Posted: Feb 16, 2013 4:17 PM
Updated: Feb 16, 2013 4:39 PM
The No. 9/7 Kentucky women's basketball team looks to keep its winning streak alive and chart its first win in College Station, Texas when it travels to No. 11/13 Texas A&M for a Big Monday showdown on ESPN2. The game will tip at 6 p.m. CST/7 p.m. EST in Reed Arena.
Earlier this season in Lexington, Ky., the Wildcats used a solid second-half performance to defeat Texas A&M 65-62 in the teams' first-ever meeting. UK?forced 11 second-half turnovers and 21 overall, while holding the Aggies to 32 percent shooting in the final 20 minutes. The Wildcats were paced by senior guard A'dia Mathies (Louisville, Ky.) who hit three of her four 3-pointers in the second half for 11 of her team-high 23 points.
"It's a big game," UK Hoops Coach Matthew Mitchell said. "We're a game behind them and so it's a big game. It's two of the best teams in the country, two of the best teams certainly in our league and it'll be a tremendous matchup. We had a tremendous game here. I thought we played well and gave great effort. We'll have to learn from that game. I think it's probably important for us to figure out a little bit better way to defend them. They got a lot of easy buckets in that game although we won, and they didn't score a ton. I think we need to make them work harder to score. It'll be a real tough game and our team will have to prepare well and be real sharp in order to get the victory."
The Cats (22-3 overall, 10-2), who currently sit in second place in the Southeastern Conference standings, are coming off an impressive come-from-behind victory over No. 16/14 South Carolina on Thursday. Trailing by 16 points early in the second half, the Wildcats used a four-guard set to chip away at the Gamecocks' lead and win 78-74 - the largest comeback in the Matthew Mitchell era. UK outscored SC 48-30 in the second half and scored 24 points off 22 forced turnovers in the game, while committing just nine.
No. 11/13 Texas A&M is 20-5 overall, 10-1 in SEC play and are currently tied for first in the league with Tennessee. The Aggies are riding an eight-game winning streak since falling to the Wildcats in Lexington on Jan. 10, their only league loss of the season. A&M is coming off a 78-71 win over Florida on Thursday at home. The Aggies are 12-2 at home this season, 5-0 in SEC games.
UK is 3-3 against ranked teams this season, including 1-2 on the road. UK's last win over a ranked SEC team on the road was last season vs. No. 15/14 Georgia (69-64) on Jan. 19, 2012.