UK takes on undefeated Mississippi State on senior day


Senior Alyssa Rice drives past South Carolina’s Alexis Jennings in UK’s game against the Gamecocks in Columbia, S.C. on Feb. 18, 2017. UK lost that game 81-63. Photo provided by UK Athletics

Roman West

The UK women’s basketball team (14-15, 6-9) will face the Mississippi State Bulldogs (29-0, 15-0) on senior day Sunday at noon. at Memorial Coliseum. Jessica Hardin and Alyssa Rice are the two seniors who will be honored during the game. 

Hardin is a redshirt senior from Monticello, Kentucky. She has only appeared in 12 games this season due to injuries, but has morphed into a vocal leader on the team. She averages 2.2 points per game for her career.

Rice is from Reynoldsburg, Ohio. She has started every game this season. She averages 4.1 points and 3.9 rebounds per game for her career.

Kentucky looks to finish the season strong and get revenge on the Bulldogs after they were handed a 74-55 defeat in Starkville earlier this season. While the Bulldogs won the matchup this season, the Cats have won 11 of the last 12 matchups and lead the all-time series 27-18.

The first game against Mississippi State this season was dominated by a trio of Bulldogs: Victoria Vivians, Teaira McCowan and Roshunda Johnson. The three combined for 61 points and 23 rebounds. McCowan had 21 points and 16 rebounds alone.

Rice will look to do to McCowan what she did to her earlier this season for her senior day. Rice struggled in the previous matchup, unable to stay on the floor due to McCowan taking advantage of her on the court. Rice only logged 10 minutes in the first matchup, scoring 0 points and grabbing 0 rebounds. 

Kentucky guard Maci Morris will look to be the offensive engine for the Cats. Morris recently eclipsed 1,000 career points and has scored 20 or more points in five consecutive games, which includes a 21-point performance in Starkville. 

Taylor Murray is another key component to the Kentucky offense. Murray struggled in the last outing against the Bulldogs, scoring only seven points and fouling out in the game. Murray is coming off a double-double against Ole Miss on Thursday, scoring 12 points and grabbing 10 boards. 

The game will be broadcast on ESPNU.