No. 6 UK Hoops meets No. 20 Texas A&M in first-ever matchup

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The sixth-ranked Kentucky women’s basketball team returns to Memorial Coliseum looking to extend its school-record 13-game winning streak and program-record tying 30-game home winning streak when it plays host to first-time opponent No. 20/21 Texas A&M on Thursday, Jan. 10 at 6 p.m. EST. The game will be televised live on the UK IMG Sports Network and Fox Sport South. It also will be available on WatchESPN.com and the UK IMG Sports Radio Network with Neil Price.

Fans can follow the UK Hoops team on Twitter at @UKHoopCats and use #UKHoops to comment on the game.

Single-game reserved tickets cost of $9 for all ages. General admission tickets for adults are $8 while single-game general admission tickets for seniors and children (ages 6-18, 65 and over) are only $5. UK faculty, staff and children ages five and under are admitted free in the general admission seating area, while supplies last.

The Cats’ (14-1, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) winning streak leads the nation with Duke and their home winning streak ranks No. 2 nationally behind top-ranked Baylor’s 47 consecutive home wins.
“We’ve certainly played some teams with talented players, but top to bottom, this is a very talented basketball team that Texas A&M brings to Memorial Coliseum,” UK Hoops Coach Matthew Mitchell said. “We’ll have to play extremely hard and execute well. I think we’ll have to be really sharp and focused tomorrow night because they definitely present a big challenge. I would just really implore the fans to come out and pack Memorial (Coliseum) tomorrow night. It would be a big, big help to us. I think it’s going to be a great, great game. I think it will be worth the effort to make it out to Memorial Coliseum for a great game against Texas A&M.”

The Wildcats are 2-0 to start SEC play for the second straight season after wins over Florida and Alabama last week. In the Florida game, four players scored in double digits led by senior All-America candidate A’dia Mathies’ (Louisville, Ky.) season-high 20 points. Redshirt sophomore point guard Jennifer O’Neill (Bronx, N.Y.) charted 17 points, including 12 in the decisive second half, while junior center DeNesha Stallworth (Richmond, Calif.) notched a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds and sophomore guard Bria Goss (Indianapolis) added 10 points.

The Cats then traveled to Tuscaloosa, Ala., for their SEC road opener, picking up an 87-70 win. All five starters broke into the double-digit scoring column and three Wildcats had double-figure rebounds in a 54-30 rebounding advantage. Stallworth got her second straight double-double with a game-high 19 points to go along with 10 rebounds in just 21 minutes of action. Mathies scored all 17 of her points in just 16 minutes of the second half, nailing a career-high tying five 3-pointers. Junior forward Samarie Walker (West Carrollton, Ohio) charted her fifth double-double of the season with 15 points and a game-high 13 rebounds and senior Brittany Henderson (Pasadena, Calif.) came off the bench to record a season-best 11 rebounds. Goss netted 12 points and O’Neill reached double figures for the fourth-straight game, scoring seven of her 11 points in the second half.

Overall, Mathies lead the team in scoring, averaging 14.0 points per game. She also has a team-high 35 assists and 29 treys. She currently ranks in the top 10 of 11 career lists at UK, including No. 4 in scoring (1,645) and steals (276). She is one of only three players in UK Hoops history to chart over 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 300 assists and 200 steals in her career. She joins former Wildcats Leslie Nichols and Stacey Reed in that elite group.

In the front court, Stallworth (Richmond, Calif.) and Walker are giving Kentucky a dynamic inside presence this season. The duo combines to average 23.1 points, 14.5 rebounds and 3.2 blocks per game. Both are also shooting over 50 percent from the floor.

The Cats’ defense, often dubbed “40 minutes of dread”, continues to dominate as they have held all but one opponent (then top-ranked Baylor) to .444 percent shooting or under. The Wildcats lead the nation in turnover margin at +10.5 by forcing 26.5 turnovers per game and committing only 15.9 per game.

No. 20/21 Texas A&M is 12-4 overall, 2-0 in SEC play. The Aggies are riding a four-game winning streak after wins over Alabama (91-52) at home and Arkansas (63-51) on the road.

Overall, junior center Kelsey Bone leads the Aggies and the SEC in scoring with 17.8 points and 10.0 rebounds per game. She has led the team in scoring each of the last nine games. Freshman guard Courtney Walker follows in the scoring column with 10.1 points per game.

Head coach Gary Blair is in his 28th overall season as a Division I head coach, his 10th at A&M. He currently ranks in the top 15 in career victories (626) and in the top 25 by winning percentage (.709) amongst Division I coaches. Blair is the all-time winningest coach in program history with 218 wins and a .701 winning percentage (218-93).


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