LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky women's basketball team looks to extend its four-game winning streak as it plays host to Florida International Thursday, Dec. 1 in the first of three consecutive home games at Memorial Coliseum. Tip off is set for 7 p.m. EST. The first 150 fans will receive UK Hoops mousepads.
LEXINGTON, Ky. The Kentucky
womens basketball team looks to extend its four-game winning streak as it plays host
to Florida International Thursday, Dec. 1 in the first of three consecutive home games at
Memorial Coliseum. Tip off is set for 7 p.m. EST. The first 150 fans will receive UK Hoops
Were 4-0, but
were going to have a tough team coming in here tomorrow, UK Coach Mickie
DeMoss said. Florida International, also 4-0, has traditionally had a very, very
strong program. They have a lot of foreign players and they play a different style of
basketball, so it will be interesting to see how we handle their style. It is more of an
international style with a lot of penetration. We are just going to play Kentucky
basketball and see how we match up against them.
International has a big kid (center Lasma Bernsone)," DeMoss said, "she is from
Latvia and I don't even want to try to pronounce her name but she is 6-foot-3, I can tell
you that, and she is their leading scorer and rebounder. She can catch and score and
catch and kick it back out. So she is one matchup concern. I don't think one person
will be able to guard her for 40 minutes."
The Wildcats are led by
sophomore Samantha Mahoney (Detroit) who averages 12.0 points per game. Junior Jenny
Pfeiffer (North Vernon, Ind.) and freshman Carly Ormerod (Louisville, Ky.) follow in the
scoring column with 11.5 and 11.0 ppg, respectively. Sophomore Eleia Roddy (Columbus, Ohio)
leads UK on the boards and ranks second in the Southeastern Conference standings,
averaging 9.2 rebounds per game.
Sarah Elliott's knee
injury looms in the background as a potential factor, "She played a lot of minutes in
California on a different playing surface. We are hoping her knee continues to heel."
Florida International, a
member of the Sun Belt Conference, is coming off a 61-39 rout of Stetson in the Golden
Panthers annual Thanksgiving Classic.
The 12 members of FIUs
team represent five nations the United States, Croatia, Finland, France and Latvia.
The Golden Panthers tie Jacksonville State with the nations highest percentage of
foreign players at 50 percent with six of their 12 players from another country.
This is the second meeting
all-time between the Wildcats and the Golden Panthers. The teams last met on Dec. 17,
2000, when UK defeated FIU 60-58 in the Baptist Health Systems Fab Four Orange Bowl
The Cats, who are 4-0 for
the first time since the 1998-99 season, are coming off an impressive showing in their
Thanksgiving tournament, bringing home the tournament title at the Pepperdine Classic in Malibu,
Calif. UK defeated Indiana State in the first round, 68-58, and captured a 67-54 win over
Hofstra in the championship round. It was UKs first regular season tournament since
the 2001-02 season.
"We are still trying
to figure out who are go-to scorers will be on a consistent basis," DeMoss said,
"But our defense is really sound and if we can keep rebounding well we should be in
pretty good shape. We have a decent inside-outside punch. Sam Mahoney has the potential to
put up big numbers every night. She plays to the level of her competition, so she
really stepped up in California. Sarah Elliott, the same way, we had to go inside to
her and she came through."
While in California, where
they won a tournament at Pepperdine, the players got the opportunity to bond and develop
some chemistry as a team, "The players have not really learned a lot about each other
off the court. And a lot of these girls had never been to California. So, we
gave them a chance to do some fun things - a lot of sight seeing. While there,
they didn't know anyone else so they had to get to know each other. But back on the court
they got back to business."
The 4-0 Cats have begun to
move the meter on a national scale. While they did not crack the top 25 rankings
nationally, they did get some votes, "I just noticed that in the top 25 poll we got
16 votes, and this is the kind of encouragement that will motivate our players,"
DeMoss said, "When you are building a program with young players anything like this
is a real encouraging sign. I think we deserve it. I haven't seen all the teams of
the top 25, but I think this team has certainly played well enough to deserve the
"I think our players
grew ad matured while we were in California," DeMoss continued, "Carly Ormerod,
the freshman, was really tested on this trip. She had to handle the ball against strong,
physical pressure. And Jenn'e Jackson gave us some valuable minutes."
Kentucky continues its
three-game homestand by playing host to North Carolina A&T on Tuesday, Dec 6, and Georgetown
University on Thursday, Dec. 8. The Georgetown game will be televised live on the Big Blue
Single-game tickets are
available in the ticket office in Memorial Coliseum for $5 adults/$2 senior citizens and
children ages 18 and under. UK students, faculty and staff are admitted free with valid
identification based on availability. For ticket information, log on to ukathletics.com or
call the UK ticket office at 859-257-1818 or 1-800-928-CATS (2287).