UK women’s basketball looks to halt losing streak and rolling Lady Vols


Sophomore UT guard Jaime Nared (31) drives the paint against junior forward Evelyn Akhator (13) during the game against the Tennessee Volunteers on Monday, January 25, 2016 in Lexington, Ky. Kentucky won the game 64-63. Photo by Hunter Mitchell | Staff

Brianna Dooley

Coming off of a tough loss to Middle Tennessee, Kentucky will be starting SEC play against the No. 7 Tennessee Lady Volunteers in Rupp Arena on Dec. 31.

Kentucky will enter Sunday’s match-up against the Lady Vols with an 8-6 record. Kentucky started the season with a 6-0 record, but eventually lost five straight games and dropped out of the AP Top 25 Poll.

On the other hand, No. 7 Tennessee is undefeated this season, hoping to make its record 13-0 after the match-up with the Wildcats. The Lady Vols are coming off of an 83-71 win over Stanford.

This will be Kentucky and Tennessee’s fourth time meeting in an SEC opener game, with Tennessee winning the last opening match-up on Jan. 1, 2017, 72-65. Tennessee holds a 29-6 all-time record in SEC openers.

Tennessee is the second ranked and undefeated team that Kentucky has had to face so far this season, the last team being No. 3 Louisville. The Cats fell to the Cards 87-63.

The Lady Vols have four players averaging double-digits in scoring: seniors Jaime Nared (17.9) and Mercedes Russell (16.4) and freshmen Anastasia Hayes (12.3) and Rennia Davis (12.0).

UK’s leading scorer is junior guard Maci Morris, averaging 14.8 points per game. Point guard Taylor Murray follows up behind her, averaging 8.8 PPG and 5.0 RPG, standing only 5-6.

This Sunday’s game will be played in Rupp Arena, with Kentucky holding a 1-0 record versus Tennessee in Rupp, winning the last match-up 66-63 on Jan. 26, 2006.

UT holds a 54-11 all-time edge over Kentucky and has won five of the past six games in this series. UT is 20-8 versus Kentucky in games played in Lexington.

Kentucky will be fighting to end a lengthy losing streak, and to also break the Lady Volts 12-game winning streak.

Both teams have something to lose going into Sunday’s match, and are both hoping to come out with a win.

Both Kentucky head coach Matthew Mitchell and assistant Amber Smith were graduate assistants at Tennessee.

Sunday’s game will tipoff at noon ET, streaming live on SEC Network.