LEXINGTON, Ky. – Following a historic Wednesday night in Memorial Coliseum, where junior guard Makayla Epps recorded a triple-double and three UK players scored 20 or more points in the same game for the first time in 26 years, No. 13 Kentucky looks to continue its success Sunday, Nov. 22 when it plays host to the Colorado Buffaloes at 2 p.m. ET inside Memorial Coliseum.
“We were happy to get back in Memorial on Wednesday and get a good win and now we have to turn our sights to Colorado,” UK head coach Matthew Mitchell said. “They were explosive in their first game, scoring 92 points. They had a lot of players involved and they have some new people in the mix this year that they are getting familiar with. They run a triangle offense and play really, really hard and are good at executing what they run.
"The one thing that I know that will occur on Sunday is that they will play very, very hard. We need to get to that spot as well. We need to play harder on the defensive end and make some good things happen with our intensity and we are just not there yet, but we will keep practicing and keep working. Then our offensive execution has a lot of room for improvement right now. We have a lot of things going on that we need to improve and we just have to really fight for improvement over the next month or so. There will be a lot of challenges coming our way and Colorado will pose a big challenge for us on Sunday. So we will just stay at it and keep working.”
Kentucky is coming off a strong performance last time out vs. Morehead State on Wednesday when it defeated MSU 112-57. Epps headlined the effort with only the second triple-double in program history with 21 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists. The only other triple-double was on Feb. 14, 1986 when Leslie Nichols scored 18 points with 13 rebounds and 11 steals.
In all, three UK players had double-doubles against the Eagles with sophomore forward Alexis Jennings posting a career-high 28 points and 13 rebounds, while junior forward Evelyn Akhator had 12 points and 16 rebounds. Senior guard Janee Thompson had 22 points and nine assists. Three UK players had 20 or more points in the game for the first time since 1989.
As a team, the Wildcats secured 67 rebounds in the game, which tied the most rebounds in a single game in program history, while Kentucky’s 32 assists were one off the career record for most assists in a single game.
Three games into the season, Kentucky is averaging 84.0 points per game, while limiting opponents to 53.3 points per game. UK is shooting 46.7% from the field and 34.8% from 3-point land, while limiting opponents to just 30.3% from the field. The Wildcats are forcing 23 turnovers a game behind 10 steals per game.
Colorado enters Sunday’s game with a 2-0 record after starting the season with a 92-81 victory over Loyola Marymount before a 63-41 triumph over Northern Colorado on Thursday. Three players scored in double figures against UNC led by forward Jamee Swan, who had a double-double with 10 rebounds and 13 points. Guard Haley Smith had 15 points and seven rebounds, while Zoe Beard-Fails had 12 points and nine rebounds.
Defensively, the Buffaloes were impressive against UNC, limiting them to just 22.6% shooting from the field.
Swan leads the team in scoring this year, averaging 13.5 points per game, while Kennedy Leonard is averaging 13 points per game and Haley Smith 12.5 points per game. Swan and Beaerd-Fails are each averaging 7.0 rebounds per game.
As a team, CU is averaging 77.5 points per game and limiting opponents to 61.0 points per game, while shooting 47.4% from the field, including 40% from 3-point land. The Buffs are outrebounding their opponents by 10 and are averaging 16.5 assists per game.
Sunday marks the first-ever meeting between Kentucky and Colorado, including the first time that Mitchell has faced the Buffaloes in his head coaching career. Kentucky is 4-6 all-time against teams that make up the current alignment of the Pac-12 Conference, including a 1-0 mark this season after taking down No. 15/15 Arizona State in Tempe, Ariz., last Sunday.
The game will be live streamed on the SEC Network+ with Jeff Piecoro and Christi Thomas calling the action. SEC Network+ is available through WatchESPN. The game can also be heard live on the UK Sports Radio Network with Neil Price calling the action for the 11th consecutive season. Fans in Lexington can hear Price’s call on 630AM WLAP.
Single-game reserved tickets are $9 for all ages, while adult general admission single-game tickets are $8. For those aged 6-18 or 65-and-over, general admission costs are $5 per ticket. Children age five-and-under are admitted free in the general admission seating area, and UK students, faculty and staff are admitted free with valid identification.
Fans who donate a canned food item on Sunday will receive a $2 general admission ticket as part of the Thanks for Giving promotion. Free 2015-16 women’s basketball posters and schedule cards will also be available and junior forward Evelyn Akhator will sign autographs following the game.
Complete parking information is listed below and available online at www.ukathleticsgameday.com/hoops along with answers to many other game-day questions for fans.
Spectator parking is located in the following areas:
All E-lots surrounding Memorial Coliseum are off control beginning 3 hours prior to tip. This includes the College of Education E-lots, located off Scott Street. The South Limestone Garage (PS#5, adjacent to Kennedy's Bookstore) and the Rose Street Garage (PS#2) are available 2 hours prior to tip-off. Lexington Authority Transit Center Parking Garage is available after 5 p.m. ET on weekdays and all day on weekends. When parking in the Transit Center, pull a yellow token from the dispenser and keep in your vehicle. See the event staff attendant at the entrance near Lexington Avenue/High Street to receive a free parking voucher before the game. When exiting the garage after the game, place your yellow token in the machine, then scan the barcode on your free parking voucher to exit. Disabled parking is available in the E-Lot (Employee Lot) north of the Joe Craft Center, adjacent to the metered spaces running along the front of the Craft Center with a valid, state issued disabled hang tag. These spaces are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis until full. Please note: parking is prohibited in any R-lots (Residential). Vehicles parked in Residential lots without a proper permit, along yellow curbs, grass spaces, or other non-specified and unapproved areas may be subject to ticket and/or tow.
Free shuttle services are available beginning 2 hours prior to tip off from the South Limestone Garage located off Limestone and Upper Street and the Transit Center Parking Garage located off High Street and Vine Street. The Parking Structure #5 shuttle (blue route) picks up/drops off on Administration Drive, at the end of the pedestrian sky bridge accessed from the 3rd floor of the parking garage. The pickup/drop off point near Memorial Coliseum is at the Euclid entrance. Transit Center Parking Garage (green route) picks up/drops off near the corner of High Street and Martin Luther King. The pickup/drop off point near Memorial Coliseum is near the Ticket Office at the Lexington Avenue entrance. Shuttles will start back up at halftime and continue until 1 hour post-game to return guests to their parking areas.
Game day Information: Doors to Memorial Coliseum will open one hour prior to tip-off. UK Athletics encourages women's basketball fans to arrive early to ease traffic and parking congestion around the Coliseum. Surface lots (i.e. Joe Craft Center North, Rose Street lot and the Alumni Center lot) reach capacity approximately 1.5 hours prior to tip-off, at which point vehicles should proceed directly to the South Limestone Garage (PS#5), Rose Street Garage (PS#2), the E-lots near the College of Education or the Lexington Authority Transit Center Parking Garage near High Street and Lexington Avenue.
For more information on parking around Memorial Coliseum and other game-day questions visit ukathleticsgameday.com/hoops.
UK Athletics Photo