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Kentucky women’s basketball prepares for key home test against Minnesota

Samuel Colmar
Kentucky Wildcats guard Cassidy Rowe (23) dribbles the ball during the Kentucky vs. Georgia womens basketball game on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023, at Memorial Coliseum in Lexington, Kentucky. UK lost 50-40. Photo by Samuel Colmar | Staff

Kentucky women’s basketball (4-5) is set to battle the Minnesota Golden Gophers (7-1) on Wednesday, Dec. 4, inside Rupp Arena.

The Wildcats are entering the game on the back of a six-point victory over Tennessee Tech last Sunday, while Minnesota is traveling to Lexington with a recent double overtime win over Drake under its belt.

Kentucky has an opportunity to take advantage of the Golden Gophers as Minnesota has yet to play an away game this season with all eight of its contests having been played in Williams Arena in Minneapolis.

It is worth noting that Minnesota’s only loss was handed to them by, at the time, No. 8 ranked UConn. The Huskies defeated Minnesota 62-44 in Minneapolis.

Moving to Kentucky, the Wildcats strung together 73 points with 38 of them coming from inside the paint as senior Ajae Petty led them in the win while achieving three new career-highs with 33 points, 15 rebounds and three blocks.

Three days prior to defeating Tennessee Tech, the Wildcats defeated Boston College in a hard-fought, gritty win where 42 of their 83 points came from inside the paint.

A clear pattern has emerged in Kentucky’s recent victories.

The key to success for the Cats is getting to the paint and going to work and if they can make that happen again against Minnesota, the Cats have a chance to hand the Golden Gophers their second loss of the young season, especially if Maddie Scherr is still unavailable for Kentucky.

Petty has been terrorizing teams close to the basket the past two games, shooting 65% from the field while also grabbing 23 rebounds in the two victories.

Minnesota can be expected to brew a plan to stop Petty and Kentucky in the paint as it will more than likely turn to junior Sophie Hart, a 6-foot, 5-inch center from Farmington, Minnesota, who is averaging 10.3 points and five rebounds through eight games.

If Kentucky manages to pull out a win, it will be riding a three-game win streak with tons of momentum before facing nationally ranked Louisville on Dec. 10.

The Wildcats can’t afford to look past Minnesota yet though, as the Golden Gophers look to be a big challenge themselves for Kentucky, especially with the Cats having a limited roster.

With tip-off scheduled for 7 p.m. ET, the game can be viewed live on the SEC Network+.

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Samuel Colmar, Assistant Photo Editor

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