Behind a disruptive full-court defensive effort that allowed the Wildcats to force 31 turnovers and score 41 points off those miscues, the University of Kentucky women’s basketball team overpowered Lincoln Memorial 101-64 in its lone exhibition of the season Friday inside historic Memorial Coliseum.

The Wildcats will start the season officially Wednesday when they play host to Alabama State at 7 p.m. ET inside Memorial Coliseum. The game will be streamed on SEC Network+ with Christi Thomas and Jeff Piecoro on the call. Darren Headrick will have the call on the UK Sports Network on 630 WLAP. 

Single-game tickets are $10 (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. Purchasing season tickets offers the best option and price savings for fans. New season ticket purchases are available in upper-level reserved chairbacks (sections AA-JJ), lower-level reserved bleachers (sections R-Z) or general admission bleachers (sections RR-ZZ) for $69 per ticket. Lower-level reserved chairbacks (A-J) sections are sold out again this season.

Kentucky used a strong effort on both ends of the court to earn the victory on Friday shooting 48.8 percent from the field on 41-of-84 shooting while LMU shot 42.4 percent and was forced into 31 turnovers. The Wildcats limited their miscues with just seven turnovers and allowed just five points off those turnovers.

True freshman Blair Green led Kentucky in scoring going 8-of-17 from the field for 17 points. The native of Harlan County, Ky., added four rebounds, one assists, one steal and one block. Fellow freshman Rhyne Howard scored 15 points with five assists, five rebounds, three steals and two blocks.

Five Wildcats scored in double figures in total, including 16 points from sophomore Tatyana Wyatt, who went 6-of-10 from the field with nine rebounds – eight offensive –  and three blocks. Senior guard Taylor Murray had 14 points and a team-best six assists, while fellow senior guard Maci Morris had 11 points, five rebounds and four assists.

UK controlled every aspect of the game Friday, outscoring LMU in points in the paint 52-22, points off turnovers 41-5, second-chance points 22-19, fast-break points 17-0 and bench points 36-8. Kentucky had 26 assists, 18 steals and 12 blocks. Kentucky played 11 players in the game with 10 scoring points.

After the Wildcats won the tip, Lincoln Memorial scored the game’s first five points before Wyatt got Kentucky on the board with back-to-back baskets. After a LMU basket gave the Railsplitters a 10-4 lead, Kentucky responded with a 23-2 run to end the first quarter and take control of the game.

LMU would respond in the second quarter, however, as the two squads were even 23-23 in scoring in the second stanza. A different Kentucky team came out of the halftime locker room starting the third quarter on a 23-5 run, including 18-0 at one point, to up its lead to 30 and never look back.

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.

Kentucky vs. Lincoln Memorial

Friday, Nov. 2, 2018

Memorial Coliseum – Lexington, Ky.

Postgame News Conference Quotes

Head Coach Matthew Mitchell

Opening Statement …
“Well, you have to start somewhere and tonight was a good place to start. It was good to be back in Memorial Coliseum. I want to compliment Lincoln Memorial. They really fought hard and played hard and gave us a lot of trouble with several things they were able to do. They really drove the ball hard at us and had a great night from the 3-point line. I am really happy about the fact that we identified some things that we can do well and identified some things that we need to work on. That is what these games are about. We got to play everybody and everybody got a good look and some minutes out there. That is a positive for us. The biggest thing that I was positive about is I do not care what you do or who you are playing to force 31 turnovers in 40 minutes is the kind of mentality that we are going to have to have to be the team we want to be. I thought some kids, especially Tatyana Wyatt went to the offensive glass tonight and that is a really important thing. Those are the areas that I was proud of and we need to build on it and clean some things up and get ready for our season opener next Wednesday.”

On scoring 41 points off turnovers … 
“That would be awesome if we could do that every night. If you can ever get to a one-to-one ratio, you have done a great job in converting those turnovers into points. Any time you are over that, so 41 points off 31 turnovers is a really good stat and we need to be a disruptive defense. They were able to straight line drive us too many times. Like I said in our pregame press conference that we had yesterday, our rotations are not great and we do not know exactly what we are doing there so we gave up a lot of layups tonight in the press and you have to live with some of those as you are trying to teach and get better. Again, enough effort to force that and hustle and set a tone and mentality that we need to have on the defensive end. It is something that we can build on.”

On the length of the team defensively …
“Yeah, we need our zone to be really disruptive. It is going to be an attacking zone. We were able to zone press into a zone backcourt and I think you are right on point, our length really helps us there. With our starting lineup, we have a lot of length there in that lineup and that will be a good defense or us. It will be attacking and disruptive. We spent a lot more time on defensive fundamentals and our man-to-man press because that is more of a fell and it takes so many reps to get going. I was happy with how disruptive we were with the limited amount of time we have worked on the zone defenses. We will have to be a multiple defense and a disruptive defense and we will not be able to let a team get comfortable. I am excited to see what that can become in our zone defense.”

On what the team needs to work on …
“Tonight, I thought we got off to an energetic start, we were a little tight, and missed some shots early on but we were disruptive and caused some turnovers. And so, 27-12 after the first quarter and we had forced 13 turnovers, I was really excited about that. But we had a rocky second quarter and didn’t play with a lot of energy and lost some confidence, which happens sometimes when you are playing full-court defense. We have to work on our defensive fundamentals, continue to guard the ball, continue to work on containing the drives when we close out on the ball and finish the play with a good physical boxout. So a lot of defensive fundamentals and then we can put a team out there offensively that can be explosive but we need to sharpen up some of our timing on offense. In the second half, we got a little bit more to our personality making some shots and scoring in transition. Definitely, we are a work in progress right now but excited to see what we can work on in the morning and try to get better.”

On the freshmen’s performance …
“They did well. It is good for them to get out on the Memorial Coliseum court with people in the stands and referees there and everybody going, so that is a good experience for them. I really respect Lincoln Memorial and how hard they played tonight, but the competition will continue to get better so they have to get better. I thought that they handled themselves well whenever they were struggling. Blair went through a really tough stretch to start the game at 3-for-10 and finished 5-of-7 the rest of the game, so ended on a good note.  But she stayed calm and coachable and the same thing for Rhyne. You know, Rhyne just makes everybody better. I don’t know how many assists she had but she can make some passes from a strength perspective that not a lot of people can do. She can score it and pass it. Both have work to do on the defensive end but I believe they will get it and will be a great asset for the team.”

UK Student-Athletes

#3 Blair Green, Guard

On coach giving them the green light to go out there and be aggressive…

“Yeah, he has given us a lot of confidence definitely in practice. If he doesn’t want us to shoot it he will tell us, but he says ‘as of right now you have the green light’ so I mean we take that and he gives us enough confidence.”

On playing through jitters …

“I mean, I think getting to play in Italy and playing a scrimmage helped a lot so we have kind of bonded now. We know that our team has our backs so not really.”

#10 Rhyne Howard, Guard

On coach giving them the green light to go out there and be aggressive…

Yeah, I don’t think he really cares as long as we are going as hard as he wants us to.”

On what they can work on most this season…

“I think we need to work on defense more especially me, because the transition is different from high school to college.”

#4 Maci Morris, Guard

On her goals for her senior season…

“My goals are to have a winning season, compete for the SEC championship and make this the best year I’ve had here and I think we have the potential to do that. I am really excited for this team. “

On playing press defense most of the night….

“It was fun. I mean, I think that it’s going to bother a lot of teams and the more we play and get used to it the better we can get at it. It was fun.”

On forcing 31 turnovers tonight and if they can translate that into the rest of the season…

“I think so. I think Coach has done a good job of getting us in shape. In-game shape is when we get better as we go throughout the season and we will need to be able to press like that the entire game in order to be successful.”

On what they can work on most this season…

“I think just getting the rotations down. I think that we are hustling, but we don’t know where to hustle too. Once we get rotations down is when we will jell a lot better and it will look a lot better.”

‑ GO CATS –
For more information contact:
Evan Crane

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