Hoops, seniors prepare for home finale



Somewhere after the Senior Night festivities but before UK seniors Victoria Dunlap and Carly Morrow walk out of Memorial Coliseum for their last time in a blue jersey, a basketball game will be played.

A very important one for the Cats.

“This is a big game tomorrow night, Arkansas is a very good opponent and they really took it to us in Fayetteville,” UK head coach Matthew Mitchell said. “We need to certainly play better than we did on that night and we are very motivated to win our last home game of the year and send Carly Morrow and Victoria Dunlap out with a victory.”

Arkansas beat the Cats earlier this season but Mitchell said the emotional environment in Thursday game could work in UK’s favor.

“If a lot of people will show up and fill this place up and we have great energy than we will celebrate after the game with a victory, hopefully,” Mitchell said. “No matter what, these two deserve a great sendoff and a big crowd to help us do that. We will look forward to a tough battle tomorrow night and we will work hard to send these seniors out right.”

Dunlap and Morrow have not only been at UK during the rise of the women’s basketball team but have been a big reason for the programs ascension.

The seniors have won 81 games at UK, which is currently tied for the fifth winningest class in UK history but winning No.82 could be very important.

No.20 UK has a chance to get revenge against Southeastern Conference foe Arkansas but also clinch a first round bye in the SEC Tournament next week, with some help from other teams around the league.

UK (20-7, 9-5 SEC) is currently tied for third in the SEC standings with Vanderbilt but owns the tiebreaker over the Commodores after defeating them Sunday. The top four teams receive first round byes in the conference tournament.

But despite being eighth in the SEC, as UK knows first hand, Arkansas is no pushover.

Mitchell says in order for the Cats to have a chance to win, they’ll need to stop Arkansas’ C’eira Ricketts, who torched the Cats for 19 points and six rebounds in the first meeting.

“I think that the place where we start is trying to do a better job of not letting Ricketts get ahead or steam up and get into the open court and make plays because she is unstoppable when she does that,” Mitchell said.

The Cats take on the Hogs Thursday at 6p.m., Senior Night festivities are planned to begin beforehand.