Jan. 25, 2013
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The No. 5/4 Kentucky women's basketball team looks to get back on the winning track when it returns to the friendly confines of Memorial Coliseum on Sunday, Jan. 27 to face LSU at 3 p.m. EST. The game will be televised live on SportSouth, FS Southwest, Sun Sports and Fox Sports South. It also will be available on ESPN3 and the UK IMG Sports Radio Network with Neil Price.
|Kentucky vs. LSU
Sun., Jan. 27 - 3:00 p.m. ET
Game Notes: UK | LSU
|Gameday Live: Live video, audio, blog, and stats
Radio: UK IMG
Fans can follow the UK Hoops team on Twitter at @UKHoopCats and use #UKHoops to comment on the game.
Single-game reserved tickets cost of $9 for all ages. General admission tickets for adults are $8 while single-game general admission tickets for seniors and children (ages 6-18, 65 and over) are only $5. UK faculty, staff and children ages five and under are admitted free in the general admission seating area, while supplies last.
The Wildcats (18-2, 6-1 Southeastern Conference) also look to snap a two-game losing skid to the Lady Tigers and extending their school-record home winning streak to 34. The streak, which began with a win over LSU on Feb. 13, 2011, ranks second nationally behind Baylor's 49-game home winning streak. Kentucky has won a school-record 14 straight home games vs. SEC opponents.
"We have a big challenge ahead of us with LSU on Sunday," UK Hoops Coach Matthew Mitchell said. "They are a very aggressive team. They have some explosive weapons offensively and they really get after you on defense. It's clearly an important game for us. We need to protect the home court and see if we can get another SEC victory, but it will be a tough game."
Against the Gamecocks on Thursday, UK struggled to get its offense going as it shot just 32.8 percent from the floor (19-of-58) for an SEC-low 50 points. It was the fewest points scored by the hot-streaking Wildcats since netting 48 vs. Louisville on Dec. 2, 2012. In a very physical battle, the Gamecocks capitalized on 27 trips to the free throw line, hitting 13 of them, while UK was 7-of-11.
Redshirt sophomore point guard Jennifer O'Neill (Bronx, N.Y.) led UK with 17 points, on 4-of-9 shooting from beyond the arc. Senior A'dia Mathies (Louisville, Ky.) added 12 points and junior center DeNesha Stallworth (Richmond, Calif.) recorded her second straight double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds in just 26 minutes of action.
Overall this season, Mathies leads UK and ranks second in the league (conference games only) in scoring, averaging 15.2 points per game overall and 18.7 in SEC games. She currently ranks in the top 10 of 12 career lists at UK, including third in steals (282) and fourth in scoring (1,739).
In the front court, Stallworth and junior forward Samarie Walker (West Carrollton, Ohio) are giving Kentucky a dynamic inside presence. The duo combine to average 23.1 points and 14.7 rebounds per game and both are shooting over 50 percent from the floor.
The Cats' "40 minutes of dread" defense has them leading the nation in turnover margin (+9.9), limiting the opponent to 52.0 ppg (2nd in the SEC), 37.3 percent shooting (7th in the SEC), including 27.8 percent from beyond the arc (6th in the SEC), and averaging 12.2 steals (4th in the SEC) and 5.1 blocks per game (T-2nd in the SEC).
LSU, which is coming off a bye week, is 12-7 overall, 3-3 in SEC play after a win over Vanderbilt last Sunday at home, 54-51.
Overall, 6-foot-5 junior center Theresa Plaisance leads the Tigers in almost every statistical category, including scoring (18.3), rebounding (7.9), field goal percentage (.463) and blocks (2.9). She ranks second in the SEC in scoring and eighth nationally in blocks per game.
Three other players average in double-figure scoring - freshman guard Danielle Ballard (13.4), senior guard Adrienne Webb (13.4) and senior guard Bianca Lutley (10.7).
Nikki Caldwell is in her second season as head coach of the Lady Tigers. Caldwell reached the 100-win mark for her career on Dec. 13 against ETSU. Prior to LSU, Caldwell served as the head coach at UCLA.
"They're athletic, they have some good athletes, they have some good skill players, too," Mitchell said. "They are well balanced and can score a lot and are capable of putting points on the scoreboard. I think they're a really good SEC team with good athletes, good players, very well-coached so it will be another tough one Sunday afternoon in Memorial Coliseum."
Sunday will mark the 41st meeting between the teams. LSU leads the all-time series 30-10, including a 10-4 advantage when playing in Lexington. The Wildcats are looking to snap a two-game losing skid to the Tigers and chart their first win at home over LSU since Feb. 13, 2011.
UK fell in both meetings against the Tigers last season, falling 61-51 in Baton Rouge and 72-61 in the semifinals of the SEC Tournament.
Five of the last seven matchups with LSU have been decided by 10 points or less. UK went 3-2 in those games.
Spectator parking is located in the following areas:
- All E-lots surrounding Memorial Coliseum beginning 3 hours prior to tip-off
- Parking Structure #5 (adjacent to Kennedy's Bookstore).
- Lexington Authority Transit Center Parking Garage (new for the 2012-13 season).
- The Lexington Parking Authority Transit Center Parking Garage, located between High Street and Vine Street, is available for parking after 5 p.m. ET during the week and all day on the weekends. Additionally, a free shuttle service will pick up in the LR Cooke Lot near the corner of High Street and Martin Luther King beginning 1.5 hours prior to tip.
- Handicap parking is available in the E-Lot (Employee Lot) north of the Craft Center, adjacent to the metered spaces running along the frontage of the Craft Center with a valid, state issued handicap tag. These spaces (typically 20-30 stalls) are available on a first-come, first-serve basis until full.
Please note: parking is prohibited in any R (Residential) lots. Vehicles parking in Residential 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. Also, due to new dorm construction, the Good Samaritan hospital employee parking lot is no longer available for use.
- Shuttles are available beginning 1.5 hours prior to tip off from Parking Structure # 5 located off Limestone and Upper Street and the Transit Center Parking Garage located off High Street and Vine Street.
- Parking Structure # 5 (blue route) picks up/drops off on Administration Drive, at the end of the pedestrian sky bridge accessed from the 3rd floor of the parking garage.
- Transit Center Parking Garage (green route) picks up/drops off near the corner of High Street and Martin Luther King.
- Shuttles will start back up 1.5 hours after tip-off (to return guests to their parking areas).
Game day Information:
- Doors to the Coliseum will open one (1) hour prior to tip-off.
- UK Athletics encourages women's basketball fans to arrive early to ease traffic and parking congestion around the Coliseum.
Surface event lots (i.e. Student Center, Joe Craft Center North and LR Cooke lot) typically reach capacity approximately 45 minutes prior to tip-off, at which point, vehicles should proceed to Parking Structure #5 (PS#5) or the Lexington Authority Transit Center Parking Garage.
For more information on parking around Memorial Coliseum and other game-day questions visit www.ukathletics.com/wbbgameday
Media Opportunity - Jan. 25, 2013
Head Coach Matthew Mitchell
"We have a big challenge ahead of us with LSU on Sunday. They are a very aggressive team. They have some explosive weapons offensively and they really get after you on defense. It's clearly an important game for us. We need to protect the home court and see if we can get another SEC victory, but it will be a tough game."
On the mood after the loss to South Carolina…
"It was a bad, bad mood. I was in a terrible mood coming back. We were not happy to lose. The team has done such a great job. We had not tasted defeat in a long time, so it was not a happy occasion. We need to regroup here and get back up on the horse and ride again. It was a real, real tough night and you have to give a lot of credit to South Carolina. We just got beat and need to do a better job."
On if he was glad to see how upset the players were after the game…
"I was just sticking to my mood. We were in a real big plane and the players were way in the back, so I'm not real sure what the mood was. Once I got back there and gave them my speech, they seemed appropriately upset so I don't know. I don't think they ever take it as hard as I do, but I don't know. I am sure they are disappointed but we need to see if we can find some redemption on Sunday."
On if teams will exploit Kentucky based on South Carolina's strategy…
"They were so incredibly physical and tough that I think that put us in situations that we shouldn't have to be in. You shouldn't have to be in a situation where it's sort of a scrum on every play. It was just physical contact on every play. We have no control over that. That is totally out of our hands on how the rules are administered in the game, so we have to do a better job of adjusting to that. That was the most disappointing thing for me. Just the look in our eye last night was not one that says, 'Hey, I'm going to get determined and respond.' It was more like, 'Hey, this isn't how it should be and I'm going to worry about that right now.' You just have to really make an adjustment. It was a physical game. It was physical on both ends of the court, so you have to adjust. If a team sits down and looks at that tape, they are going to say, 'We are going to play more of a football game and we're going to really hit and bump.' If that's the way it's decided to be called that day, you have to adjust. We have no control over that. The only thing that you can control is your attitude and your effort. We gave some good effort. It just wasn't good enough last night. South Carolina gave a better one and they deserved the victory."
On if he expects LSU to play the same way…
"They did two times last year. They were really, really physical and tough games. A lot of contact in both games and we didn't do a great job then. I think we'll do better and I think last night can be real valuable for us if we can adjust and make sure that we learn the lesson that needs to be learned from that tough loss."
On if there were any thoughts on practicing once they landed back in Lexington last night…
"That's a violation of NCAA rules so I'm not the kind of coach who would do that. There are times where my mood might dictate I would want to do that. I've gotten some great advice from coaches who have been in it a lot longer than me and who I learned under and studied under and you know the game was a two or three bucket game and you just can't overreact and you can't underreact. You have to react appropriately and the players have done a real good job for a long, long stretch this season and so I don't think this is anytime for drastic measures like that I just think the sense of urgency from the players needs to be, let's learn a lesson from a really, really physical tough game and if were in that position again, which I hope that we're not, but if we are we have to really respond differently than we did last night. That's what you hope that they learn. It was not a total systems failure last night where we just didn't do anything right, so even if I had been allowed we probably wouldn't have practiced last night. I was tired."
On what he sees in LSU's team this year…
"They're athletic, they have some good athletes, they have some good skill players, too. They are well balanced and can score a lot and are capable of putting points on the scoreboard. I think they're a really good SEC team with good athletes, good players, very well-coached so it will be another tough one Sunday afternoon in Memorial Coliseum."
On if the South Carolina game proves just how close the top four or five teams in the conference are…
"Yeah, I think that there are a lot of good teams that are top level and South Carolina is certainly one of them and they have long had my admiration for how tough they compete and they certainly did nothing to convince me otherwise last night."