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No. 15 Kentucky Returns Home Thursday vs. No. 25 Missouri

Posted at 8:00 PM, Jan 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-23 18:58:43-05
(AP Photo/James Crisp)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – After playing three of its last four games away from Memorial Coliseum, the No. 15 University of Kentucky women’s basketball team returns to the historic venue to play host to top-25 ranked Missouri on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. ET.

Single-game tickets are $10 (all ages) in reserved seating areas, while general admission tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for children (ages 6-18) and seniors (age 65+). Young fans are encouraged to take advantage of the Kid Zone pregame with games, poster making stations, coloring stations and more. Jaida Roper is scheduled to sign autographs on the concourse following the game. Thursday’s game is part of We Back Pat Week across the Southeastern Conference, bringing awareness and honoring the legacy of Pat Summitt. Representatives of the Pat Summitt Foundation are scheduled to be on hand for a special check presentation.

The game will be televised on the SEC Network with Pam Ward and Carolyn Peck 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 630 AM in Lexington. Live stats and free live audio will be available online at UKathletics.com.

Spectator parking is located in all E-lots surrounding Memorial Coliseum and are off control 3 hours prior to tip. Additionally, the South Limestone Garage (PS#5) and the Rose Street Garage (PS#2) are available 2 hours prior to tip. With the Gatton Student Center lot and expansion of North Craft lot there are 238 additional parking spots for spectators this season around Memorial Coliseum. The Bill Gatton Student Center is available as a pay-to-park option. Availability is based on the Gatton Student Center Event Schedule.

The Lexington Parking Authority Transit Center Parking Garage, located between High Street and Vine Street is available for parking after 5 p.m. during the week and all day on the weekends. Additionally, a free shuttle service will pick up in the High Street lot beginning 2 hours prior to tip. UK Athletics Event Staff will be at the Transit Center Garage Entrance to assist with directing patrons to the correct shuttle pick-up location.

Parking is prohibited in any R (Residential) lots. Vehicles parking in R lots without a proper permit, along yellow curbs, grass spaces, or other non-specified and unapproved areas may be subject to ticket and/or tow. Disabled spectator parking is available with a valid, state issues disabled hangtag in the E lot North of the Craft Center. These spaces are available on a first-come, first-served basis until full.

Shuttles are available beginning 2 hours prior to tip off and pick up and drop off near the South Limestone Garage (PS#5) and near the Transit Center Parking Garage and High Street Lot. Shuttles will start back up after halftime to return guests to their parking areas, the shuttle will discontinue service 1-hour post-game.

Doors to Memorial Coliseum open 1.5 hours before tip and UK Athletics encourages women’s basketball fans to arrive early to ease traffic and parking congestion around the Coliseum. For more information on parking around Memorial Coliseum and other game-day questions visit UKathletics.com.

Kentucky (16-3, 3-2 SEC) is looking to build off its road win at LSU last Thursday, taking down the Tigers 64-60 with starting guard Taylor Murray and Rhyne Howard sidelined due to injury. Senior guard Maci Morris led Kentucky in the game, scoring a game-high 20 points with five rebounds and three steals. Junior guard Jaida Roper scored 10 points with three assists, while freshman Blair Green and sophomore Tatyana Wyatt each had nine points. Sophomore forward KeKe McKinney scored six points, including the last four points of the game, hitting a 3-pointer with :20 remaining before knocking down a clutch free throw.

Morris leads Kentucky this season by averaging 17.0 points per game with a team-best 49 3-pointers made. The senior is also earning 3.3 rebounds per game with 27 steals and 21 assists. Howard is averaging 16.9 points per game and adds a team-best 7.1 rebounds per game with 43 3s made, 50 assists, 40 steals and 16 blocks. Murray is the only other Wildcats averaging double figures with 12.3 points per game while leading UK with 68 assists and 64 steals.

Missouri enters Thursday’s game on a two-game road swing that started with a 79-65 loss at top-25 ranked South Carolina on Monday. The Tigers are currently ranked No. 25 in the AP Top 25 and are receiving votes in the USA Today/Coaches Top 25. MU is 15-5 overall and 4-2 in SEC play with wins against Ole Miss, Tennessee, Arkansas and Georgia and losses to South Carolina and Florida. Mizzou will return home following Thursday’s game to host Auburn before a bye date in the league next week.

As a team, the Tigers are averaging 65.8 points per game, hitting 44.2 percent from the field and 34.6 percent from long range. MU is holding teams to just 56.3 points per game, 35.9 percent from the field and 28.1 percent from 3. Missouri has a +4.0 rebounding margin and -2.6 turnover margin this season averaging 15.9 turnovers per game.

Senior guard Sophie Cunningham leads the team by averaging 15.9 points per game with 6.0 rebounds per game with a team-best 64 assists and 27 steals. Junior guard Amber Smith is averaging 13.7 points and 7.6 rebounds per game with a team-best 21 blocks. Redshirt senior guard Lauren Aldridge is earning 6.3 points per game with 48 assists and has hit 34 3-pointers. Senior forward Cierra Porter, who has only played in seven games after returning to the team midseason, is averaging 5.4 points and 3.9 rebounds per game.

Kentucky leads the all-time series in games played against Missouri with a 6-3 record, including a 4-0 mark in games played in Lexington. The Tigers have won each of the last two meetings in the series with both of those coming in Columbia.

For more information on the Kentucky women’s basketball team, visit UKathletics.com or follow @KentuckyWBB on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, or Kentucky Women’s Basketball on Facebook.