showed fight. One thing you don’t want to get lost in all that is there were a lot of things that went wrong that we didn’t handle correctly to get into that spot. It was a seven-point game with us going to the line to cut it to five and us having layups to cut it to five and we should have never let it get to 14 at halftime because where we are right now that was the potential to burying us. Now we come out and we can’t get any more stops, but at least they went back and started scoring some. That is a positive that they had some fight but we need to fight earlier than that and make sure we don’t put ourselves in those kinds of positions. It is a balancing act right now of staying optimistic and positive and also addressing that there is a reason these things are happening and we have to get them corrected.”
Associate Media Relations Director (WBB, FB)
University of Kentucky Athletics