Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.





Other UK Sports

UK Hoops and other sports coverage

via UK Athletics

Rhyne Howard picks up another national award nomination

via UK Athletics

Kentucky’s star freshman Rhyne Howard just pulled in another nomination for another national award. Howard has been added to the watchlist for the 2019 Cheryl Miller Award. She’s one of just 10 finalists. The annual award is in its second year and recognizes the top small forward in women’s NCAA Division I college basketball.

Howard’s freshman season has been special since the very beginning, when she became the first player in the Matthew Mitchell era to score at least 10 points in each of her first 10 games. Now, she’s averaging 16.8 points per game to go along with 6.6 rebounds – she leads the team in both of those categories. She’s second in successful 3-pointers (60) and second in steals (53). She has four double-doubles so far this season. These stats put her at the top of the conference – she leads all SEC freshman in points per game by nearly six points and rebounds per game by two boards. She also leads league rookies in steals, while placing second in assists and 3-point shot percentage.

Today’s news comes just a day after Howard was named SEC Freshman of the Week for the sixth time this season. She’s only the second player in league history to do that and the second Kentucky basketball player ever to win that award at least six times. The other? Brandon Knight.

Now that Howard has been named to the top-10 list for the Miller award, she just has a few more obstacles in her way en route to the trophy. Five finalists will be announced in March, and the winner will be revealed during the Women’s Final Four in Tampa.


@MaggieDavisKSR


PREVIEW: UK Gymnastics Hosts No. 5 LSU

By Courtney Layne Brewer

Your favorite summer intern is home from the Bayou to get you ready for the weekend. Basketball isn’t the only Top 25 matchup this weekend as the No. 17 Gym Cats take on reigning SEC Champ LSU in a huge home meet.

Friday is Daddy-Daughter Date Night at Memorial Coliseum with special concession packages and fun activities for the kids before introductions at 8:15 p.m. The meet will be televised on the SEC Network and tickets are only $10 to watch Kentucky Gymnastics take on a Top 5 team in Lexington.

Last week Kentucky lost 196.125 – 196.000 at home to No. 11 Auburn. They’re currently 2-2 overall and 1-2 in the SEC, and the Gym Cats have yet to leave the top 20 with consistent scores in the 196.000 range. Senior powerhouse Sidney Dukes came in second in the all-around with a 39.325 and season highs on both bars and floor, and Head Coach Tim Garrison is confident going forward.

After the meet, Garrison was open with how he feels about their progress, saying, “We’re a really good team, being patient and working our way through some lineups and getting some people back healthy. I feel good about where we are at this point.” This season is his eighth in Lexington and he’s receiving national praise for his success. Last season Garrison led the team to an NCAA Championship appearance and a night slot in the SEC Championship, earning him the coveted NACGC/W National Coach of the Year.

On the other hand, gymnastics powerhouse LSU has been putting up an average of 197.015 but has fallen to major opponents like No. 2 Florida. Senior Sarah Finnegan has earned three SEC Gymnast of the Week honors and has gone 5-for-5 in the all-around. Head Coach of 41 years D-D Breaux has expressed frustration with the team’s performance, but after beating out NC State 197.150-195.375 feels that they are on the right path. With floor powerhouse (and daughter of 1984 Olympic Champion Mary Lou Retton) McKenna Kelley back from injury and former national team member Lexie Priessman near her hometown of Cincinnati, the Cats are in for a challenge on Friday.

Last year in BR an improved Kentucky team put up a fight, losing by only half a point overall. Looking back on the series, LSU leads a whopping 79-5-0 with the most recent loss being in 2011. Last time the Tigers came to Lexington, NCAA Floor Champion Ashleigh Gnat put up a perfect ten on vault and LSU won by nearly two points.

2019 has already proven to be a special season for Kentucky. In Gainesville they put up the third highest score in program history. Mollie Korth and Sidney Dukes have made a name for themselves on the national stage and Coach Garrison is on a roll in the post-season. It will be exciting to see how the Cats fare at home against a top tier program like LSU and while a win would be shocking, a 196.000 or higher isn’t out of the question to improve their national standing both on paper and in the world of the Gym-ternet.

Get tickets for Friday’s meet here.


Via @Tollererin on Twitter

UK Hoops snags in-state commit, point guard Erin Toller

Via @Tollererin on Twitter

It’s been a big day for Matthew Mitchell and the rest of the women’s basketball team. After defeating Florida by 11 points, the Cats have more exciting news: they’ve picked up an in-state guard for their 2020 class. Erin Toller, who attends Sacred Heart Academy in Louisville, has committed to Kentucky.

She announced the news on Twitter, explaining some of the hardships and heartbreak that led her to the Wildcats. After suffering multiple knee injuries and dealing with the tragic loss of a friend, Toller made sure to thank her family, coaches, friends and trainers for sticking with her through the recruitment process.

ESPN has Toller listed as the No. 16 point guard and the No. 60 overall player in her class. She’s currently listed as a 3-star prospect.

Welcome to the BBN, Erin!


@MaggieDavisKSR


via @KentuckyWBB

A look at the women’s basketball win, by the numbers

via @KentuckyWBB

The women’s basketball team completed the perfect trifecta against Florida Sunday afternoon – the football team and the men and women’s basketball teams have all defeated the Gators this season.

The No. 19 Wildcats trailed for just over 10 minutes of the game, but they finished in a fairly-dominating fashion, ending the game with an 11-point margin of victory. Shooting was an issue for Kentucky (31.7 percent from the floor and 25 percent from the three), but the Cats found other ways to win. Here’s how:

Right play, right moment

Although the shooting percentage doesn’t show it, Kentucky was able to hit shots when they needed them. A 7-0 run at the end of the first quarter brought the momentum back to the Wildcats, and the game was tied 15-15 by the break. At halftime, Kentucky had pulled ahead, and the Cats went to the locker room with a 30-23 lead.

Another game changer? Maci Morris, who finished with just 10 points for a rather quiet night, sank a beautiful three-point bucket with under two minutes left in the game. Although the Cats had the lead before the successful trey, Morris’ shot felt like the straw that broke the Gators’ back. Morris has now hit at least one three-point shot in 100 of her 119 career games at Kentucky.

“We have ultimate confidence in her and she made some huge buckets in the fourth quarter,” Coach Matthew Mitchell said of Morris. “She came up big defensively at the right time and [I’m] really proud of that.”

Rebounding

The Cats finished with 35 rebounds, led by junior Amanda Paschal. The guard finished with a career-high and a team-leading nine rebounds, while freshmen Blaire Green and Rhyne Howard each contributed five boards.

“Amanda [Paschal] was incredible,” Coach Mitchell said after the game. “Amanda really, really sparked us when we could not score. She was everywhere, flying around, rebounding the ball, on the floor.”

Collectively, the Cats scored 16 points off their rebounds, plus 16 more off of second-chance points (aided by 16 offensive rebounds).

The Gators nearly matched the Cats’ number of rebounds (34) but they were far less efficient in terms of turning those boards into points. Florida scored just seven points off rebounds and just eight second-chance points off seven offensive rebounds.

Turnovers, turnovers and, yep, more turnovers

Kentucky finished with just nine turnovers, while they forced the Gators to lose possession 24 times. The Wildcats were able to turn those mistakes into 31 points, which made a huge difference in the game.

Physicality & free throws

The Cats finished with 16 team fouls, while the Gators had 22 against them. And when Kentucky got to the line, they were very successful – UK finished 17-22 from the charity stripe for 77.3 percent. Florida, on the other hand, finished the game 8-16 for 50 percent.

Taylor Murray was the difference maker for this stat line: the senior point guard hit 11 of her 13 free throws.


For a game recap, click here.

@MaggieDavisKSR


via @KentuckyWBB

Kentucky beats Florida… Again! UK Hoops wins 62-51

via @KentuckyWBB

The Cats defeated the Gators again – this time, Florida fell at the hands of the women’s basketball team. The No. 19 Wildcats came away with a 62-51 win (yes, the Cats won by 11 points… again).

Shooting was an issue, and when you look at the teams’ field goal percentages alone, it’s almost unbelievable the Cats came away with the win. Kentucky finished at 31.7 percent, while Florida finished at 45 percent. But UK found other ways to win.

Kentucky got to the line early and often, and the team finished 17-22 from the charity stripe. Two Gators fouled out, and another finished the game with four fouls. It was a physical game, and both teams had some sloppy stretches. But Kentucky made it work in their favor: the Cats forced a whopping 24 Gator turnovers, while UK committed just nine.

It was a relatively quiet night for veteran Maci Morris. Maybe it was Florida’s defense, or maybe it was Morris’ own emotions during the senior’s final game inside Rupp Arena. She finished with 10 points, seven assists and one rebound, but her biggest shot of the game had to be her 3-pointer late in the fourth quarter. With less than two minutes remaining in the game, Morris sank a three, her second of the night, from the corner to give the Cats a 61-49 lead.

Point guard Taylor Murray was big down the stretch, with a steal followed by several successful trips to the free-throw line (she finished 11-13). She finished 13 points, three rebounds and three assists. Freshman star Rhyne Howard led all scorers, recording with 16 points and five rebounds in 36 minutes.

After two consecutive losses to ranked teams (by a total of just six points), Sunday’s victory over Florida put the Cats back in the win column. Kentucky is now 18-5 on the season, and they’ll be back on the road Thursday to take on Auburn. Kentucky will hit the court on the plains at 7 p.m., and the game can be seen on the SEC Network.


@MaggieDavisKSR


Two Kentucky tennis players pick up weekly SEC awards

via UK Athletics

Kentucky is a tennis school! Two Wildcats just brought home conference awards: Freshman Tiphanie Fiquet was named SEC Freshman of the Week, and senior Ryo Matsumura was named SEC Player of the Week on Wednesday. It was the first week for awards this season, so it’s pretty impressive the Cats were able to scoop up two of the major ones.

Fiquet is unbeaten in singles and doubles throughout her eight matches so far this season. Her success has largely contributed to the No. 25 Wildcats’ 5-1 mark to open the regular season. She’s also the first female Cat to bring home the SEC Freshman of the Week title since since 2016.

Matsumura claimed SEC Player of the Week after an underfeated weekend, which included two wins against top-30 players.

Matsumura and the rest of the men’s team will return to action soon – they’ll hit the courts in Lexington on February 3 at 1:00. The women’s team has a little more time to recover – their next match is set for Feb. 15 at home against the University of South Florida at noon.

Congrats, Cats!


@MaggieDavisKSR


@acrphoto

Scenes from UK Baseball and Softball #FanDay2019

@acrphoto

In an effort to drum up excitement about the upcoming seasons for both the UK Baseball and UK Softball teams, the two programs hosted a joint Fan Day to interact with young fans, participate in activities, pose for pictures, compete in games, and more. With UK Baseball tickets going on sale tomorrow, today was the perfect time to peak everyone’s interest.

Take a look at some highlights from the success of a day today:

Looking through Twitter, you can find several fans and photographers posting pictures and complimenting both teams for their hospitality throughout the event. Check out just a few of them below.

Events like this are always awesome to see the players connect with kids on a more personal level. It is clear that the attendees have a blast and it seems that the players enjoy every minute of it as well. Fingers crossed for huge success on the field that matches the excitement off the field for both of these squads in the upcoming seasons.


@BrettBibbinsKSR


UK Baseball single-game tickets on sale tomorrow morning

UK Baseball single-game tickets on sale tomorrow morning

 

UK Athletics

For nearly two years now, everyone has been seeing the progress of the new Kentucky Wildcats baseball stadium online and the excitement from fans, the team, and the University has been building. The upcoming season will be the inaugural season for Kentucky Proud Park and it looks absolutely beautiful. The first home game is less than a month away as the Bat Cats will be hosting Eastern Kentucky University on February 26th at 4pm.

Set your alarms for tomorrow morning now, because the single-game tickets go on sale at 9am sharp for your first chance to see the Cats in live action and to see the brand new stadium in person.

Per UK Athletics, below is the pricing that is set for these single-game tickets:

Pricing
Reserved: Sections 103-109 (availability based on a game-by-game basis) – $10

Dugout Chairbacks (Sections 101, 102, 110, & 111) and Terrace/Berm General Admission
Adults (Ages 19-64) – $8
Youth (Ages 6-18)/Seniors (65+) – $5
Youth 5 and under – free admission

UK employees with their ID and a guest, UK students with their ID and Junior Wildcat Club members with their JWC credential will enjoy complimentary admission to Kentucky baseball games in the terrace/berm general admission areas.

If you still are interested in getting season tickets, feel free to head on over to UKBaseballTix.com to explore your options. According to UK, the way to purchase single-game tickets online is through TicketMaster.com or you can purchase over the phone by calling 1-800-745-3000.

For additional information and details, check out the release from UK Athletics here.

@BrettBibbinsKSR


Kentucky Swimming sweeps Louisville on senior day

Kentucky Swimming sweeps Louisville on senior day

Congratulations are in order for the Kentucky men’s and women’s swimming and diving team. They swept Louisville during their final home meet of the season, and nineteen seniors get to graduate from the program as winners over their rival.

The No. 10 women’s team led for much of the meet, and their efforts contributed to the second-consecutive victory over the Cardinals. Last season, the Cats won at Louisville for the first time since 2009.

“For the women, we knew Louisville was a very good team. They came out and they were very competitive,” head coach Lars Jorgensen said. “So, it was fun. It was pretty heated, but it is good intensity to have in the building. It was a great atmosphere and it really made it fun.”

The men’s team took down Louisville for the first time in eight years. After trailing for much of the meet, the men’s team grabbed a win in the 200 meter IM and the 400 meter freestyle relay to clinch the victory.

“It is the first time in a long time that the men have earned a victory over Louisville, so that feels really good,” Jorgensen said. “Obviously, Glen Brown and Peter Wetzlar were the stars of the show, but everyone really stepped up for all of our swims across the board. I’m so happy for our seniors.”

Congrats, Wildcats!


@MaggieDavisKSR


Taylor Murray named to Naismith Women’s Defensive Player of the Year Watch List

(Photo via Twitter/@KentuckyWBB)

The Kentucky women’s basketball team is holding steady as the halfway point of league play approaches. Matthew Mitchell and the Wildcats are 17-3 on the season (4-2 in the SEC). Point guard Taylor Murray is still running the ship – she gets the most playing time of anyone on the team, and she leads the team in steals, blocks and shooting percentage (49.4 percent). Last season, she was chosen for the SEC All-Defensive Team. Now, the senior is being recognized for her achievements on the national level – Murray has been named to the Naismith Women’s Defensive Player of the Year Watch List.

Murray is one of four players from the SEC who made the list. She joins last year’s winner, Teaira McCowan of Mississippi State, Anriel Howard (also of MSU) and Caliya Robinson (Georgia). There are 15 total players on the watch list.

Her speed and mobility allow Murray to be a serious threat on defense. She’s quick and she’s incredibly efficient at creating turnovers – her 68 steals this season put her in the top-10 nationwide. Murray has posted three or more steals in 14 games so far this season, and she’s led Kentucky in steals in 67 of her 114 games, including 14 times this season. She needs just 20 more steals to enter the program’s top 5 all-time list.

And while she’s currently being recognized for her defensive efforts, Murray helps the Wildcats on both ends of the court – she’s averaging 12.7 points per game. In the Cats’ latest matchup, Murray recorded a game-high 21 points while adding four rebounds, four steals and two assists against No. 25 Missouri.

Semifinalists for the award will be announced in February.


Women’s basketball coaches will rock custom shoes in honor of Pat Summitt

Women’s basketball coaches will rock custom shoes in honor of Pat Summitt

The Kentucky women’s basketball game will be back in action Thursday night when they take on Missouri. And while it’s the first game back following their bye week – and another challenging, top-25 matchup – it will mean a little extra to the coaching staff. The game is part of “We Back Pat Week” across the SEC, bringing awareness and honoring the legacy of Pat Summitt. Representatives of the Pat Summitt Foundation are also scheduled to be on hand for a special check presentation.

Assistant coaches Niya Butts and Kyra Elzy will rock these custom sneakers by True Blue Customs.

The shoes will also be auctioned off as part of the foundation’s fight to end alzheimer’s.

Some sad news: the game will be extra bittersweet, as Pat Summitt’s mother just passed away Wednesday afternoon.

May their family find some peace during this heartbreaking time.


Kentucky cheerleading wins 24th National Championship

For the 24th time… the national championship trophy is coming home to Kentucky… for the UK cheerleading team!

The cheerleading team, led by Coach Jomo Thompson, has a history of excellence on the national stage. Here’s part of their award-winning routine:

Congrats, Wildcats!


@UKAthletics

Relive “Excite Night” with UK Gymnastics

@UKAthletics

The Kentucky gymnastics team had a pretty busy weekend, starting with their annual “Excite Night” and ending with an SEC upset over Arkansas. The No. 16 Wildcats defeated the No. 14 Razorbacks. Attendance for the night set a school record: 12,472 fans made their way to Rupp Arena.

“That environment was unreal,” said head coach Tim Garrison. “We are truly blessed to be here. … There is an appetite for gymnastics in this town and it’s obvious after tonight.”

Check out the highlights from Excite Night:

The Cats will take on No. 3 Florida on the road this Friday, then they’ll be back in Lexington February 1 to face off against Auburn.