LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky women’s basketball team will take one final step before officially starting its 45th season of varsity basketball on Friday, Nov. 2 when it plays host to Lincoln Memorial University for an exhibition contest at 7 p.m. ET inside Memorial Coliseum.
The game will not be televised but will be broadcast on the UK Sports Radio Network with Darren Headrick, now in his second year with the program, calling the action. Although admission to Friday’s game is free, the UK Ticket Office will be open before the game and until halftime for fans wishing to purchase season tickets or single-game tickets to any of UK’s home games this season.
A massive new LED video board spanning approximately 1,800 square feet with dimensions of 30 feet by 60 feet has been installed in Memorial Coliseum including a new LED ribbon board nearly 100 feet in width. Both the video and ribbon boards feature a 5.2 mm display with a 4800-hertz refresh rate.
Matthew Mitchell (pictured) is entering his 12th year at Kentucky as the winningest head coach in program history. His Wildcats return a majority of their team from last season, including its top scorers in senior guards Maci Morris and Taylor Murray. In all, UK returns 10 of the 13 players that saw time last season, not including redshirt junior Ogechi Anyagaligbo, who missed last season due to injury.
In all, UK returns 81 percent of its scoring, 80 percent of its assists, 74 percent of its rebounding, 75 percent of its 3-point shooting and 80 percent of its made field goals. Morris and Murray lead the returners after Morris averaged 17.3 points last season while Murray averaged 11.5 points.
Morris and Murray have been recognized by league coaches as two of the top performers in the Southeastern Conference this preseason as both were named to the 2018-19 Preseason All-SEC Team. Morris was tabbed to the first team after being named to the second team last season. Murray earned second-team honors for the second straight year after being on the SEC All-Defensive team last season. The Wildcats were picked to finish seventh in the league.
Lincoln Memorial enters the 2018-19 season ranked 10th in the Southeast Region D2SIDA Preseason Media Regional Poll and were picked to finish fifth in the South Atlantic Conference preseason poll.
LMU finished the 2017-18 season at 18-11 and 12-8 in SAC play. The Railsplitters lost three key seniors from last year in Shea Coker, Ross Mathis and Karsen Sims but do return 12 contributors and two redshirt players.
Top returners include twin sisters Rachel and Emily Griffith, who finished second and third on the team in scoring last season at 10.6 points and 10.1 points per game, respectively. Also returning is SAC Freshman of the Year Qua Hines, who averaged 8.9 points and 3.9 rebounds last season.
Photo by Jamie H. Vaught