LEXINGTON, Ky. – The No. 7/6 Kentucky women’s basketball team plays host to their second game in three days when the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders visit Memorial Coliseum on Sunday, Dec. 9 at 1 p.m. ET. The game will be televised live on CWKYT and FSN South.
The Wildcats (7-1) are coming off an impressive win over DePaul on Friday in Rupp Arena as UK defeated the Blue Demons 96-64 in front of a school-record 18,488 fans. It marked UK’s 26th consecutive win at home, a streak which ranks second all-time and third nationally. The Wildcats have also won 36 consecutive home games over nonconference opponents, dating back to Dec. 19, 2008.
Looking to snap those streaks are the Blue Raiders of Middle Tennessee. Coached by Rick Insell, the father of UK assistant coach Matt Insell, Middle Tennessee upset sixth-ranked Kentucky last season in Murfreesboro, Tenn., 70-58 and is now looking to chart its first win in Lexington since 1984.
“They (Blue Raiders) do a really good job of trying to control tempo and trying to make sure that our press doesn't hurt them and they have had some success with that at times,” UK Coach Matthew Mitchell said. “When we have had success, our press has been able to be a factor in the game. So this is a tough turnaround for our team. We have to keep our feet on the ground here and come back with some great preparation and get ready to finish off a great weekend. If we can find some way to beat Middle Tennessee, this would be a great, great three game stretch for us. I'm going to really encourage the players to come out with a great effort on Sunday.”
Since the Baylor game on Nov. 13, the Wildcats have won six in a row by an average margin of +34.7 points per game. Leading the way has been senior and All-America candidate A’dia Mathies (Louisville, Ky.). The 5-foot-9 guard averages a team-high 13.8 points, 2.9 assists, 2.3 steals, and is hitting .372 percent from 3-point range which ranks third in the Southeastern Conference. Dominating the inside game is the dynamic post duo of junior center DeNesha Stallworth (Richmond, Calif.) and junior forward Samarie Walker (West Carrollton, Ohio) who average 10.8 and 9.3 points per game, respectively. Walker tops the team in rebounding with 7.9 rpg, while Stallworth averages 5.8 rpg and a team-high 1.6 blocks per game.
Middle Tennessee is 6-3 overall, 1-0 in Sun Belt Conference play and coming off a 63-48 win over Xavier on Thursday. Ebony Rowe, a Lexington, Ky., native and former Dunbar High School standout put up big numbers, charting 25 points, 14 rebounds, five steals and three assists in the win.