Kentucky and Mississippi State square off at approx. 7:30 p.m. ET Saturday on ESPNU
GREENVILLE, S.C. – After one of its most impressive performances of the season Friday night, the No. 16 University of Kentucky women’s basketball team looks to continue its postseason run Saturday as it will face No. 9 Mississippi State in the semifinals of the 2020 Southeastern Conference Tournament. The game will tip at approx. 7:30 p.m. ET inside Bon Secours Wellness Arena.
The semifinal matchup will be televised on ESPNU with Courtney Lyle, Carolyn Peck and Andraya Carter on the call. The action can also be seen through WatchESPN on computers, smartphones or tablets. Darren Headrick will have the call on the UK Sports Network on 630AM WLAP in Lexington. Live stats and complete tournament information will be available at secsports.com, while free live audio will be available at UKathletics.com.
The Wildcats earned the No. 3 seed in the event after finishing the regular season 21-7 and 10-6 in league play. This is the first ever three seed for Kentucky, who has been a top-four seed 11 times including 10 under 13th-year head coach Matthew Mitchell. This was the 10th 10-win league season for Kentucky all-time with all 10 coming under Mitchell’s leadership.
Kentucky holds a 36-40 all-time record in the SEC Tournament, including a 17-12 mark under Mitchell. UK is 16-14 all-time in quarterfinal games, 5-10 in semifinal games and 1-4 in championship games. UK’s win against Tennessee in the quarterfinals Friday marked the 11th time in 13 seasons under Mitchell that UK has won at least one game in the event.
UK will try to ride the momentum it built Friday after dominating Tennessee 86-65 in the quarterfinals. The Wildcats tied the school record for 3-pointers hit in an SEC Tournament game by going 11-of-24 from the field. Sophomore guard Rhyne Howard showed why she is the SEC Player of the Year scoring 24 points by going 8-of-15 from the field and 5-of-8 from 3 with eight rebounds and three steals. Three other Wildcats were in double figures, including a season-best 14 points from junior forward Tatyana Wyatt, who was 7-of-10 from the field. Senior guard Sabrina Haines scored 12 points and hit two 3s while junior guard Chasity Patterson scored 11 points.
Mississippi State advanced to the semifinals after an impressive 79-49 victory over LSU on Friday.
Kentucky leads the all-time series against Mississippi State 28-21, including a 5-2 mark in neutral-site games. UK had lost four straight before defeating the Bulldogs in Lexington on Feb. 16, 2020, 73-62. Each of the last five meetings have been decided by 10+ points. UK is 5-3 against Mississippi State in the SEC Tournament all-time, including 2-1 under Mitchell. The last meeting between the two in the event was in 2018 in Nashville when the ninth-seeded Wildcats fell to the top-seeded Bulldogs, 81-54. The two teams met in the semifinals in 2010 in Duluth, Ga., with UK earning a 76-65 win. Mitchell is 13-5 as UK’s head coach against Mississippi State.