LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky women’s basketball team looks to keep its seven-game winning streak alive when it travels to Cincinnati, Ohio Friday, Dec. 4 for an 11 a.m. EST matchup against the Cincinnati Bearcats in Fifth Third Arena. The game will be broadcast live on the Big Blue Sports Radio Network with Neil Price.
The Wildcats (7-0) have used a stingy, in-your-face defense to catapult them into one of the best starts in school history. The 2005-06 squad began at 8-0 and the school record was set in 1980-81 at 9-0. UK allows just 55.9 points per game and limits the opponent to .352 percent shooting from the floor, including just .241 from the three-point line. The Cats are forcing 23.6 turnovers per game, lead the Southeastern Conference in blocks per game (6.1) and rank fourth in the league in steals per game (10.6).
“Cincinnati is by far the best opponent we have played to this point in the season,” UK Hoops Coach Matthew Mitchell said. “We’ll have a big challenge in front of us, but we’re excited to go see if we can get another win. We have to know our identity is on the defensive end. We will have to play tough, hard defense.”
Junior forward Victoria Dunlap (Nashville, Tenn.) continues to dominate in almost every statistical category, leading UK in scoring (19.7), rebounding (11.0), blocks (2.3) and steals (2.9) per game. She also leads the SEC in blocks and ranks second in the scoring and rebounding categories. She is coming off her fourth season and 17th career double-double with 21 points and a game-high 16 rebounds vs. Miami (Ohio) on Tuesday. Following Dunlap in the scoring column is UK’s diaper dandy, A’dia Mathies (Louisville, Ky.). The freshman ranks second on the team in scoring, averaging 12.6 ppg and has netted double figures in six of the seven games this season.
UC, under the direction of first-year head coach and former UConn standout Jamelle Elliott, is 4-2 overall after defeating Dartmouth in its last home game. Leading the Bearcats in scoring is junior college transfer Shareese Ulis with 12.5 points per game. Senior guard Michelle Jones follows with 11.3 ppg while senior guard Kahla Roudebush, a preseason all-BIG EAST team selection, and junior guard Carla Jacobs average 10.5 ppg apiece. Freshman Daress McClung is UC’s leading rebounder with 7.0 caroms per game.
“They have several players who are shooting 37 percent or better from three-point range, so we have to do a really good job of defending the three,” Mitchell said. “They also have some size on the interior and that will be interesting to see how we compete as a smaller team. They have enough weapons to cause us troubles.”
UK leads the all-time series 18-6 and has won two of the last three matchups, including a nail-biter last season in Lexington, 58-55. The series is tied a five apiece when the game is played in Cincinnati. UK has dropped the last two games on the Bearcats’ home court. The Cats’ last win in the Queen City was Dec. 22, 1999 (68-62). The last three games between the border rivals have been close calls as they have been decided by eight points or less. Kentucky is 66-30 all-time vs. teams from the current alignment of the Big East Conference.
For ticket information contact the UC ticket office at 1-877-CATS-TIX (228-7849) or go online at GoBEARCATS.com.