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Cats fall to South Carolina despite third period comeback 89-77

 

 

Photo by UK Athletics

Photo by UK Athletics

The third time was almost the charm for the No. 4 Cats tonight against No. 1 South Carolina in the semi-finals of the SEC Tournament.

In the Cats third meeting with the Gamecocks this season, a late third period spark was not enough to hold off South Carolina in a 89-77 loss.

Kentucky’s seniors were key for the Cats in the semi-final loss, picking up extra ground with sophomore guard Taylor Murray out for whiplash after a vicious collision yesterday against Alabama. South Carolina was also without their star center Alaina Coates for a majority of the game with an ankle injury. The center entered the game during the second period and exited in the third after tweaking the ankle.

Things shook out fairly between the Cats and the Gamecocks during the first period. Kentucky was able to get defensive stops when needed, but just couldn’t keep up with South Carolina on the offensive end. Kentucky shot well, 62.5% from the field, but that was nothing compared to South Carolina’s 72.2% leaving the Cats trailing at 27-20.

The second period was when things got ugly. Kentucky went on a scoring drought of 4:20 while making only one of 10. The Cats were finally able to get some momentum moving, ending the half making five of six, but South Carolina had a response to each Kentucky basket.

By the end of the first half, Makayla Epps had already scored as many points as she had the previous day and then some. Her 16 points and Evelyn Akhator’s 10 points in the first two periods are what kept the Cats in the game.

Those are the same two who also led the Cats on a 13-3 run to close the third period that coincided with a 4:20 scoring drought for the Gamecocks. Down 14 originally, Kentucky was not shaken and was able to get the game within two with a chance for the lead on a missed Jadia Roper three-pointer. The Cats entered the final 10 minutes of play down two at 62-60.

“I feel like every position or situation we get in with every team, it’s nothing new to us. We’ve been there before. Us being down 14, we’ve been there before. You could tell our team wanted to win today so we could play tomorrow,” Epps said.

South Carolina fought back, however, going on a 8-2 run early in the fourth quarter to pull away. Kentucky was able to fight back and get within 2 at 75-73 with four minutes left to play thanks to a put-back from junior center Alyssa Rice. The junior would foul out just after making the basket, which allowed South Carolina to take it in the paint with far more ease.

The Cats went on a two and a half minute scoring drought late in the third quarter that would put the icing on the cake for Gamecocks.

This loss mimics a 95-87 loss that happened less than a week ago in Columbia against South Carolina. While this puts the Cats at 0-3 this season against the Gamecocks, head coach Matthew Mitchell does not believe it’s anything to hang their heads about.

 

“We were right there. We were a possession or two away. I thought the team had great confidence,” Mitchell said. “I’m proud of our team for executing. We were a confident bunch, fired up. Everybody wanted to win. Just proud of how they competed.”

Epps led all scorers with 31 points, tying her career best in the SEC Tournament and the third-best mark by any Kentucky player in the tournament. Akhator recorded yet another double-double, scoring 24 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.

Kentucky attempted to take their game outside to avoid the brick wall that South Carolina’s inside game is, but made just two of their 19 three-point attempts. However, with Coates out, the Cats were able to work the inside a bit. South Carolina scored just two more points in the paint than Kentucky, with 48 compared to UK’s 46. The Cats did manage to out rebound the Gamecocks 42 to 26.

The Cats had an attacking mentality tonight, shooting almost putting up almost 20 more shots than South Carolina. However, it didn’t matter that Kentucky put up 72 shots compared to the Gamecock’s 56 because UK shot just 42% from the field while their opponent shot 57%.

With Murray out, both freshman Jadia Roper and senior Jessica Hardin were able to put in significant minutes for the Cats today, contributing 15 and 10 respectively. Roper did leave during the fourth quarter after taking a hard hit and having an apparent head injury which is currently under evaluation according to Mitchell.

This loss ends Kentucky’s run in the SEC Tournament, but it is looking all the more likely that the Cats will be playing in Lexington Region in the NCAA Tournament. While we won’t know for another week, the possibility is exciting for seniors Epps and Akhator.

“It’s a big home-court advantage, especially with all the Kentucky fans that will pack Memorial if that does happen. Evelyn and I had a memorable Senior Night. The opportunity to play in Memorial again is something we’re looking forward to, if the opportunity comes our way,” Epp said.


Kentucky’s Comeback Bid Falls Short Against South Carolina, 89-77

@SEC

@SEC

The Kentucky women’s basketball team ran out of ammunition against South Carolina.

Playing without Taylor Murray, Kentucky trailed by as many as 14 in the third quarter, but they refused to relent.  Kentucky closed the third quarter on a 13-3 run.  They hung around and made it a 75-73 game with 4:10 to play, but it was not enough upset South Carolina.

As usual, Evelyn Akhator and Makayla Epps were terrific.  Epps led all scorers with 31 points, Akhator had 24 points and 11 rebounds, but Kentucky simply couldn’t knock down enough outside shots to win, just 2 of 19 on the night (10.5%).

More from Greenville is on the way.


Photo by Chet White, UK Athletics

Kentucky Takes Series Over #23 UCSB

Photo by Chet White, UK Athletics

Photo by Chet White, UK Athletics

Nick Mingione got a signature win early in the season with a 3-2 victory over #23 UC Santa Barbara. Zach Logue’s seven shutout innings led Kentucky (6-5) to a series win over the Gauchos on Saturday. Riley Mahan homered and Zach Reks went 2/3 with an RBI double to lead the way for the Cats.

Recap

Logue set the tone on the mound early for UK. Colton Burns led the game off with a single, but Logue got two groundouts and a strikeout to end the frame. Logue was able to work out of every jam that he got into against UCSB. The offense was able to back up Logue early, just like they did last night for Sean Hjelle. Connor Heady singled to lead off the third inning, and was brought all the way around to third. Reks delivered a two-out double to bring in Heady and give UK the first lead of the day.

The one run would be all that Logue needed through seven innings. The closest the Gauchos came to touching Logue came in the 5th inning when Kenny Corey reached on an error and Burns walked. Logue caught the runners off the bag and was able to get Corey out in a run down to end the threat.

Logue would go two more innings of shut out ball before being lifted to start the eighth inning. The seven innings were a career high for the junior starter. Logue allowed four hits and two walks while striking out three in a dominating performance. 

Kentucky’s offense gave Logue more run support in the sixth. Riley Mahan crushed a ball to the Cliff off Kyle Nelson to extend the lead to 3-0. Mahan now leads the team in home runs (3) and RBIs (16) through 11 games.

 

Zach Pop entered the game for Logue to start the eighth. With a fastball sitting in the low to mid 90s and a plus slider, Pop shut down UCSB in his first frame. The Gauchos were able to get to Pop early in the 9th inning. Austin Bush doubled and Billy Frederick singled to force Nick Mingione to go to Logan Salow with no outs in the 9th. Salow got Sam Cohen to hit a sac fly to score Bush before striking out Michael McAdoo for the second out of the inning. Armani Smith doubled in Frederick to cut the lead to one. With the stadium rocking, Salow struck out Thomas Rowan to end the game and give UK the series win.

Notes

Riley Mahan continues to rake- The junior infielder is slugging at a ridiculous rate early in the season. After going 0/8 to start the season, Mahan has a nine-game hitting streak. In that streak, Mahan hasn’t committed an error and has two four RBI games.

Logue has been solid the last two weeks- UNC roughed up Logue in his first start, but he has been fantastic in his last two starts. Against Old Dominion and UCSB, Logue has allowed one run in his last 13 innings.

A big series win early in the season- It can’t be underestimated how big of a win this was for Mingione and the Cats. Santa Barbara has been in Omaha the last two years with several high draft picks. Hjelle and Logue completely shut down their offense the last two days while the offense has capitalized in some big situations.

Kentucky goes for the sweep tomorrow at noon with Justin Lewis on the mound. The high tomorrow is 66, so come out and watch the BatCats take on Santa Barbara at the Cliff.


Saturday’s Top 10: The Regular Season Finale at College Station

Saturday’s Top 10: The Regular Season Finale at College Station

It's t-shirt time in Texas!

It’s t-shirt time in Texas!

In five hours, the Kentucky basketball team’s regular season will be over.  It feels like just yesterday we were watching Malik Monk bring down the house at the Blue/White game.  Now it’s (almost) tournament time.  Here’s what lies ahead in the Cats final regular season tune-up against Texas A&M.

The Last Time UK Played Texas A&M

It was an absolute blowout.  Kentucky rolled over the Aggies 100-58 at Rupp Arena.  A&M’s large lineup simply couldn’t keep up with the Cats’ pace.  Four Kentucky starters scored ten points or more, led by Malik Monk’s 26.

The last time Kentucky visited College Station, it was a much different story.  The back-and-forth battle should have ended with a Kentucky win, but the tables turned on one unfortunate, emotional reaction.

isaac-slam

Looking for a Complete Game

The Cats are using today’s game to work on a few things before postseason play.  Most importantly, John Calipari is searching for 40 minutes of good basketball.  His point guard echoed Calipari’s call for desperate basketball earlier this week.

“Sometimes we just have slow starts,” UK freshman guard De’Aaron Fox said. “We just gotta learn how to play desperate the whole 40 minutes.”

A (Kinda Sorta) Homecoming for De’Aaron Fox

Throughout the season most of Kentucky’s players have played a game in or near their hometown.  Fox will get his chance when friends and family make the 80-mile trek journey from Katy, Texas to College Station.  The best news is that Fox is feeling better.  If he’s not 100%, he’s awfully close to it.

The Return of Verne

You thought you saw Verne Lundquist sign off for the final time at this year’s Army-Navy game, but you thought wrong.  That was Lundquist’s final college football game.  He’s still doing some college basketball work during NCAA Tournament time.  He gets a tune-up today with Jim Spanarkel when the Cats and the Aggies tip-off at noon on CBS.  The Aggies are 7-point home underdogs.

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Bye Bye, Kaylee

Kaylee Hartung has spent the last two basketball seasons parked on the Rupp Arena sidelines.  After next week’s SEC Tournament, Kaylee’s time reporting on the Cats will come to a close.  The Big Lead reported yesterday that Hartung will leave ESPN for CNN in April.  First Musburger, now Hartung.  Who’s next, Vitale?

Combine Results for Former Cats

Jon Toth performed as expected: not great, not bad.  Boom Williams’ combine story is much more complex.  He started impressively, with 18 bench press reps and a 4.51 40-yard dash that improved to 4.44.  He was one of the day’s top performers, until they disqualified his second, much faster attempt.  Boom didn’t reach the desired numbers, but he’ll have another opportunity at Wednesday’s Pro Day.

UK Advances at the SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament

It was a battle, but Kentucky left the court with a 63-55 quarterfinal win over Alabama thanks to Evelyn Akhator’s 23-point, 9-rebound performance.  They’ll play one-seed South Carolina today at 5:00 on ESPNU.  Kentucky has already lost to the Gamecocks twice this season.  Hopefully the third time’s the charm for the Cats.

Tyler Ulis Hits a Career-High

The Phoenix Suns’ point guard dropped 14 points and 7 assists on Russell Westbrook’s Oklahoma City Thunder.  His most impressive points came at the hands of Enes Kanter, but it wasn’t as crazy as this pass through Steven Adams’ legs.

Check out the full highlights here.

Shannon the Dude Enters the Wrestling Ring

America’s favorite Ohio Valley Wrestling commentator was thrust into action on February 11.

Now, Shannon is ready for revenge.  He called out Tyler Matrix on yesterday’s radio show.  “I guarantee it.  I’m going to win.”  Tonight at 7:30 he’ll enter the ring at 4400 Shepherdsville Road.  Will he leave triumphant or on a stretcher?  Pack the house to see if he survives.

College Basketball on TV

  • Noon: Indiana at Ohio State on ESPN
  • 2:00: Florida at Vandy on ESPN
  • 2:00: Georgia at Arkansas on ESPN2
  • 2:00: No. 19 Notre Dame at No. 8 Louisville on CBS
  • 4:00: No. 11 Baylor at Texas on ESPN
  • 4:00: No. 25 Miami at No. 15 Florida State
  • 4:00: Memphis at No. 14 SMU on ESPN2
  • 6:00: No. 6 Oregon at Oregon State on ESPN2
  • 6:00: No. 1 Kansas at Oklahoma State on ESPN
  • 8:15: No. 17 Duke at No. 5 North Carolina on ESPN
  • 10:15: Washington State at No. 3 UCLA on ESPN

The KSR Pregame show begins in 30 minutes at 9:30 on 630 WLAP.  Stream it here to get ready for the Cats and the Aggies.


Photo by UK Athletics

Five takeaways from today’s women’s basketball victory

Via @SECNetwork

Via @SECNetwork

In case you missed it, the UK Hoops team, a 4-seed, defeated Alabama, a 12-seed, 65-55 earlier this afternoon. For some more specific information, check out Haley’s game recap here. Today’s victory advanced Kentucky to the SEC Tournament Semifinals for the 8th consecutive year, which is the longest active streak in the SEC. As we look ahead to the Cats’ next game, let’s reflect with five leftovers from today’s victory.

1. Let’s start with the highlights

Check out the top plays of the game here, courtesy of our friends at KY Wildcats TV.

2. Alyssa Rice made the difference

Although Rice has been one of the team’s starters for most of the season, today’s game definitely stands out as one of her strongest. For the third time this season, the junior hit double-digit scoring, ending with a career-high 11 points and five rebounds.

“We were just looking to be aggressive and duck-in on their post players,” Rice said after the game. “We were just trying to be poised and patient.”

3. Speaking of poise…

If you’ve been following along all season, you know “poise” has been Coach Matthew Mitchell’s word of choice from the very beginning. Today was no different. After the Tide scored a quick five points to open the game, the Cats rallied to lead 17-14 at the end of the first quarter. However, Kentucky shot just 6-of-16 from the field in this quarter. From here, the Cats remained – you guessed it – poised, and therefore maintained their lead throughout the rest of the game.

“Coach Mitchell always tells us to be poised when we have the ball, and we tried to do that today,” said senior Evelyn Akhator.

4. Akhator did her thing

For the 9th time this season, the senior forward scored 20 points or more, ending the game with 23 points and nine rebounds, just shy of what would have been ­her ­­16th double-double of the season.

Maci Morris channeled another basketball player with a double-M named (cough cough, Malik Monk) and came alive in the second half. In the first, the sophomore was 0-6 from the floor. With 7:09 left in the third quarter, Morris hit her first three of the game, pushing Kentucky’s lead back up to ten after a 7-0 run. She ended the night with 11 points – nine of which came from the second half – and three rebounds.

Taylor Murray added 8 points and dished out a team-high five assists before leaving the game late in the fourth quarter after a collision.

“She doesn’t feel great right now but it’s too early to tell what happened,” Mitchell said immediately following the game. “It was a legal play, just a bad collision.”

5. Next up… South Carolina

UK Hoops will be back in action Saturday at 5 p.m. to take on the No. 1 seed, South Carolina. The Gamecocks have defeated the Wildcats twice this season, but you know what they say about beating a team three times in one year… Tune into ESPNU tomorrow to cheer on the Cats, and make sure you’re following @HaleySimpKSR for real-time updates, as she’s in Greenville, South Carolina to cover the game.


BONUS: Check out this adorable video of Coach Mitchell and his kids celebrating after the victory.


Photo by UK Athletics

Hjelle Dominates In Game One Win Over #23 UCSB

Photo by UK Athletics

Photo by UK Athletics

Sean Hjelle allowed one run in 7.1 innings to boost Kentucky (5-5) to a 2-1 win over #23 UC Santa Barbara. The BatCats gave Hjelle two runs early and they were enough to give the sophomore righty his first win of the season.

Recap

Santa Barbara’s Noah Davis spun scoreless frames through the first couple innings before UK got to him in the third. Luke Becker and Connor Heady singled to put runners at the corners with one away for the hot hitting Marcus Carson. The centerfielder delivered with his ninth RBI of the season on a single to right field. Heady would come into score on a wild pitch to give UK a 2-0 lead through three.

UCSB responded in the top of the fourth. The Gauchos used small ball to get Colton Burns in to cut the Cats’ lead to one. Hjelle was dominant following the run-scoring fourth inning. The sophomore went 7.1 innings and allowed only one run on six hits and a walk while striking out eight.

Both teams struggled to reach base following the fourth inning. Davis was excellent for UCSB after allowing two early runs. The freshman of the year in the Big West last season threw a complete game and allowed only five hits. Davis never hit over 90 on the radar gun, but he had excellent movement on his fastball and curveball to shut down the Cats’ lineup for his last five innings.

Hjelle and Davis battled against each other until the eighth when Colton Cleary came on in relief for UK. With runners at first and second, Cleary used a strike-’em-out throw-’em-out to end the threat in the eighth. The Cincinnati-transfer stayed on for the ninth and retired the meat of the Gaucho lineup in order to wrap up a 2-1 win for UK.

Notes

Cats win in a pitcher’s duel- Early in the season, UK struggled to win close games. The offense had put up 29 runs in their last two games, but Davis shut down UK for the most part. It was the first time that UK had pulled away in a one-run game and finished it off late.

Hjelle had his first great start of the year- Hjelle entered Friday with an ERA over 11. The sophomore was phenomenal in the win. He utilized his curveball very well and got nine ground ball outs.

The bottom of the order picked up the slack- Evan White, Zach Reks, and Kole Cottam all did not collect hits in today’s win. Luke Becker went 2/3 with a run and Heady, Mahan, and Carson all had hits.

UK will look to win the series tomorrow at 1 ET. It should be a warmer day tomorrow at the Cliff, so come out and see Zach Logue and the BatCats take on UCSB. The game will also be available on SECN+. 

 


Photo by UK Athletics

Akhator and Rice lift No. 4 Cats over No. 12 Alabama

 

Photo by UK Athletics

Photo by UK Athletics

The Tide couldn’t roll over Kentucky’s bigs today.

When Kentucky and Alabama met in January, the Tide had no answer for the Cats post game.

Today, Alabama lived and died by the three. Kentucky, on the other hand, used their advantage in the paint in the 65-55 win to advance to the SEC Tournament semi-finals tomorrow in Greenville, SC.

Alabama got off to a hot start with a 5-0 to begin the game, but the Cats would answer by hitting four of their next five while stopping the Tide. Kentucky then went cold, hitting only two of their next eight to end the quarter. However, they were able to stay in the game by hitting four of five free throws. Senior forward Evelyn Akhator’s eight points in the first period were huge in Kentucky’s 17-14 lead to the end first.

Both teams struggled offensively in the second, but the only thing that kept Kentucky moving was Akhator and junior center Rice working the paint. With six minutes left in the half, Rice had eight well needed points. The two bigs were working seamlessly together, recognizing when the other was open and being patient.

“We were just looking to be aggressive and dunk in on their post players because a lot of times they were playing behind. Just playing with poise. We worked on that a lot in our practice. Even when they sent the double-teams, looking for our opposite post player or guard, just being poised and patient,” Rice said.

The two were responsible for boosting the Cats lead in the first half and helping maintain it in the second half. Alabama went on a 6-0 run in 48 seconds to cut it to three with eight minutes left in the third period. Akhator finished with 23 points and nine rebounds while Rice finished with a career-hight 11 points and five rebounds.

“Alyssa is just blossoming in front of our eyes right here. Every day she gets a little bit better. Those were not poor players she was scoring against. Those are really good, tough post players in our league,” head coach Matthew Mitchell said after the game.

Kentucky dominated in the paint, outscoring Alabama 24-16 and out rebounded them 39-33. The Cats also took advantage of the Tide’s 18 turnovers, scoring 16 points off of them.

Out of Alabama’s 72 shots, 21 of those were three-pointers, an attempt to beat Kentucky outside rather than inside. Of those 21, Alabama made just eight while making 20 of 51 field-goal attempts.

Senior guard Makayla Epps had a quiet 12 points and five rebounds. Freshman guard Taylor Murray had just eight points before exiting the game with about 12 seconds left after she ran full speed into an Alabama pick. Murray walked off the court on her own power and went straight to the team doctors.

“Taylor was hustling, and it is a bad break for us if it is anything that lingers. We don’t know right now. Doc is checking her out,” Mitchell said.

This win advances Kentucky to the semi-finals against No. 1 South Carolina who defeated No. 8 Georgia handily today, 72-48. Tomorrow will be the third time the Cats have played the Gamecocks this season. The first time in Lexington where South Carolina beat Kentucky 75-63. The Cats hung on a little closer the second time on Sunday in Columbia, losing just 95-87.

Tomorrow’s matchup will be a challenge but Alania Coates, South Carolina’s main big, did not play in the win against Georgia today and rode into the arena on a scooter on one leg. However, the Cats are taking it in stride.

“It will be a big, big test for us. We came down here with our goal to win the tournament. I think you have to go through the champion, whether it’s tomorrow or Sunday, you’re going to have to beat them to have a chance in it,” Mitchell said.

The game will be at 5 p.m. tomorrow inside Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, SC on ESPNU. Tune in and cheer on your Cats.


UK Hoops beats Alabama, advances to play South Carolina in the semis

UK Hoops beats Alabama, advances to play South Carolina in the semis

@KentuckyWBB

@KentuckyWBB

Congrats to UK Hoops, who just beat Alabama to advance to the semifinals of the SEC Tournament, where they’ll meet 1-seed South Carolina tomorrow at 5 p.m. on ESPNU. The Gamecocks have beaten Kentucky twice this season, but as they say, it’s always hard to beat a team three times, right?

Evelyn Akhator led the way with 23 points and 9 rebounds, followed by Makayla Epps with 12 points and 5 rebounds. Haley Simpson will be by in a bit with a full recap.

Bravo, ladies!

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Photo: @KentuckyWBB on Twitter

Recapping Day One in Greenville at the Women’s SEC Tournament

Photo: @KentuckyWBB on Twitter

Photo: @KentuckyWBB on Twitter

Because I’m devoted to bringing y’all top notch UK Women’s Basketball coverage, our old-friend Kindsey Bernhard and I made the trek from Lexington to Greenville, South Carolina last night for the Women’s SEC Tournament. Based off our short time here, I can already tell Greenville is one of the best cities in the South. The parks are gorgeous, food is delicious, the people are incredibly friendly and I’m excited for three more days here. If you ever find yourself wanting a nice weekend trip, I 10/10 recommend Greenville.

Anyways, on to the reason we’re here. Earlier today, the team went to North East Street Academy, a local elementary school who’s students the players have been pen pals with. The team hung out with the students, played some ball, danced and led them in the Cats cheer.

The Cats are a four seed in the tournament, earning them a two-game bye. They’ll take the floor for the first time tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. against No. 12 Alabama. Kentucky visited Tuscaloosa back in January and handled the Tide easily in a 71-54 win. Evelyn Akhator completely destroyed them in the paint, scoring 29 points and grabbing 15 rebounds. So it’s sufficient to say that the Cats will try to win using that technique once again, but the Tide will also probably try to shut her down.

In order to get to the quarterfinals, Alabama defeated No. 13 Vanderbilt on Tuesday and pulled out an upset against No. 5 Tennessee earlier today. Kentucky lost its last game to the Volunteers in Knoxville, so Alabama is a far easier matchup for the Cats.

If Kentucky comes out against Alabama tomorrow, they’ll face the winner of No. 8 Georgia or No. 1 South Carolina who play the first game tomorrow at noon. Kentucky has won both their games against Georgia this season 82-61 and 66-56. However, the Cats have lost both times they’ve played the Gamecocks albeit a close one on Sunday in Columbia.

Tomorrow’s game can be found on the SEC Network so tune in and avoid your work with some mid-day basketball. Also, follow me on Twitter.com at @haleysimpKSR for all of your Women’s Basketball needs but I’ll also have updates here.

P.S. if you have any Greenville recommendations, feel free to send them my way.


Photo by UK Athletics

UK broke ground on the new baseball stadium today

Photo by UK Athletics

Photo by UK Athletics

Today was a big day for the UK Baseball team, which broke ground on the construction of a new baseball stadium. UK President Eli Capilouto, University Athletics Board Chairman Dr. C.B. Akins Sr., Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart and head coach Nick Mingione met with the media to discuss the new stadium, which is expected to be finished in 18-20 months, in time for the 2019 season.

“We’re excited,” Mingione said. “I do believe this: We’ll by far have the best college baseball facility in the state of Kentucky and it will be one of the premiere college baseball facilities in all of our country. Will it be the biggest? No, it won’t be the biggest, but it’ll be the right one.”

The state-of-the-art stadium is expected to cost $49 million and will be located off Alumni Drive between the new Kentucky Football Training Facility and the Wendell and Vickie Bell Soccer Complex, adding to the cluster of UK Athletics facilities in the area.

“We’ve created a little bit of village on this side of campus for our student-athletes,” Barnhart said. “It’s a really, really special place for us. It gives us a chance to be our best version of who we want to be.”

The stadium will feature permanent seating for nearly 2,500 fans with additional space on grass berms to accommodate a total of more than 4,000 fans for regular-season games. Beyond the outfield wall, temporary bleachers can be installed for NCAA Tournament games to bring the seating capacity to more than 7,000. Fan amenities also will include suites and a new club area.

Check out a rendering of the stadium below:

Want more baseball talk? Listen to KSR’s new baseball podcast (yes, really!) featuring Trey Hunstman and former UK Baseball coach Keith Madison. It’s good stuff.


UK Hoops will face Alabama tomorrow

UK Hoops will face Alabama tomorrow

@KentuckyWBB

@KentuckyWBB

It looks like the basketball gods are smiling on Matthew Mitchell’s squad today at the SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament. Twelve seed Alabama upset 5-seed Tennessee to advance to the quarterfinals, where they’ll play Kentucky at 2:30 PM ET tomorrow afternoon. Why are we happy about this? The Vols beat the Cats 72-65 in their meeting earlier this year, whereas the Cats beat the Crimson Tide 71-54 in Tuscaloosa in January.

Here’s a look at the updated bracket:

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Our own Haley Simpson is at the tournament, and will be by a little later on with her thoughts on her first day in Greenville, South Carolina.


The KSR Baseball Podcast: Episode 1

KSR baseball writer Trey Huntsman is joined by the winningest coach in Kentucky baseball history, Keith Madison, in the first addition of the KSR Baseball Podcast. The 45-minute show will be a weekly discussion of all things baseball, from UK to the Major Leagues.  Here’s a little of what you’ll hear in the debut episode…

—  Kentucky has the best defensive first baseman Madison has ever seen in the SEC.

—  What Madison believes will make Mingione a great coach.

—  How the Cats fared in the first two weeks of the season and a look at the SEC.

—  Spring Training and a look ahead at the Reds’ season.

—  Madison ends the episode with a “Mound Visit” to all of the listeners.

You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play.  You can also get it directly to your phone by subscribing to “Kentucky Sports Radio” on iTunes, streaming on Podbayor via Android’s Podcast Addict app.


UK Athletics

Epps, Akhator are All-SEC First Team

UK Athletics

UK Athletics

Kentucky’s senior stars were named First Team All-SEC by the league’s coaches today.  Makayla Epps became just the second player in program history to receive first team honors three times, joining Leslie Nichols.  It’s Evelyn Akhator’s second All-SEC honor; last year she was a second team selection.

In her second season at Kentucky, Akhator averages 15.3 points and 10.5 rebounds per game.  She is ranked second in the conference and 11th nationally with 15 double-doubles this season.  Akhator is nationally ranked in the Top 25 of four statistical categories: defensive rebounds per game, field-goal percentage, total rebounds and rebounds per game.

Epps leads UK in scoring with 16.9 points per game.  The Kentucky native is the only player ranked top 10 in the league in points, field goal percentage and assists.  She will finish her career at UK as the only player in school history to finish in the top five in scoring and top eight in assists.

South Carolina is the only other team with more than one player on the All-SEC’s First Team.  That’s impressive, but not as impressive as their Senior Night performances at Memorial Coliseum.

Kentucky begins postseason play Friday at 2:00 p.m. as the four-seed in the SEC Tournament in Greenville, South Carolina.


UK’s DanceBlue event raises $1.785 million to fight pediatric cancer

UK’s DanceBlue event raises $1.785 million to fight pediatric cancer

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The numbers are officially in! University of Kentucky’s annual DanceBlue event brought in a whopping $1,785,286.96 to fight pediatric cancer!

The 24-hour dance marathon began yesterday at 8:00 p.m., and finished in dramatic fashion when the final total came through.

DanceBlue is the largest philanthropy event at UK, where hundreds of students gathered at Memorial Coliseum and danced the day and night away for an unbelievable cause.

Check out some moments from the event:

Thank you to all who participated and/or donated to the cause. Your efforts are more appreciated than you realize.

#FTK (x1,785,286.96)


UK Athletics

The Call To The Bullpen, February 26th

UK Athletics

UK Athletics

It was an up and down weekend for the BatCats (2-5) as they picked up their first two wins of the season behind some brilliant offensive performances. Kentucky outscored their opponents by 22 runs over the road trip, but still went 2-2. There were plenty of positives to look at over the weekend. Here’s a refresher on the four games in Virginia and much more in our first Call to the Bullpen of 2017.

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