No. 10 UK women ready for No. 6 Duke

Reported by: Dan Rieffer
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Updated: 12/07/2011 9:23 pm
The No. 10 Kentucky women's basketball team takes on No. 6 Duke at Rupp Arena Thursday night at 6 PM.

From UK Athletics
LEXINGTON, Ky. – For the first time since 1983, Lexington, Ky., will showcase two of the top women’s basketball teams in the country, as No. 10 Kentucky plays host to No. 6/5 Duke on Thursday, Dec. 8 in Rupp Arena. Game time is 6 p.m. ET.

Thursday’s game will mark the first time the Wildcats played a game in Lexington with both teams ranked in the top 10 since Feb. 9, 1983 when No. 4 Kentucky met No. 6 Tennessee in Memorial Coliseum.

“We have a very difficult challenge facing us tomorrow night,” UK Hoops Coach Matthew Mitchell said. “Duke has an outstanding team and we have worked hard to get prepared for the game as they pose some real challenges for our basketball team. It will be a tough game but should be a great atmosphere. I want to thank everyone who has bought tickets so far. I just cannot impress upon people who support our program how much they can help tomorrow night if they can buy a ticket, show up and we have a huge crowd down there that is behind our players. Our players really feed off the energy and I think tomorrow night could be a really special night for our fans.”

Kentucky (8-0), one of just 12 teams in the country still undefeated, looks to keep its eight-game winning streak alive. UK has also won 28 consecutive games at home to nonconference opponents.  This is UK’s best start to a season since the 2009-10 season when the Cats began 11-0.

The Wildcats’ defensive pressure has once again been their bread and butter as they lead the nation in turnover margin (+15.4). The Cats have forced a league-high 276 turnovers for an average of 34.5 forced turnovers per game.

Leading the charge is junior guard A’dia Mathies (Louisville, Ky.). Mathies, who already ranks in the top 10 on UK’s all-time steals list, averages a Southeastern Conference-high 4.1 steals per game to go along with her team-best 16.0 points per game. She has netted double-figure points in all eight games this season, including a season-high 20 points three times. Freshman Bria Goss (Indianapolis) has also been a key contributor as she averages 10.6 points and 5.6 rebounds a game. Sophomore Samantha Drake (Bardstown, Ky.) is the team’s leading rebounder with 7.8 rebounds per game.

Duke (6-1), is located in Durham, N.C., and is a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Duke enters Thursday’s game coming off a 92-43 victory over Pittsburgh in which sophomore guard Chelsea Gray recorded the first triple-double of her career (14 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds) and the fourth in Duke women’s basketball history.

The Blue Devils have four players who are averaging over 10 points per game, led by freshman center Elizabeth Williams who is averaging a team-high 11.9 points and a team-high 9.4 rebounds.

Duke holds a 3-0 lead in the all-time series. This is the Blue Devils’ first trip to Lexington. UK met Duke last season in Durham, N.C., falling 54-48 on Jan. 4, 2011.

If not able to attend the game, it will be televised live on the CW in Lexington and tape delayed on Fox Sports South at 10 p.m. ET. A live video stream will be available via ESPN3.com. It also can be heard on the UK IMG Sports Radio Network with Neil Price calling the action for the sixth consecutive season. Fans can also follow the UK Hoops team on Twitter at @UKHoopCats and use #UKHoops to comment on the game.

Tickets are available for just $1, if purchased in advance. Tickets can be purchased at the Joe Craft Center Ticket Office during normal business hours (9 a.m. - 4 p.m.), or by calling 1-800-928-CATS. Tickets for $1 will not be available online unless for a group of 20 or more. Tickets for $1 also will not be available for purchase on game day at Rupp Arena, but can be purchased for normal ticket prices.

Online tickets at UKAthletics.com or Ticketmaster.com are available for general admission at a cost of $7 for adults. Online general admission tickets for seniors and children (18 and under, 65 and over) are only $4. Age 5 and under are admitted free.

If available, students and faculty/staff also will receive free admission with valid UK identification. Free student and faculty/staff tickets may be picked up in advance at the Joe Craft Center ticket windows during normal business hours.

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