LEXINGTON, Ky. – The No. 7/6 Kentucky women’s basketball team has returned from its holiday break, looking to keep its home winning streak intact when it plays host to Alcorn State on Friday, Dec. 28 at 7 p.m. EST in Memorial Coliseum.
General admission tickets are available for just $1 on Ticketmaster.com only by using the code DOLLARDAYS. Tickmaster.com stops accepting online requests three hours prior to the event.
The Wildcats’ 27-game home winning streak is the second-longest in school history and ties for third nationally with Ohio State. With two home games this weekend vs. Alcorn State on Friday and Marist on Sunday and the Southeastern Conference opener vs. Florida on Thursday, Jan.3, the Wildcats have a chance to tie the school record of 30 consecutive wins set from Feb. 12, 1980 until Jan. 31, 1982.
“We have two important games coming up this weekend,” UK Hoops Coach Matthew Mitchell said. “It’s another great opportunity for us to handle that situation of playing two games back-to-back with just one day in between of preparation. It’s a tough challenge for our team coming back off of the holidays. They were able to get home for four days and I have been really pleased with how they have come back. We have had some good practice sessions. I hope we have a big crowd in Memorial tomorrow. We will look forward to trying to earn a victory over Alcorn State.”
UK has posted a 10-1 overall record this season and has stretched its overall win streak to nine games after defeating Pepperdine and UC Santa Barbara last week. The Wildcats took an 80-62 victory of the Waves in Malibu, Calif., and a 66-38 win over the Gauchos. The nine-game winning streak ties the sixth-longest winning streak in school history and ties the eighth-longest nationally.
Junior center DeNesha Stallworth (Richmond, Calif.) looked impressive in the return to her home state of California as she led the Wildcats over Pepperdine with a season-high tying 17 points. Sophomore Bria Goss (Indianapolis) also recorded a season high, netting 16 points.
Against the Gauchos, All-America candidate A’dia Mathies (Louisville, Ky.) scored a season-high 19 points and tied a season best with four 3-pointers. Junior Samarie Walker (West Carrollton, Ohio) followed with her third double-double of the season, recording 12 points and 10 rebounds. Stallworth also scored 12 points to go along with seven rebounds and a team-high four assists against UCSB.
Overall, Mathies leads UK in scoring with 13.9 points per game this season. The reigning SEC Player of the Year has compiled 1,584 career points and ranks No. 6 on UK’s all-time scoring list. She needs just 14 points to tie Pam Browning (1974-78) at No. 5. She also ties for fourth on the all-time steals list with 272 and needs six more to tie Leslie Nichols (1982-86) at No. 3.
Leading rebounders this season are Walker and Stallworth who average 7.8 and 5.3 rebounds per game, respectively. The post duo combines for an impressive 21.2 points and 13.1 rebounds per game.
Once again, the Wildcats are displaying their defensive prowess by limiting their opponents to 51.1 points per game and forcing 27.2 turnovers per game. UK has forced at least 21 turnovers in all 11 games this season and currently ranks third nationally in turnover margin at +11.2.
Alcorn State, located outside Lorman, Miss., is 0-8 after falling to Southeastern Louisiana 59-54 on Dec. 21 at home. Overall, senior guard Carolinsia Crumbly leads the team in scoring and rebounding, averaging 11.0 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. She also leads the team and ranks second in the Southwest Athletic Conference in steals per game with 2.5. Junior guard Tierro Frost follows with 8.3 ppg.
The Braves are coached by former Tennessee standout Tonya Edwards who is in her fifth season. Edwards, who captured two NCAA Championships with the Lady Vols in 1987 and 1989, scored 1,309 points for a 10.5 per game average during her four-year career and was named the Most Valuable Performer in the 1987 NCAA Tournament.
This will mark the first meeting between the teams.