UK womens basketball 300LEXINGTON, Ky. (1/3/13) – The sixth-ranked Kentucky women’s basketball team opens its 32nd season of Southeastern Conference basketball when it plays host to the Florida Gators on Thursday, Jan. 3 in Memorial Coliseum at 7 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.
 
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.
 
Kentucky (12-1), the reigning SEC champions, was picked to win the title again this season by the coaches and media in the preseason polls. Florida (11-3) was picked to finish eighth and ninth, respectively by the league coaches and media, and has been a tough opponent for the Wildcats over the last few years. The Cats own a five-game winning streak overall and a four-game winning streak vs. the Gators in Lexington, but UK’s last four wins have been by a combined 13 points and an average win margin of +3.25. UK won last year’s matchup in Lexington, 57-52. This marks the first time UK has opened league action at home since 2008. The Wildcats also met UF last season in their SEC opener, escaping with a 59-56 win in Gainesville, Fla.
 
“We are really looking forward to starting the conference play,” UK Coach Matthew Mitchell said. “I just think it’s a real honor and privilege to be able to compete in the Southeastern Conference. We have a lot of respect for this conference being members of it and I just think over the course of time historically it’s just the toughest conference in the country. We’re excited to be a part of that and to start conference play. We’ll have a very difficult and tough opponent in Florida. We have a great amount of respect for Florida. It’s always a tough game with them. They’re always well coached and well prepared and very physical. We’ve had some really, really tough battles with them over the last few years, particularly last year. We’ll have to be ready to go, have to be sharp, focused and aggressive to have success against them and we’ll have to work hard to earn a victory.”
 
The Wildcats are currently riding a school-record tying 11-game winning streak and a 29-game home winning streak after a 78-56 win over Marist in their regular season non-conference finale on Sunday.
 
UK’s 29-game home winning streak is the second-longest in school history and ranks tied for second nationally with Ohio State.  The school record is 30 set from Feb. 12, 1980 - Jan. 31, 1982.
 
Leading the way for the Wildcats this season is preseason SEC Player of the Year A’dia Mathies (Louisville, Ky.). She averages a team-best 13.3 points per game and has hit a team-high 22 treys. Against Marist, she scored 10 points to become the highest scoring guard in UK Hoops history and the fourth-leading scorer overall with 1,608 career points in 117 games. She also moved up to No. 4 on UK’s all-time steals chart and needs just 35 more to tie the school record.
 
In the front court, junior post players DeNesha Stallworth (Richmond, Calif.) and Samarie Walker (West Carrollton, Ohio) are giving Kentucky a dynamic inside presence this season. The duo combine to average 22.3 ppg and 13.5 rpg and both are shooting over 50 percent from the floor.
 
The Cats’ defense, often dubbed “40 minutes of dread”, continues to dominate as they have held all but one opponent (then top-ranked Baylor) to .444 percent shooting or under. The Wildcats lead the nation in turnover margin at +12.9, having forced at least 21 turnovers in all 13 games this season, while committing only 15.8 per game.
 
Florida enters Thursday’s game on a six-game winning streak after defeating Holy Cross on Dec. 28, 81-50, in its final regular season non-conference game. The Gators finished non-conference play with an 11-3 record.
 
Overall, senior forward Jennifer George leads the team in scoring (14.6 ppg) and rebounding (9.1 rpg). The preseason SEC first-team selection has scored in double-figures in 11 of UF’s last 13 games. She is the SEC’s active career leader in double-doubles with 24, her most double-double outing coming in UF’s last game vs. Holy Cross (21 points / 10 rebounds). Freshman Sydney Moss, a native of Union, Ky., and former standout at Boone County High School, returns to her home state as the Gator’s second-leading scorer and rebounder with 11.6 points and 6.2 rebounds per game.
 
SurfKY News
Information provided by Susan Lax

LIKE SurfKY on Facebook - Click here to LIKE us now.

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story on social media.

In Other News...

Panthers Drop Game at Ohio County

OWENSBORO, Ky. (3/31/15) — Ohio County pitcher Jake Griffin threw a five-hitter and racked up 11 strikeouts to lead the… Read More

A.B. Chandler Students Share '7 Habits' with Henderson Lions Club

HENDERSON, Ky. (3/31/15) — On Tuesday, March 31, 2015, seven fourth and fifth grade students from A.B. Chandler… Read More

Most Read This Week

March 27, 2015 6105

Three Arrested during Execution of Search…

by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center
March 25, 2015 5564

Fazoli's, Roses Coming to Madisonville

by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
March 24, 2015 5267

One Dies, Another Injured in Mortons Gap Traffic…

by Deputy Heath Owens
March 25, 2015 5211

Grand Jury Finds No Criminal Wrongdoing in Bean…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
March 30, 2015 4913

Man Charged with Child Abuse After Allegedly…

by Madisonville Police Department
March 24, 2015 4349

UPDATE: One Injured in Hopkinsville Road Accident

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

March 09, 2015 14264

Multi-Agency Drug Bust Results in $1 Million Meth…

by KSP DESI
March 02, 2015 11707

Madisonville Teen Faces Numerous Drug Charges

by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center

Stories Trending Today

March 31, 2015 2150

Man Charged for Driving While under Influence of…

by Madisonville Police Department
March 31, 2015 1337

Happenings and Meetings - Hopkins County

by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
March 31, 2015 1291

Covenant Community Church Hosts Annual…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
March 31, 2015 1034

Hopkins County Misdemeanor Indictments

by Karen McKnight
March 31, 2015 998

Madisonville Police Reports Released - March 31,…

by Madisonville Police Department
March 31, 2015 729

Glema Center April Schedule Features Jo Dee…

by Gary Gates, SurfKY News
March 30, 2015 670

Members from Madisonville Police, Hopkinsville…

by Abbie Darst
March 31, 2015 430

Baptist Health Madisonville Upgrades Technology…

by Baptist Health
March 31, 2015 429

KSP Charges Henderson County Man with Possession…

by Kentucky State Police
March 31, 2015 413

United Way Honors Organizations, Businesses,…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News