Mitchell's Cats on four-game win streak

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Fresh off an impressive 71-62 win over No. 18/19 LSU on Thursday, the Kentucky women's basketball team must now refocus as the Wildcats take their school record-tying four-game conference win streak on the road to Starkville, Miss. The Wildcats meet Mississippi State Sunday, Jan. 31 at 3 p.m. EST in Humphrey Coliseum.

Both teams are coming off monumental victories Thursday night. The Wildcats (17-3, 5-2 Southeastern Conference) defeated No. 18/19 LSU, snapping a 16-game losing skid to the Lady Tigers and charting their first win in Baton Rouge since 1995. The win tied the school record for most consecutive SEC wins, a mark set during the 2005-06 season. MSU (14-7, 5-3 SEC) shocked No. 9 Georgia with a 74-66 win in Starkville, its highest-ranked victory since defeating No. 9 Florida in 2001.

"This is a very tough challenge facing us on Sunday with Mississippi State," UK Hoops Coach Matthew Mitchell, a 1995 graduate of MSU, said. "I have always thought that they were one of the most talented teams in the league and they looked fantastic last night against Georgia. They are athletic and very explosive offensive and can put some pressure on you defensively. This will be a tough task for us to get a win on Sunday."

The Lady Bulldogs, who are led by former UK coach Sharon Fanning-Otis, have won two of their last four SEC games, including two over ranked opponents. They fell to Florida and Ole Miss last week before back-to-back wins over No. 21 Vanderbilt and No. 9 Georgia.

"They are very talented and probably have as much scoring power as anybody in the conference," Mitchell said. "The win against Georgia was extremely impressive if you watched it. Georgia is a really good basketball team and Mississippi State put it on them pretty good. It will be another test for us. We had to really fire on all cylinders and everybody really had to stay committed to outworking our opponent. That will be the same way that we have to play this game and we don't have much of a chance if we don't do that."

UK's pressure defense has been its key cog this season as the Wildcats are holding opponents to 56.3 points per game (fourth in the SEC) and are allowing teams to shoot just .370 from the field and .289 from three-point range (second in the SEC).?Only one team has scored over 67 points against UK this season.

The Wildcats also are among the most productive offensive teams in the SEC. The Wildcats currently lead the league and rank 14th nationally in scoring offense at 77.9 points per game. It's a team effort as just one player (Dunlap, 3rd-17.5 ppg) ranks in the top 20 in scoring.

Also averaging double-digits for the Wildcats is freshman guard A'dia Mathies (Louisville, Ky.) with 11.6 points per game and junior point guard Amber Smith (Winter Haven, Fla.) with 10.6 ppg. Dunlap is the team's rebounding leader with 8.7 boards per game (third in the SEC) and she currently holds the distinction of being the only player in the SEC to rank in the top three of both the scoring and rebounding statistical categories.

Sunday will mark the 34th meeting in the series between Kentucky and Mississippi State. MSU holds a slight 17-16 advantage overall and an 8-5 lead when the game is played in Starkville. UK?dropped last year's meeting in Lexington, 52-45, but defeated the Lady Bulldogs in the last matchup in Starkville, 64-60, in 2008.

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