Notable games: Women’s basketball


Kentucky’s Rhyne Howard celebrates a teammate’s basket from the sidelines during the University of Kentucky vs. Wofford women’s basketball game on Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020, at Memorial Coliseum in Lexington, Kentucky. UK won 98-37 Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff.

Barkley Truax


When: Nov. 14

Where: Bloomington, Indiana

2020 record: 21-6 (Made it to the Elite Eight — lost to Arizona 66-53)

Last matchup: No. 11 UK def. IU 72-68 (Dec. 6, 2020)

Notes: Indiana returns First Team All-BIG 10 forward Mackenzie Holmes who averaged a team-high 17.8 points per game and grabbed 7.8 boards on average. She shot 59 percent from the field in 23 games started/played through her sophomore campaign. With Kentucky’s guard-heavy roster, it’ll be tough to stop Indiana’s best scorer in Kentucky’s first road trip of the season.

West Virginia (Big 12-SEC Challenge) 

When: Dec. 1

Where: Lexington, Kentucky

2020 record: 22-7 (Lost in the Round of 32 — Lost to Georgia Tech 73-56)

Last matchup: WVU def. UK 80-75 in double overtime in the championship of the WNIT (March 28, 2005)

Notes: KK Deans and Esmery Martinez lead the Mountaineers into the 2021-22 season. Both averaged over 13 points per game — Martinez averaged 11.6 rebounds per game and Deans finished with 104 assists; Deans also had a 41.5 percent clip from deep, the best on the team. Martinez’s three 20 plus rebound games and double-double average earned her 2021 First Team All-BIG 12 honors, WVU’s first since Tynice Martin in 2017.

Louisville (Jimmy V Classic) 

When: Dec. 12

Where: Louisville, Kentucky

2020 record: 26-4 (Made it to the Elite Eight — Lost to Stanford 78-63)

Last matchup: UL def. UK 67-66 at Memorial Coliseum (Dec. 15, 2019) 

Notes: Louisville is poised for another deep run in the 2022 NCAA Tournament despite losing 2021 ACC Player of the Year Dana Evans to the Chicago Sky. The Cardinals return redshirt senior Kianna Smith who averaged 11.4 points per game while shooting 44 percent (.38 from three, .80 from the line) per game. She ranked eighth in the ACC with 55 makes from downtown — she made three three-pointers in nine different games in 2020-21.

Auburn (SEC Opener)

When: Dec. 30

Where: Auburn, Alabama

2020 record: 5-19

Last matchup: UK won 76-71 on the road (Jan. 21, 2021)

Notes: Kentucky started out hot last season but hit a wall once it stepped into conference play. An under-matched Auburn team took Kentucky to the limit back in January while it was struggling, and the Wildcats never seemed to get into the dominant groove they played with in the first 10 games of the season. Kentucky will look to kick off their SEC play with a big victory over Auburn in their final game of the 2021 calendar year.

Mississippi State

When: Jan. 3

Where: Lexington, Kentucky

2020 record: 10-9

Last matchup: UK won 92-86 in overtime (Jan. 3, 2021)

Notes: Last season was one of the worst in modern memory for the Bulldogs after being a perennial SEC powerhouse for most of the last decade. Mississippi State has brought in a big time transfer in 2021 AAC Freshman of the Year in Jerkaila Jordan. The sophomore guard averaged 16.7 pointer per game and 2.3 steals last season and will complement Jessika Carter and Rikea Jackson’s already established presence in the Bulldog lineup.

South Carolina

When: Jan. 9

Where: Columbia, South Carolina

2020 record: 26-5 (Made it to the Final Four — Lost to Stanford 66-65)

Last matchup: South Carolina def. UK 76-55 at home (Feb. 21, 2021)

Notes: South Carolina has one of, if not the, best returning roster in the country from top to bottom. The trio of Zia Cooke, Aliyah Boston and Destanni Henderson dominated opponents last season and have all decided to come back in an attempt to capture the NCAA Championship that has eluded them since 2017. Boston, the returning National Player of the Year (The Athletic) averaged a double-double last season with 13.7 points per game and 11.5 rebounds.