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No. 13 Kentucky 80, No. 22 Tennessee 76 – Final – Game Notes

Photo by Danny Pendleton - Bluegrass Sports Nation

Team Records and Series Notes

  • Kentucky is 12-2 (1-1 SEC), while Tennessee is 11-3 (1-1 SEC). 
    • This was Kentucky’s SEC home opener. The Wildcats are 25-13 all-time in SEC home openers, including 10-3 under Matthew Mitchell.
  • Kentucky is 835-542 all-time, including 484-174 at home.
    • UK is 456-157 all-time at Memorial Coliseum.
    • Kentucky is undefeated in Memorial Coliseum this season, sitting 8-0.
  • This was the 68th all-time meeting between Kentucky and Tennessee in women’s basketball.
    • Tennessee leads the all-time series in games played, 55-13.
    • The Lady Vols hold a 22-10 mark in games played in Lexington. 
    • Since the start of the 2011-2012 season UK has a 6-7 record against UT. Prior to the 2011-2012 season UK had a 7-48 record against UT.
    • This is the second time in school history that UK has defeated UT in consecutive meetings (Mar. 3, 2013 and Feb. 16, 2014).
  • Matthew Mitchell is in his 13th season as the head coach of the Wildcats.
    • Mitchell is 232-156 overall in his career and 293-127 during his tenure at Kentucky.
  • Kentucky is ranked 13 in the latest Associated Press Top 25 and No. 13 in the latest USA Today/Coaches Top 25.

Team Notes

  • Kentucky used the starting combination of sophomore guard Rhyne Howard, senior guards Sabrina Haines and Jaida Roper and junior forwards KeKe McKinney and Tatyana Wyatt.
    • The Wildcats have used this starting combination in each of their last three games and are 2-1.
    • UK lost the tip for the fifth time this season.
    • McKinney scored first for Kentucky, marking the second time this season she has scored first in the game.
  • Both teams started hot in the game with Tennessee hitting six of its first 10 shots while Kentucky hit seven of its first nine shots.
    • Both teams cooled as the quarter went on as UK hit just one of its last seven shots, while Tennessee missed its last five shots and didn’t score for the last 3:35 of the first quarter.
    • UK scored 21 points in the first quarter for the seventh time this season and are 7-0 this year when it scores 20 or more points in the first quarter.
  • The Wildcats took a double-digit lead at 27-14 with 7:02 left in the first half after a 9-0 run, but following a Tennessee timeout the Lady Vols answered with an 8-0 run forcing a UK timeout with 5:14 to go in the first half and the Wildcats up 27-22. The run would continue for UT who ended the first half on a 21-6 run to take a 35-33 lead into the locker room at halftime.
  • Kentucky is now 3-1 this season and 1-1 in league play when it is trailing at halftime.
  • After starting the game 7-of-9 from the field, the Wildcats ended the first half hitting just five of its last 26 field goal attempts.
    • UK hit 12 field goals in the first half for 32 percent. Seven of those field goal makes were 3s.
    • In the second quarter, UK was 4-of-21 from the field. 
  • Kentucky started the third quarter on a 11-0 run to take back control of the game and after back-to-back Rhyne Howard 3s, UK had a 50-37 lead with 3:13 to go in the quarter before UT ended the stanza on a 9-1 run cutting it to 51-46 heading into the fourth quarter.
    • UK outscored UT 18-11 in the third quarter, going 4-of-7 from long range in the quarter.
  • Both team had explosive scoring in the fourth quarter with UT winning the quarter 30-29.
    • UK’s 29 points in the fourth quarter was three off its best scoring fourth quarter in program history.
  • Tennessee entered the game as the best rebounding team in the conference and one of the best in the nation, but the Wildcats won the offensive rebounding battle 18-16.
    • Kentucky’s 18 offensive rebounds were tied for the second most the Wildcats have recorded in a game this season.
  • The Wildcats hit 13 3s in the game, which ties its most 3s hit in a game this season and the second most hit in a game in program history.
    • UK has hit 10 or more 3s in seven games this season. The Wildcats are 6-1 in those games.
    • UK’s 13 3s were the most UT has allowed this season.
  • Kentucky forced Tennessee into 21 turnovers and scored 28 off those miscues. UT previously had allowed a season-high 19 points off turnovers to Notre Dame.
  • UK scored 80 points in the game, which is the most points Tennessee has allowed in a game this season.
  • Kentucky is 5-0 this season when it scores 80 or more points.
    • The Wildcats are 108-5 under Matthew Mitchell when it scored 80 or more points.
    • All-time, UK is 354-23 when it scored 80 or more points.
    • UK scored their most points in an SEC opener (80) since Jan. 2, 2014 at Alabama (85).
    • UK scored their most points in a win against Tennessee (80) since Jan. 24, 1986 (96).
  • UK has scored a combined 152 points in its first two SEC games, which is the most points scored in the first two games of league action for Kentucky since scoring 158 in 2013-14. That team went on to play in the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight.

Player Notes

  • Sophomore guard Rhyne Howard scored a career high 37 points, adding team highs in rebounds (9), assists (5), steals (3) and blocks (2).
    • Howard was 12-of-27 from the field, 7-of-13 from 3 and 6-of-9 from the free-throw line.
    • Howard’s 27 field-goal attempts were the most for a UK player in a game since Makayla Epps had 30 against Mississippi State on Jan. 12, 2015.
    • Howard’s seven 3s made tied the program record for 3s made in a game. She also hit seven 3s last season against Southern University. Sara Potts also hit seven against Chattanooga in 2005.
    • Howard is the only UK player since at least 1990-1991 to score at least 25 points in four consecutive games.
    • Howard’s 37 points is the most any SEC player has scored in a game this season.
    • Howard has the most points ever scored by a UK player against Tennessee (37). The previous record was 34 by A’dia Mathies on Jan. 12, 2012.
    • Howard has hit at least one 3-pointer in 41 of her 46 career games.
    • Howard has scored 10 or more points in 39 of her 46 career games.
    • Howard has scored 20 or more points in 19 of her 46 career games.
    • Howard has led UK in scoring in 27 of her 46 career games.
    • Howard has led UK in rebounding in 25 of her 46 games.
    • Howard has scored 25 or more points 12 times in her career, including seven times this season.
    • Howard has scored 841 points and needs 159 more to join the 1,000 point club.
    • This was Howard’s second 30+ scoring game this season.
    • Howard is the fifth player in program history to score 37 or more points in a game, joining Jennifer O’Neill, Valerie Still, Makayla Epps, Bebe Croley.
    • Howard’s 37 point is the most points by a UK player in a game since Makayla Epps scored 42 against Mississippi State on Feb. 12, 2015.
    • Howard is the first UK player to post multiple 30+ point scoring games in the same season since Makayla Epps did it three times in 2016-17.
  • Senior guard Sabrina Haines scored 11 points in the game, going 3-of-6 from long range.
    • Haines hit two clutch free-throws down the stretch.
    • Haines has scored 10 or more points in nine games this season.
    • Haines three 3s hit in the game marks the fifth time this season she has hit three or more 3s in a game. 
  • Senior guard Amanda Paschal scored eight points in the game with two assists.
  • Junior forward KeKe McKinney recorded eight points with four rebounds and a block.
    • McKinney was 3-of-4 from the field and 2-of-2 from 3.

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