UK Hoops set to take on Miami (Ohio)



By Boyd Hayes | @KernelHayes

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Head coach Matthew Mitchell and the No. 8/9 UK Hoops team (4-1, 0-0 SEC) head into their last game of the month after three straight dominant victories. The Cats will take on Miami (Ohio) (3-2, 0-0 MAC) on Wednesday at 11 a.m. in Memorial Coliseum.

The occasion will be called “Class of 2019 Day” as UK welcomes 2,000 Kentucky sixth graders to the game.

UK last met the RedHawks of Miami away at Oxford, Ohio. on Nov. 14, 2010. Now facing Miami in Lexington, the Cats will look to extend its 24-game home win streak that dates back to the 2010-11 season.

Leading the charge for the Cats this season has been senior guard A’dia Mathies, who moved into seventh place on the all-time scoring list at UK after a 17-point performance against USC Upstate on Sunday. Mathies is averaging 14.6 points per game five games into this season and also leads the team in assists (17), steals (13) and three-pointers made (13) this season. She was named the preseason SEC Player of the Year this season after receiving the award last season.

Also atop the stat sheet for UK are juniors Samarie Walker and DeNesha Stallworth, who have been a commanding tandem in the low post on both sides of the ball for Mitchell this season. Walker and Stallworth have combined to record 18.2 points per game, 12.8 rebounds per game, 15 blocks and 16 steals this season. Walker was named to the preseason All-SEC second team.

The point guard position has seen a lot of rotation this season for the Cats as Mathies, freshman Janee Thompson, sophomore Jennifer O’Neill, and juniors Kastine Evans and Maegan Conwright have seen time at the point. O’Neill started the last two games after Conwright started the first three.

In the low post, senior Brittany Henderson and sophomore Azia Bishop have seen significant floor time in rotation with Walker and Stallworth.

Every player on the UK roster has played and scored this season.

For the Redhawks, senior guard Courtney Osborn has put up impressive numbers this season, with 18 points per game, 11 three-point field goals made, 29 assists and 15 steals. She is joined at the top of the Miami stat sheet by senior forward Kirsten Olominski with nine points per game and 8.4 rebounds per game.

Maria Fantanarosa, in her 15th season as Miami head coach, meets 2012 SEC Coach of the Year Mitchell in his sixth season at UK.