After two impressive road wins over No. 18/19 LSU and Mississippi State last week, the Kentucky women’s basketball team entered The Associated Press Top 25 poll for the first time this season, ranking No. 20 it was released Monday afternoon.
It marks UK’s first ranking in the AP poll since 2006-07 and its highest ranking since debuting at No. 15 that same season.
“It’s exciting for our program to be ranked in the national polls but like I’ve said before the ranking we want to be in is the top 64 and that's the 64 teams who get invited to the NCAA Tournament,” UK Hoops Coach Matthew Mitchell said. “That's where our focus is and we must remain hungry and humble because we still have a lot of games to play. I am very proud of what this team has accomplished so far but we have our sights set on the NCAA Tournament and we have to win more games to get there.”
The Wildcats improved to 18-3 overall, their most wins since 2006-07, and took sole possession of No. 2 in the SEC standings at 6-2 with wins over the Lady Tigers and Lady Bulldogs last week. With the victories, UK set a new school record with five consecutive SEC wins. The previous mark was four set in 2005-06. The Cats also won back-to-back SEC road games for the first time since 2005-06.
SEC Player of the Year candidate, Victoria Dunlap, averaged a double-double (21.5 points/11.0 rebounds) for the week after posting a game-high 24 points and nine rebounds in the 71-62 win over No. 18/19 LSU and a game-high 19 points and 12 rebounds in the 69-59 win at Mississippi State. UK's win in Baton Rouge marked its first since 1995 and gave UK its second win over a ranked opponent this season. Against the Lady Bulldogs, Dunlap became the 27th member UK's 1,000-point club after registering her 19th career and sixth double-double of the season.
The Cats return home Thursday vs. Ole Miss before traveling to Arkansas on Super Bowl Sunday.