LEXINGTON, Ky. – After ending the regular season winning seven of its last eight games and moving into the top-15 of the Associated Press Top 25, the No. 13 University of Kentucky women’s basketball team looks to continue that momentum this weekend as it begins play in the 2019 Southeastern Conference Tournament. The event begins Wednesday and is being held in Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, S.C. for the second time in three seasons.
Kentucky (24-6, 11-5 SEC) will start its tournament run in the quarterfinals Friday at approx. 2:30 p.m. ET on SEC Network. The Wildcats will face the winner of 13th-seeded Florida and fifth-seeded Missouri, who are playing the first game of Thursday’s second round. If UK wins in the quarterfinals, it will advance to play in the semifinals Saturday at 5 p.m. ET on ESPNU while the championship game will be Sunday at 2 p.m. ET on ESPN2. The Wildcats played both Florida and Missouri already this season going 2-0. UK’s potential semifinal opponents are Mississippi State, LSU and Tennessee, which UK went a combined 3-1 against this season.
All games of the 2019 SEC Tournament will be televised nationally with the first round, second round and quarterfinals on SEC Network. The semifinals will be on ESPNU and the championship game will be on ESPN2. All-session and single-game tickets to the 2019 SEC Tournament are available at SECsports.com.
Kentucky is 35-39 all-time in the SEC Tournament and has won at least one game in the event in each of the last nine years. Kentucky’s No. 4 seed marks the 10th time in Matthew Mitchell’s 12-year tenure that the Wildcats have finished top four in the league. The double-bye to the quarterfinals marks the 11th time in 12 years that UK has advanced to at least the quarterfinals of the event. UK has made nine semifinal appearances under Mitchell, including four championship games.
The Wildcats secured the four seed in the event after a come-from-behind win at Georgia on Sunday where UK outscored the Bulldogs 24-14 in the fourth quarter after trailing a majority of the game. Sophomore Tatyana Wyatt scored a season-high 17 points with four rebounds in the game to lead Kentucky. Juniors Amanda Paschal and Jaida Roper each had eight points with Paschal grabbing three rebounds and Roper hitting two 3s, including a dagger with about a minute to go to clinch the UK win.
Several Wildcats were honored by league coaches this week as All-SEC performers. On top of Mitchell winning Co-Coach of the Year, Rhyne Howard was named Freshman of the Year and Maci Morris was tabbed Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Howard and Morris were also on the All-SEC First Team while Howard and Blair Green was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team and Taylor Murray earned a spot on the SEC All-Defensive Team.
Howard leads Kentucky in scoring and rebounding this season averaging 16.0 points and 6.7 rebounds per game while she has hit 68 3s and ranks second on the team with 70 assists and 64 steals. Morris has also hit 68 3s this season and is averaging 15.1 points per game with 3.1 rebounds per game while Murray leads Kentucky with 111 assists and 92 steals while averaging 12.4 points per game.
Kentucky leads the all-time series in games played against Missouri, 7-3. The Wildcats won the only meeting between the two teams this season 52-41 in Lexington. Missouri leads the series 1-0 in neutral-site games after a 86-51 win on Nov. 25, 2000. Kentucky and Missouri have never met in the SEC Tournament.
Kentucky leads the all-time series in games played against Florida, 31-25. The Wildcats won the only meeting between the two teams this season 62-51 in Lexington (Rupp Arena). UK leads the series 5-3 in neutral-site games winning four straight in that category. Kentucky is 6-2 vs. Florida in the SEC Tournament, including a 3-0 mark under Mitchell.
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.
2019 SEC TOURNAMENT
BON SECOURS WELLNESS ARENA – GREENVILLE, S.C.
Wednesday, March 6
Game 1 – #13 Florida def. #12 Ole Miss 64-57
Game 2 – #11 Alabama def. #14 Vanderbilt 74-57
Thursday, March 7
Game 3 – #9 LSU vs. #8 Tennessee – SEC Network – Noon ET
Game 4 – Game 1 winner vs. #5 Missouri – SEC Network – 25 minutes after Game 3
Game 5 – #10 Arkansas vs. #7 Georgia – SEC Network – 6 p.m. ET
Game 6 – Game 2 winner vs. #6 Auburn – SEC Network – 25 minutes after Game 5
Friday, March 8
Game 7 – Game 3 winner vs. #1 Mississippi St. – SEC Network – Noon ET
Game 8 – Game 4 winner vs. #4 Kentucky – SEC Network – 25 minutes after Game 7
Game 9 – Game 5 winner vs. #2 South Carolina – SEC Network – 6 p.m. ET
Game 10 – Game 6 winner vs. #3 Texas A&M – SEC Network –25 minutes after Game 9
Saturday, March 9
Game 11 – Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner – ESPNU – 5 p.m. ET
Game 12 – Game 9 winner vs. Game 10 winner – ESPNU – 25 minutes after Game 11
Sunday, March 10
Game 13 – Game 11 winner vs. Game 12 winner – ESPN2 – 2 p.m. ET