LEXINGTON, Ky. – The No. 8/7 Kentucky women’s basketball team returns to action after a much-needed bye week when it plays host to No. 13/14 Georgia on Sunday, Feb. 3 in Memorial Coliseum at 2 p.m. EST. The game will be televised live on the SEC Network. It also will be available on ESPN3 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.
Sunday will be a special day as it is National Girls and Women in Sports Day and Alumni Day. The Wildcats will welcome back over 50 former players and their families as well as all the honorees for the Sue B. Feamster Trailblazer Award which will be announced at halftime of Sunday’s game.
In celebration of the 40th anniversary of Title IX and the establishment of varsity athletics for women, seven of Kentucky’s first varsity coaches for women’s sports will be honored at halftime with the sixth annual Susan B. Feamster Trailblazer Award, given to those who have provided exceptional leadership and paved the way for others to succeed. The honorees this season are: Sue Feamster (basketball), Suzie Stammer (field hockey), Betty Rider (Golf), Leah Little (Gymnastics), Delphine Nemeth (Volleyball), Claudia Young (Tennis), and Harold Barnett (Track and Field).
“We’re so fortunate to be experiencing success right now and a lot of that foundation – well all of that foundation – was laid by the players who’ve come before us,” UK Hoops Coach Matthew Mitchell said. “I love it that they can come back. I love it that there’s a team that, if they choose to show up and play really, really tough – our team will make the alumni proud and really proud of where they played and what their program is doing right now. So I love it. I’m glad to see everybody come back. I hope they’ll have an enjoyable day. And then it’s an important day for us just to try to reach out to young kids and particularly young girls who dream about playing at a place like Kentucky and being in an atmosphere like what it will be in Memorial Coliseum on Sunday afternoon. It’s a fantastic day and we’re proud to be a part of it.”
That atmosphere has helped the Wildcats (19-2 overall, 7-1 Southeastern Conference) win a school-record 34-straight home games, a streak that currently ranks second nationally behind top-ranked Baylor’s 50-game winning streak. Kentucky has also won a school-record 15 straight home games vs. SEC opponents.
“We have a very exciting game coming up Sunday afternoon,” UK Hoops Coach Matthew Mitchell said. “It will be a real big challenge for us. Georgia has another very good team as they always have. Very well coached, great athletes, great players, they have played extremely well this season and will challenge us in many ways. Great test ahead of us on Sunday and we’ll have to really work hard over the next couple of days to preparing for a good Georgia team.”
No. 13/14 Georgia (18-3 overall, 6-2 SEC) is currently tied for third in the SEC standings with South Carolina after a 65-59 win over Alabama on Thursday at home. It marked the Lady Dawgs’ 850th victory in program history, becoming just the 10th school in Division I history to accomplish that feat. Six different Georgia players scored eight or more points against the Tide led by Khaalidah Miller and Jasmine Hassell with 11 points and 10 points, respectively. Merritt Hempe tallied nine points to go along with three rebounds and a steal. Anne Marie Armstrong, Tiara Griffin and Jasmine James each chipped in with eight points apiece, and Griffin pulled down a career-high eight rebounds.
Overall, seniors Hassell and Jasmine James lead the team in scoring with 12.0 and 11.3 points per game, respectively. Five other players average between 9.2 and 6.0 ppg for a very balanced scoring attack.
Coach Andy Landers is in his 38th season overall, his 34th at Georgia. He became the eighth coach - men’s or women’s - to secure 800 victories at a single Division I school.
UK last played on Jan. 27 and the Wildcats defeated LSU, 73-60. Sophomore reserve center Azia Bishop (Toledo, Ohio) was the talk of the game as she came off the bench to record a career-high 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting in just 20 minutes of action. Junior forward Samarie Walker (West Carrollton, Ohio) also shined as she captured her ninth career double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds, while senior guard A’dia Mathies (Louisville, Ky.) notched double figures for the 12th straight game with 15 points.
Overall this season, Mathies leads UK and ranks second in the league (conference games only) in scoring, averaging 18.3 points per game. The preseason SEC Player of the Year currently ranks in the top 10 of 12 career lists at UK, including third in steals (285) and fourth in scoring (1,754).
In the front court, junior center DeNesha Stallworth (Richmond, Calif.) and Walker are giving Kentucky a dynamic inside presence this season. The duo combine to average 22.6 points and 14.8 rebounds per game and both are shooting over 50 percent from the floor. Redshirt sophomore point guard Jennifer O’Neill (Bronx, N.Y.) also has been impressive as she has netted at least 11 points in eight of her last 10 games and averages 12.9 ppg in league play.
Mitchell is in his sixth season as the head coach of the Wildcats. He ranks third on UK’s all-time wins list with 133 and his winning percentage (.696) is first. He is just one win away from tying Sharon Fanning at No. 2 on the all-time wins list and five wins away from tying Terry Hall (138 wins from 1980-87) as the all-time winningest coach in UK Hoops history.
UGA leads the all-time series with Kentucky 34-13, including a 12-8 advantage in Lexington. UK’s last win over Georgia at home was Feb. 11, 2010 (64-48). Three of the last five meetings against UGA have been decided by five points or less.