Here you go, fellas. Early V-day present for the female Cat fan or Drew Franklin in your life. On sale, no less.
Tonight the UK Hoops team opens up conference play against the University of Georgia Bulldogs. The game is at Georgia at 7:00p and is expected to be a tough test for the Wildcats who are on the bad side of a 31-11 all-time record against the Women of Athens. The Bulldogs are smoking hot having won 14 straight game and come into the game sporting a #8 national ranking. The undefeated Lady Dogs have notched their best start since the 1998-99 season when they opened 14-0 and garnered a Final Four appearance. If the Lady Dogs beat the Cats tonight, they will set a school record for most consecutive victories to start the season. When talking about her team’s undefeated streak, Georgia star senior Ashley Houts stated, “It feels good to have done something [but] we don’t really get anything for a clean non-conference schedule so we’re really focused on what we can do for the SEC.” Taking a page from the Kentucky men’s coach, the point guard also claims that technically her squad is 9-5 and aren’t as good as they look.
If the Wildcats have any hope of playing in San Antonio (site of the Women’s Final Four) this year, they need to make a strong showing on the road against a team like the Bulldogs and potentially play spoiler to Georgia’s record setting opportunity. The Wildcats are enjoying a similar record-setting season to the Bulldogs by completing their best non-conference season since 1990-91. UK Hoops set their own school record for opening consecutive wins earlier in the year by starting out 11-0.
The Lady Dogs are beatable as this past Sunday they needed to rally from a 10 point deficit to beat an 8-7 Alabama team on the road. The Wildcats lead the SEC and are No. 9 in the nation in scoring at 82.1 points per game and will need that type of scoring offense combined with their typical scrappy defense to defeat the taller Georgia squad.
Have a look at your probable starters:
G Amber Smith (Jr., 5-6, 9.5 ppg, 2.5 rpg)
G A’dia Mathies (Fr., 5-9, 12.1 ppg, 4.5 rpg)
G Carly Morrow (Jr., 5-11, 9.8 ppg, 2.1 rpg)
G Amani Franklin (Sr., 5-11, 8.0 ppg, 7.2 rpg)
F Victoria Dunlap (Jr., 6-1, 19.2 ppg, 10.0 rpg)
G Ashley Houts (Sr., 5-6, 12.1 ppg, 3.8 apg)
G Jasmine James (Fr., 5-9, 12.6 ppg, 5.4 rpg)
G Meredith Mitchell (So., 6-1, 8.6 ppg, 5.1 rpg)
F Porsha Phillips (Jr., 6-2, 9.5 ppg, 8.0 rpg)
F Angel Robinson (Sr., 6-5, 8.5 ppg, 7.8 rpg)
On a different note, with all the talent on the female side of the SEC basketball spectrum, one could legitimately make the claim that the SEC is better at women’s basketball than they are at men’s. Both sides sport a historic program (UK Men, UT Women) but outside of that, the women’s game looks much stronger. The SEC women boast 4 teams in the top 17 (UT, Georgia, LSU, Vandy) compared to the men that have just 3 (UK, UT, Mississippi). Additionally, the women have 5 teams with two losses or less while the men of the SEC only have 3 teams that can make such a claim. Georgia coach Andy Landers sums up the conference pretty well, “”The teams in this league are traditionally more athletic than teams in other conferences. The teams in this league are stronger, the teams in this league are deeper, they just keep coming at you and they’re all very well-coached.”
Well said, Coach. Good luck to the UK Hoops squad in a huge game tonight.