ROCHESTER, Mich. – For a school-record third consecutive season, the Kentucky women’s basketball team was selected for postseason play when the Women’s National Invitation Tournament field was announced. The Wildcats are set to begin their postseason quest Thursday, March 15, when they face Oakland at 7 p.m. EDT in the O’Rena. The game will be carried live on the Big Blue Sports Network (radio) with Neil Price.
Single-game general admission tickets are available for $7 for adults and $4 for students. Children ages 12 and under will be admitted free of charge. To purchase tickets call the Oakland ticket office at 248-370-4000. Ticket office hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET. Doors to the O'Rena will open at 6 p.m. ET.
The Wildcats (18-13) have won 18 games for the third consecutive season and advanced to the quarterfinals of the Southeastern Conference Tournament. The Wildcats finished the league with a 6-8 mark and at one point during the non-conference schedule boasted an eight-game winning streak.
Junior All-SEC second team center Sarah Elliott (McKee, Ky.) leads the Wildcats in scoring, averaging 13.5 ppg, while fellow junior and All-SEC second team selection Samantha Mahoney (Detroit) follows with 12.2 ppg. Senior forward/center Jennifer Humphrey (Memphis, Tenn.) is the squad’s leading rebounder with a 10.4 rpg average, while Elliott follows with 7.2 rpg. Humphrey ranks 19th nationally and second in the league in rebounding.
The appearance marks Kentucky’s fourth all-time in the WNIT and its second in three years. The Wildcats, who have never participated in three consecutive postseason tournaments in the NCAA era, have an 8-2 record all-time in the postseason event and claimed the title in 1990. The Cats last competed in the WNIT in 2005 when they advanced to the semifinal round before falling to West Virginia in double overtime.
The Golden Grizzlies (19-12) are led by All-Conference first team players Nicole Piggott and Jessica Pike. Piggott leads the team and is second in the league in scoring, averaging 14.4 points per game. She also leads OU in rebounding with 5.5 boards per game. Pike is second on the team and third in the league in scoring with 13.7 points per game and is among the league leaders in field goal percentage and three-point shooting.
Thursday’s game marks the first-ever meeting between the Wildcats and the Golden Grizzlies, who have won 15 of their last 17 games. UK is 4-0 vs. teams in the current alignment of the Mid-Continent Conference. This is the first OU is 1-6 all-time vs. foes from the SEC with their lone win coming against Ole Miss in 2002.
Should the Wildcats advance, they would play Ball State at 7 p.m. EDT Monday in Muncie, Ind.
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