The Wildcats put their 13-game SEC winning streak on the line in Baton Rouge
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The No. 6/5 Kentucky women’s basketball team is set to embark on a tough stretch in conference play as it travels to LSU on Sunday for the first of three straight road games. Game time in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center is 3 p.m. ET and it will be televised on Cox Sports Television.
UK, which has won three in a row over the Lady Tigers, is one win away from tying the school record for the most Southeastern Conference wins in a single season and the longest consecutive winning streak in school history (11).
“We have a tough task ahead Sunday afternoon,” UK Hoops Coach Matthew Mitchell said. “LSU’s a very talented team and they’ve gotten a bit more healthy here. They’re motivated to win so it’ll be a tough matchup, it always is in Baton Rouge. We’ll have to do a good job as we’ve been able to on Friday afternoons of getting ready to turn our attention to our game Sunday. I’m real confident we’ll have good preparation for the LSU game, we’ll need it.”
This marks the first time in program history UK has started conference play 10-0 and UK’s 21-2 start ties its best start in program history through the first 23 games. Kentucky also started 21-2 in 1982-83. The Wildcats have also won a school-record 13 straight SEC games dating back to last season, including six consecutive league road games, also a school record. UK is 4-0 in SEC road games this season.
Leading the way for the Wildcats is junior All-America and SEC Player of the Year candidate A’dia Mathies (Louisville, Ky.). Mathies leads the team in almost every statistical category, including scoring (15.2), steals (2.8), 3-point field goals made (39) and 3-point field goal percentage (.382). She is also second on the team in rebounding (5.5), assists (2.5) and blocks (0.7). SEC Freshman of the Year contender Bria Goss (Indianapolis) follows in the scoring column with 11.7 ppg. She has scored in double digits in three of the last five games, including a team-high 19 points vs. Ole Miss on Thursday. Sophomore forward Samarie Walker (West Carrollton, Ohio) is UK’s leading rebounder with 6.3 rebounds per game and has averaged 8.8 points and 8.8 rebounds in the last four league contests.
UK ranks in the top 10 of five national statistical categories. The Cats lead the nation in turnover margin (+12.0), are sixth in won-lost percentage (91.3), sixth in scoring offense (78.3), seventh in scoring margin (21.9) and eighth in steals per game (13.3).
LSU (14-8, 4-5 SEC) enters Sunday’s contest coming off a 64-73 loss to Florida at home on Thursday evening. The Tigers had three players reach double figures in the game, led by junior guard Adrienne Webb’s team-high 19 points. Senior forward LaSondra Barrett pulled down a team-high eight rebounds.
Barrett is the Bayou Bengals’ leading scorer and rebounder on the season, averaging 12.0 points and 6.9 rebounds. Barrett has been especially efficient on the glass in conference action, grabbing 8.3 boards per game, the third highest mark in the SEC. Senior forward Courtney Jones is also having a very nice SEC season. Nine games in, the Midfield, Ala., native is averaging 10.8 points and 6.3 rebounds per game.
Sunday is the 39th meeting between Kentucky and LSU. The Lady Tigers lead the overall series 28-10, including an 11-3 advantage when the game is played in Baton Rouge.
The Cats have won three in a row over the Lady Tigers by an average of +4.3 points. UK defeated LSU twice last season, winning on a buzzer beater in Lexington, 49-47, and taking a 60-58 win in the SEC Tournament quarterfinals.
The game also can be heard live on the UK IMG Sports Radio Network or www.UKAthletics.com with Neil Price calling the action. Fans can follow the UK Hoops team on Twitter at @UKHoopCats and use #UKHoops to comment on the game.