Jan. 19, 2013
|Auburn (13-5, 2-3 SEC) at #5/5 Kentucky (17-1, 5-0 SEC)|
|Date:||Sunday, Jan. 20||Tip:||1 p.m. CT|
|Where:||Memorial Coliseum (8,000), Lexington, Ky.||Live Stats||Game Tracker|
|TV:||SEC Network/ESPN3.com; Cara Capuano (PBP), Maria Taylor (color)||Live Audio||All-Access|
|Radio:||96.7 FM WMXA, Andy Burcham (PBP), Stephanie Follett (color)|
|Game Notes:||Auburn Notes | Kentucky Notes | SEC Notes | SEC Network Affiliates|
|Up Next:||Auburn will travel to in-state rival Alabama for an 8 p.m., Thursday game at Foster Auditorium.|
AUBURN - The Auburn women's basketball team (13-5, 2-3 SEC) will hit the road for the first of two-straight home games Sunday as the Tigers take on No. 5/5 Kentucky (17-1, 5-0 SEC) in Lexington, Ky. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m. CT with the game airing live on the SEC Network.
The game against the Wildcats is the third in a row, and fourth in the last six games, for Auburn against top-25 ranked teams. The Tigers have dropped the previous two, falling 78-56 at No. 20 Texas A&M and 75-66 to No. 9 Tennessee on Thursday. Auburn led most of the game against the ninth-ranked Lady Vols, but Tennessee pulled away in the end for the win.
While there is a certain amount of confidence to be taken from Auburn's performance against Tennessee, head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said it does not compare to actually getting the win.
"I hope it gave them a lot of confidence, though it would probably have given them more confidence had we won the game," said Williams-Flournoy. "I think the moral victories aren't what we're looking for right now, if we are in a situation where we can win, we should win the game, but hopefully it gives them the confidence and makes them feel that we can very much play with these teams."
Auburn's game with Kentucky features a pair of teams with similar philosophies, particularly on defense. The Tigers and Wildcats are both in the top four in the SEC in steals and turnover margin coming into the game. Auburn forces 22.2 turnovers per game, tallying 13.0 steals in the process, while Kentucky forces 26.0 turnovers per game with 12.2 steals.
"You might see an ugly game, which is usually how it turns out when you have two pressing teams going at each other," said Williams-Flournoy. "I think it really just comes down to at the end of the day who can handle the ball and who can make shots."
The fifth-ranked Wildcats have won 16-straight games after suffering their lone loss at No. 1 Baylor earlier this season. Kentucky recorded the largest victory in SEC history Thursday night by defeating Mississippi State, 100-47, at home.
The Wildcats are led by senior A'dia Mathies who is averaging 14.9 points and junior transfer DeNesha Stallworth who is averaging 14.0 points per game.
"Kentucky is Kentucky, everyone has seen it. It is 40 minutes of pressure," said Williams-Flournoy. "They have great guards, a very good point guard in Jennifer O'Neill, she's going to run the team. They also have SEC Player of the Year A'dia Mathies and she is what she is. Kentucky is a tough matchup and a pressing defensive team. We have got to be able to handle the ball and take care of it."
During conference play, Mathies and Stallworth are averaging 19.0 and 18.0 points per game respectively. Samarie Walker leads the Cats in rebounding and is sixth in the SEC with 8.3 rebounds per game. Kentucky has outscored its opponents by 26.5 points per game, which ranks fourth in the nation.
"We definitely have to take care of the ball, we can't turn the ball over," said Williams-Flournoy. "I thought we had too many against Tennessee at very crucial times. We have got to be able to make shots, take good shots so that we can score and set off our pressure. Defense as well, we have got to rebound the basketball because they do a good job of rebounding the basketball which turns into transition points for them."
Fans can listen to the game on 96.7 FM in Auburn or on AuburnTigers.com with Andy Burcham and Stephanie Follett calling the action. Cara Capuano and Maria Taylor will call the game on the SEC Network and ESPN3.com. GameTracker will be available on AuburnTigers.com.