The Wildcats (8-3) are in the midst of a four-game win streak and are out-scoring their opponents 18.4 points per game this season. The Cats have out-rebounded their opponents in eight games this year, including four of the last five. Five Kentucky players have tallied double-digit point totals in each of the last two games.
UK Coach Mickie DeMoss looks for that same intensity and balanced play to carry over to the Xavier game.
"We need to continue playing hard and doing the things that are a constant for us like defense and board play. That's got to be there every single night," DeMoss said. "I think that as long as our defense and our board play are there, our offense will start to grow up a little bit. Our players are playing with a lot more confidence than they played with earlier in the year."
Senior guard/forward Sara Potts is leading the Cats with an average of 15.1 points per game, while junior forward/center Jennifer Humphrey is bringing down a team-high 9.2 rebounds per game. Freshman center Sarah Elliott has come on strong as of late, leading the Wildcats in two of their last three games. Elliott notched her first career double-double against Nicholls State with 24 points and 10 rebounds.
"Sarah shot tremendously from the field against Nicholls State," DeMoss said. "We need for her to continue improving her game and getting stronger on the boards."
The Musketeers are 4-4 on the season, having dropped a 64-61 contest to visiting Louisville Dec. 22. Kentucky native Tara Boothe leads Xavier in scoring with 15.9 points per game. She has been the leading scorer in five of the Musketeers' eight games this season, including a team-high 16 points in the loss to the Cardinals. Adeola Olanrewaju leads Xavier on the boards with 7.9 rebounds per game. The Musketeers have lost three-of-five games played at home this season.
The Wildcats look for their first win against Xavier in the history of the series. The Musketeers hold a 3-0 advantage in the all-time series and won a 75-60 decision over the Cats last December in Memorial Coliseum. Xavier took a three-point halftime lead and broke out of intermission with a 15-0 run to defeat UK in last season's match-up.