The University of Kentucky women’s basketball team began its 44th season of varsity basketball in style Friday night by scoring 100+ points for the 17th time in the Matthew Mitchell Era, but Mitchell and Co. must turn the page quickly as it welcomes a talented Gardner-Webb team to Memorial Coliseum on Sunday for a 2 p.m. ET tip.
The game will be broadcast live on 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, now 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 98.5 FM, while the game will be live in Louisville on 1080 AM. Live stats and free audio will be available online at ukathletics.com.
Freshman forward KeKe McKinney is schedule 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.
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 $65 per ticket. Lower-level reserved chairbacks (A-J) sections are sold out again this season.
Kentucky is coming off an impressive season-opening win against Sacramento State on Friday night, 101-70 in Memorial Coliseum. The win was the ninth straight for Kentucky in home openers. The Wildcats shot 50 percent (35-of-70) from the field, 45 percent (9-of-20) from 3 and 78.6 percent (22-of-28) from the free-throw line in the game. UK dominated in the specialty stats winning the points in the paint 48-40, points off turnovers 18-9, second-chance points 17-7 and bench points 36-11.
Taylor Murray started her junior season in style with a game-high 22 points, adding five rebounds and three assists. Four other Wildcats scored in double figures in the opener with senior guard Makenzie Cann knocking down four 3s for 17 points, while freshman forward Tatyana Wyatt had 13 points and fellow rookie post Dorie Harrison scored 10 points with nine rebounds. Junior guard Maci Morris had 12 points and four rebounds in the game.
UK played all 12 eligible players against Sacramento State with 10 players scoring at least one point while all five newcomers not only saw action in the opener but scored. On top of Wyatt and Harrison, freshman guard Kameron Roach had six points with three assists while junior college transfer Amanda Paschal had five points and two assists. Freshman forward KeKe McKinney had three points and two rebounds. Sophomore Jaida Roper had nine points and three assists.
The Wildcats showed their potential for an explosive offense in the season opener by scoring a program-record 31 first-quarter points. The previous high was 27 vs. Morehead State and Tennessee Tech in 2015. UK’s 56 first-half points vs. Sacramento State were the second-most points scored in the first half of a season opener in the Matthew Mitchell era (58 vs. Appalachian State, 11/14/14).
GWU started its season Friday with a 72-53 victory over Pfeiffer at home. After dominating the first half to take a 46-16 lead into the break, Pfeiffer fought back in the second half to win the third quarter 16-12 and the fourth quarter 21-14. Tierra Huntsman was the team’s leading scorer with 22 points going 9-of-16 from the field while Alexus Hill scored 18 points and Ky’Asia Stanford and Nia Lee each had eight points. GWU hit 41.7 percent (5-of-60) from the field, 25 percent (5-of-20) from 3 and 58.6 percent (17-of-29) from the free-throw line.
Gardner-Webb returns four starters from last year’s team that went 12-19 overall, including 6-12 in the Big South. Huntsman is the leading returner after averaging 15.2 points per game last season. Hill averaged 9.0 points per game last year with 2.2 assists per game, while Carley Plentovich averaged 6.9 points and 2.1 rebounds.
The Runnin’ Bulldogs are entering their 14th season under head coach Rick Reeves who holds a 198-205 career record. Reeves welcomes six newcomers to the 2017-18 squad that only lost one starter last season in Kiera Currie, who averaged 5.5 ppg.
This is the first ever matchup between Kentucky and Gardner-Webb in women’s basketball, however UK has a 12-1 all-time record against teams from the current alignment of the Big South Confernece. Gardner-Webb is the only team the Wildcats are scheduled to play this season from the Big South. The last time UK played a team from the Big South was a 59-36 win vs. Radford last season in Memorial Coliseum.
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.
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