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August 2014
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Blue-White Game Saturday

The University of Kentucky football team moved one day closer to the annual Blue/White Spring Game on Saturday by holding a two and a half hour practice Wednesday morning at the Nutter Training Center.


UK head coach Joker Phillips said after practice that Wednesday was the final true practice for the team this spring season. The head coach said the team will wear shorts and shoulder pads during practice Friday to fine tune some things before the Blue/White Game.

“This is our last day of working and getting physical and doing all the things that we need to do to get ourselves ready to play football,” Phillips said. “Friday we will be in shorts to work on technique and fundamentals.”

Phillips said the team had a very strong practice Wednesday, getting in some competitive work on both sides of the ball. Along those same lines, the head coach was again happy with the scrimmage film from last Saturday.

“I was really pleased with what I saw in the scrimmage,” Phillips said. “There were plays made on both sides of the ball and it was really competitive. We need to finish up these last two days strong. One is a fundamental and technique practice (Friday) and the last one is that we want to see how we compete in the scrimmage.”

Looking ahead to the Blue/White event on Saturday, which will have a regular game format just like last season, Phillips said he mainly wants to see players compete. Phillips said he and the coaching staff are starting to see playmakers develop and are looking for more to step forward.

“We really think right now we know who our playmakers are and guys who can make things happen,” Phillips said. “(Wide receiver) Demarco Robinson is one of those guys and (quarterback) Maxwell Smith is doing well for us and getting the ball out of his hands, which is important. People don’t consider (offensive guard) Larry Warford a playmaker but he is as big a playmaker as there is on this team. (Wide receiver) Daryl Collins has made a lot of plays. Ronnie Shields is holding down the starting tight end position and he has moved ahead of the rest of the guys. We have asked him to do a lot of things and were concerned early in the spring how he would handle that but he has stepped up to the plate and shown us he can do all the things we are asking him to do.

“On defense, (linebacker) Avery Williamson is playing really well and really pleased with the way (safety) Martavius Neloms is starting to lead this football team on defense. Two anchors inside, (defensive tackles Mister) Cobble and (Donte) Rumph are playing well.”

Phillips and the Wildcats will hold the final practice of the spring season Friday before the Blue/White Game on Saturday at 6 p.m. ET. There are several promotion items for fans this season at the spring game, which are posted below.

For more information on the Kentucky football team, follow “UKFootball” on Twitter, or visit UKathletics.com.

Free Posters and Roster Cards to be Given Away: With the Blue/White Game being the first public football event since the conclusion of the 2011 season, UK Athletics has commemorated the season-ending victory over Tennessee – and the excitement of Commonwealth Stadium – with a special edition poster.

The poster features the celebration after UK’s 10-7 win, including quarterback Matt Roark being carried off the field by jubilant fans.  Quantities are limited and the posters will be given away first-come, first-served at the stadium gates.

In addition, fans attending the Blue/White Game may pick up free roster cards at the stadium gates.

“Super Surplus Sale” of Team Apparel: UK Athletics will have a “Super Surplus Sale” of team apparel Saturday in conjunction with the Blue/White Game.

Hundreds of items will be available from the sports of football, men’s basketball, baseball, soccer, track and volleyball.  The sale will include items such as jerseys, polo shirts, sweatshirts, warmups, hoodies, pants, etc.  This sale has been very popular in the past and items will be bargain-priced!

The sale will begin at 3 p.m. in the Wildcat Refuge area between the Blue and Red Lots at the stadium.  The sale will continue while supplies last, or through the conclusion of the Blue/White Game.

Blue White Game

For the second-consecutive year, Coach Joker Phillips and the Kentucky coaching staff have decided to play a regular-game format for Saturday’s Blue/White Game.

The game will feature the first team (White) vs. the second team (Blue).  The Blue team will be staked to a 14-0 lead at the beginning of the game.

Last year, the format produced perhaps the most exciting Blue/White Game ever.  The Blue team actually extended the lead to 28-7 before the White squad posted a furious rally to tie the game at 28.  The Blues won, 31-28, with a 38-yard field goal by Joe Mansour in the final minute of the game.

The Blue/White Game begins at 6 p.m. at Commonwealth Stadium.  Here is admission information for the game:

Admission and parking are free on a first-come, first-served basis.  (If you’ve never gotten to sit on the 50-yard line, here’s your chance!)
·         The Red, Blue and Green parking lots open at 8 a.m. and fans are invited to tailgate.
·         Stadium gates, 2, 3, 4, 9, 10 and 11 open at 4:30 p.m.
·         Seating will be available in the north, west and south lower sections of the stadium.

Free Posters and Roster Cards to be Given Away: With the Blue/White Game being the first public football event since the conclusion of the 2011 season, UK Athletics has commemorated the season-ending victory over Tennessee – and the excitement of Commonwealth Stadium – with a special edition poster.

The poster features the celebration after UK’s 10-7 win, including quarterback Matt Roark being carried off the field by jubilant fans.  Quantities are limited and the posters will be given away first-come, first-served at the stadium gates.

In addition, fans attending the Blue/White Game may pick up free roster cards at the stadium gates.

“Super Surplus Sale” of Team Apparel: UK Athletics will have a “Super Surplus Sale” of team apparel Saturday in conjunction with the Blue/White Game.

Hundreds of items will be available from the sports of football, men’s basketball, baseball, soccer, track and volleyball.  The sale will include items such as jerseys, polo shirts, sweatshirts, warmups, hoodies, pants, etc.  This sale has been very popular in the past and items will be bargain-priced!

The sale will begin at 3 p.m. in the Wildcat Refuge area between the Blue and Red Lots at the stadium.  The sale will continue while supplies last, or through the conclusion of the Blue/White Game.

Fans May Renew Season Tickets at the Game: The stadium ticket office outside gate 4 will be open from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in order for current season-ticket holders to renew their tickets.

UK Stands Strong At 32-5

Overall Record: 32-5, 11-4 SEC

Record Last Week: 2-2, 2-1 SEC

Recent Results

Tuesday, April 10 * lost vs. No. 19 Louisville, 0-12

Friday, April 13 * lost at No. 9 Arkansas, 7-8

Saturday, April 14 * won at No. 9 Arkansas, 5-4

Saturday, April 14 * won at No. 9 Arkansas, 2-1

 

Upcoming Schedule (times Eastern)

Tuesday, April 17 * vs. Cincinnati * 6:30 p.m.

Friday, April 20 * vs. No. 3 LSU * 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, April 21 * vs. No. 3 LSU * 2:00 p.m.

Sunday, April 22 * vs. No. 3 LSU * 1:00 p.m.

 

PLAYER OF THE WEEK NOMINEE

Thomas McCarthy

6-2 * Sr. * 3B * Corvallis, Ore. 

Week Stats: .471 (8-for-17), 5 2B, 3 RBI, 13 total bases, .765 SLG%, SF

 

Notes: Senior third baseman Thomas McCarthy led UK during a four-game week at the plate, leading UK to its first series win at No. 9 Arkansas since the 2002 season, with UK snapping a nine-game home series winning streak of the Razorbacks … McCarthy hit .471 (8-for-17) during the week with five doubles, three RBI, 13 total bases and a .765 slugging percentage … McCarthy batted .462 (6-for-13) during the weekend series at Arkansas, with four doubles and three RBI … McCarthy went 2-for-4 during a rivalry game with No. 19 Louisville, including his first double of the week … In the series-opener at Arkansas, McCarthy went a season-best 3-for-4 with two doubles and two RBI … In the second game of the series, McCarthy collected a pair of hits, including a double down the opposite-field line, sparking a UK comeback rally to even the series … In the rubber-match win over Arkansas, McCarthy again ripped a double, leading off the inning that led to UK’s two runs in the 2-1 win … On the year, McCarthy has hit .319 (45-for-141) with 13 doubles, five homers and 23 RBI.

 

PITCHER OF THE WEEK NOMINEE

Corey Littrell

6-3 * So. * LHP * Louisville, Ky.

Week Stats: 1-0, 1.42 ERA, 1 GS, 6.1 IP, 8 H, R, BB, 3 SO,

 

Notes: For the fourth consecutive weekend, Kentucky turned to Corey Littrell to start the finale of a series with the outcome of the set hanging in the balance … Littrell delivered his fourth consecutive win, with his sixth quality start of the season, tossing 6.1 innings on short rest, allowing only one run with three strikeouts … Littrell has paced the UK rotation in the Sunday spot all year, sporting a 6-0 record and a 1.95 ERA in nine starts, tossing 55.1 innings, allowing 14 walks and striking out 48.

 

TEAM NOTES

Facing its toughest test in a historically unprecedented season, No. 1 Kentucky baseball traveled to Baum Stadium and won a series at No. 9 Arkansas last weekend for the first time since 2002 and just the second time in the history of the program. UK won two of the three games at the high-octane Razorbacks, also suffering a midweek loss to No. 19 Louisville during the four-game week.

 

Kentucky (32-5, 11-4 Southeastern Conference) returns to action with four-game homestand during the week, hosting Cincinnati on Tuesday in a midweek matchup, before welcoming No. 3 LSU in a weekend series with conference standings implications, starting Friday at 6:30 p.m. ET at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

 

The Wildcats are continuing the best start to a season in the history of the program, with its 11-4 opening through the first half of the 30-game league schedule the best in UK history. UK’s series win at Arkansas was the first in a nine-game home series span for the Razorbacks, and UK’s doubleheader sweep on Saturday was the first allowed by Arkansas to one team since the 1996 season.

 

UK leads the nation in wins, sits atop the SEC standings, own an 11-2 record in one-run games and a 9-4 record in games against top-25 teams. The Wildcats have opened up the year with series wins over No. 2 South Carolina, Tennessee, No. 18 Georgia, No. 10 Ole Miss and No. 9 Arkansas.

 

The Wildcats have been paced by a team offense that leads the conference in nearly every category, hitting .317 as a team, with a .483 slugging and a .406 on-base percentage, belting 41 homers in 37 games and stealing 34 bases. Individually, freshman centerfielder Austin Cousino leads UK with a .349 average, with 13 doubles, five homers and 23 RBI, stealing seven bases. Freshman A.J. Reed has hit .336 with eight doubles, three homers and 36 RBI, while senior third baseman Thomas McCarthy has batted .319 with 13 doubles, five homers and 23 RBI. Catcher Luke Maile leads the club with 36 RBI, batting .319 with nine doubles and nine homers. Outfielder Cameron Flynn has also belted nine homers.

UK’s Release On Football Practice

After the first full scrimmage of the spring season last Saturday, University of Kentucky football head coach Joker Phillips and the Kentucky football team returned to the Nutter Training Center practice fields Wednesday for practice No. 10 of the spring season. 

Phillips said after practice Wednesday that he and coaching staff reviewed the video from the scrimmage and were pleased with some performance on both sides of the ball.

 

“I was a little concerned (Saturday) about both sides of the ball, but once you look at it – especially from a head-coach’s standpoint – when you got a chance to see it on film, it was really competitive,” Phillips said.  “Both sides can’t win, so I thought the thing I saw from the defense is how fast they started. They stopped the number one offense three straight series. That means our defense was playing well.”

 

Following the strong start by the defense, the offense bounced back strongly.

 

“I was pleased with the way the offense responded in the second half of the scrimmage and made some plays, had some explosion plays, put together a drive off the 10-yard line,” Phillips said. “I thought that was positive. Some guys continued to get better, some young guys. Are we where we need to be? Not even close. But there are some positive things for us to build on.”

 

One of the bright spots of the offense Saturday was sophomore wide receiver Demarco Robinson, who had several impressive offensive plays. Phillips said Wednesday that performance from Robinson was good to see and that he is starting to put everything together.

 

“Still a long way to go, but I think he’s starting to get more comfortable,” Phillips said of Robinson. “We’re starting to get him more No. 1 reps, especially on punt and kick return. He’s gaining confidence in that and we need him to be that guy. He had two big plays Saturday in the passing game. He caught a big square-in that went for about 30 (yards) and then he hit a screen (pass) for about 60 (yards and a touchdown). So he’s starting to get confidence and we’re starting to have confidence in him, too, that he knows what to do. I think that’s important.”

 

Kentucky will continue spring practice Friday before holding its second full scrimmage on Saturday. The Wildcats will conclude spring practice next Saturday, April 21 with the Blue/White Scrimmage at Commonwealth Stadium at 6 p.m. ET.

 

Luke Maile: SEC Co-Player Of The Week

 After charting 20 total bases during a four-game week in leading No. 1 Kentucky to a series win over No. 10 Ole Miss, junior catcher Luke Maile has been named the Southeastern Conference Co-Player of the Week, it was announced by the league office on Monday afternoon.

A native of Crestview Hills, Ky., Maile shares the SEC Player of the Week accolade with Alabama senior centerfielder Taylor Dugas, who hit a walk-off homer in a series sweep over No. 24 Auburn last weekend.

Maile hit .471 (8-for-17) during the week with 20 total bases, including three doubles, three homers and six RBI. He extended his seven-game hitting streak during the week, including a two-homer game in a midweek win over Dayton, also adding a double and four RBI. In a series opener vs. No. 10 Ole Miss, Maile collected a pair of run-sparking doubles in a 3-2 win, notching the go-ahead tally in a 3-2 win. In the series clinching win on Sunday, Maile belted a solo homer to tie the game, finishing 2-for-4 with two runs scored.

On the year, Maile has hit .341 (42-for-123) with nine doubles, nine homers and 36 RBI, stealing seven bases. In his three-year career, Maile owns a .296 average (99-for-335) with 19 doubles, three triples, 21 homers and 78 RBI, stealing 15 bases.

Kentucky (30-3, 9-3 SEC) has now won all four of its conference series to open up league play and have soared to No. 1 for the second consecutive week, UK’s first No. 1 national ranking in program history. On Monday, UK stayed at No. 1 in the Collegiate Baseball poll, advanced to a program-best No. 3 in the Baseball America top-25, moved to No. 2 in the Perfect Game USA rankings and checked in No. 2 in the USA Today/ESPN coaches’ top-25.

The SEC weekly honor is the four for a UK player this year, as two-way standout A.J. Reed and centerfielder Austin Cousino were named SEC Freshman of the Week earlier in the year, with junior outfielder Zac Zellers also earning SEC Player of the Week honors.

The Wildcats will host No. 20 Louisville on Tuesday, with first pitch slated for 6:30 p.m. ET at Cliff Hagan Stadium. UK will send. Reed (4-0, 2.42 ERA) to the mound to face Louisville freshman right-hander Jared Ruxer (4-0, 2.37 ERA).

UK Stands At 30-3 In Baseball

Kentucky is having a great season on the diamond.  This is their weekly update.

Overall Record: 30-3, 9-3 SEC

Record Last Week: 3-1, 2-1 SEC

 

Recent Results

Tuesday, April 4 * won vs. Dayton, 19-6

Friday, April 6 * won vs. No. 10 Ole Miss, 3-2

Saturday, April 7 * lost vs. No. 10 Ole Miss, 3-9

Sunday, April 8 * won vs. No. 10 Ole Miss, 8-3

 

Upcoming Schedule (times Eastern)

Tuesday, April 10 * vs. No. 18 Louisville * 6:30 p.m. (FSS)

Friday, April 13 * at No. 9 Arkansas * 7:35 p.m.

Saturday, April 14 * at No. 9 Arkansas * 3:05 p.m. (CST)

Sunday, April 15 * at No. 9 Arkansas * 1:05 p.m.

 

PLAYER OF THE WEEK NOMINEE

Luke Maile

6-3 * Jr. * C/1B * Crestview Hills, Ky.

Week Stats: .471 (8-for-17), 6 R, 3 2B, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 1.176 SLG%

 

Notes: Junior Luke Maile continued to pace the NCAA’s leading offense during a four-game week, leading Kentucky its fourth consecutive series win to open conference play, with a series victory over No. 10 Ole Miss … Maile collected a staggering 20 total bases in four games, launching three homers and three doubles with six RBI, batting .471 (8-for-17) … The catcher extended his seven-game hitting streak during the week, starting with a two-homer game in UK’s midweek win over Dayton, including a double and four RBI … In the series-opener vs. Ole Miss, Maile collected a pair of run-sparking doubles in a 3-2 win, scoring both runs, including the go-ahead tally in the late innings … In the series clincher, Maile put UK on the board with a solo homer to even the game, going 2-for-4 with two runs … In the second game vs. Ole Miss, Maile collected a single … On the year, Maile has hit .341 (42-for-123) with nine doubles, nine homers and 26 RBI, stealing seven bases.

 

FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK NOMINEE

Austin Cousino

5-10 * Fr. * CF * Dublin, Ohio

Week Stats: .412 (7-for-17), 4 R, 3 2B, 3 RBI, .588 SLG%, 2 BB, .474 OB%, 1-1 SB

 

Notes: Centerfielder Austin Cousino continued to pace the top offensive unit in college baseball atop the batting order, leading UK to a series win over No. 10 Ole Miss and a midweek win over Dayton during a four-game week … Cousino hit .412 (7-for-17) with four runs, three doubles and three RBI, adding two walks and stealing a base … In the series opener vs. Dayton, Cousino went 2-for-4 with a pair of runs, a double, a walk and an RBI … In the series opener vs. Ole Miss, Cousino added a double and a walk , also collecting a hit in the second game of the set … In the series-clinching win on Sunday, Cousino went 3-for-5 with a double and an RBI, including a rally-sparking leadoff single in the late innings … On the year, Cousino leads UK in nearly every category, including average (.365), runs (35), hits (50), doubles (13) and steals (seven), adding one triple, five homers and 27 RBI … The 2011 Baseball America first-team high school All-America selection has reached base safely in 31 of his 32 career games and is currently riding a five-game hitting streak, reaching base safely in nine straight.

 

PITCHER OF THE WEEK NOMINEE

Alex Phillips

6-4 * Sr. * LHP * Tenino, Wash.

Week Stats: 1-0, 1.42 ERA, 1 SV, 2 APP, 6.1 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 6 SO, .208 opp. avg.

 

Notes: Senior left-handed reliever Alex Phillips was a workhorse for the UK bullpen during a four-game week, pitching on Friday and Sunday to win and save UK’s two series-clinching victories over No. 10 Ole Miss … In the series opener, Phillips came on in relief of starter Taylor Rogers, tossing 3.1 shutout innings, striking out three to pick up the win … On Sunday, with UK facing its third consecutive rubber match, Phillips worked three innings just two days after his first three-inning workload, allowing one run to pick up the save … Phillips has been a major force for a stout UK bullpen on the year, appearing in 14 games with a 5-0 record and a 2.01 ERA, totaling two saves in 31.1 innings.

 

TEAM NOTES

The top-ranked Kentucky baseball team completed a four-game week with three wins, including a series win over No. 10 Ole Miss and a midweek smashing over Dayton. UK will return to action on Tuesday, hosting No. 18 Louisville in a 6:30 p.m. ET matchup at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

 

Kentucky (30-3, 9-3 Southeastern Conference) completed its first series win over the Rebels since the 2008 season, as the Wildcats won the set over a blistering-hot Ole Miss club that entered the weekend fresh off a series win over consensus No. 1 Florida. UK posted a 3-2 win in the opener, suffered a 9-3 loss in the second game, before riding a strong pitching effort from Corey Littrell to a series-clinching win on Sunday, 8-3.

 

Ranked No. 1 in the nation for the first time in school annals, the Wildcats have been paced by an offensive attack that leads the nation in average, in addition to pacing the SEC in nearly every offensive category. UK has opened up the 2012 with a 30-3 mark, the best start to a season in school history, leading the NCAA in wins and pacing the conference atop the standings for the second consecutive week.

 

UK’s 9-3 start to conference play is also a program best, with UK running up a school-record 21-game home winning streak earlier in the year and a program-best 22 game winning streak to open the season, the second-longest streak in the storied history of the SEC. UK now owns a 7-2 record against teams ranked in the top-25, with UK also boasting a 9-1 record in one-run games in 2012.

 

The Wildcats own a .328 average as a team with a .506 slugging mark and a .421 on-base percentage, belting 40 homers in 33 games. Freshman centerfielder Austin Cousino leads the team in nearly every offensive category, batting .365 with 13 doubles, one triple, five homers and 27 RBI, stealing seven bases and recording seven outfield assists. Freshman A.J. Reed has hit .350 with three homers and 33 RBI, while catcher Luke Maile owns a .341 mark with nine homers, 36 RBI and seven steals. Cameron Flynn has added a .341 average with eight homers and 26 RBI.

 

UK will host No. 18 Louisville at 6:30 p.m. ET at Cliff Hagan Stadium on Tuesday, with UK looking to improve on its 21-game non-conference winning streak to open the year.

SEC Community Service Team

In a continuing effort to recognize the accomplishments of student-athletes beyond the field of competition, the Southeastern Conference once again highlighted a Community Service Team for women’s gymnastics with senior Whitney Rose being Kentucky’s 2012 recipient, the league office recently announced.

The SEC sponsors a Community Service Team for all 20 sports that it sponsors. The gymnastics Community Service Team represents seven SEC gymnasts, one from each competing institution. The honor looks to highlight an athlete from each school who gives back to their community in superior service efforts. 

Community service has been a big part of Rose’s life even before she enrolled at Kentucky. She spends time at the Hope Lodge, a home away from home for cancer patients and their families, while also taking part in a mentoring program that matches young females with influential teens. She was part of the Cats Cultivating Character, a group of UK student-athletes who teach lessons of character to students each month while also volunteering at Morton Middle School in Lexington to help students who need assistance taking the CATS test. Most recently, Rose has visited a nursing home in Georgetown, Ky., to spend time with the elderly, while also helping with God’s Pantry in Lexington.

 

Rose was named to the Frank G. Ham Society of Character last year, which recognizes Wildcat student-athletes who have demonstrated exceptional commitment to academic excellence, athletic participation, personal development, career preparation and serving as a role model. She was also named a Lyman T. Johnson Award Winner, which is given to a student who has made a significant contribution to the University of Kentucky and the community.

 

The native of Frisco, Texas, has been equally as impressive in the gym as one of the faces of the program during her career. Her impact to the team was immediate as she finished second on the team on vault during her freshman season en route to being named the SEC Freshman of the Year in 2009. Her sophomore season, Rose became the first gymnast since 2006 to advance to the NCAA Championships after a 9.9 score in the NCAA Regional. The talented gymnast finished the 2010 season ranked 14th in the nation on vault with an average score of 9.858. Rose led Kentucky again on vault last year, while she has scored a 9.925 or higher three different times on vault during her career. This year, Rose has performed on uneven bars in every meet with a strong average on the event. 
Rose and her teammates are having a great season under new head coach Tim Garrison. The Wildcats are currently ranked 24th in the nation in the Gyminfo team rankings after they scored a 195.875 or higher in three consecutive meets for the first time in school history.

 

The Wildcats will be in action again this weekend when they travel to compete in the SEC Gymnastics Championships in Duluth, Ga., on Saturday at 4 p.m. ET. Tickets to the event may be purchased at SECsports.com or by calling the Gwinnett arena directly at 1-800-745-3000.

 

For more information on the Kentucky gymnastics team, visit UKathletics.com or follow “UKGymnastics” on Twitter and Facebook.

 

SEC Gymnastics Community Service Team:

Ria Domier, Sophomore, Alabama

Kelci Lewis, Junior, Arkansas

Laura Lane, Senior, Auburn

Randy Stageberg, Junior, Florida

Mariel Box, Senior, Georgia

Whitney Rose, Senior, Kentucky

Ericka Garcia, Senior, LSU

WKU Notes After Beating Sean Woods

The Hilltoppers kicked off their 22nd NCAA Tournament appearance Tuesday night with an unbelievable 59-58 comeback win over Mississippi Valley State in the first round in Dayton, Ohio, and WKU now gets set to battle with top-seeded Kentucky in the South Region second round in Louisville Thursday night at 5:50 (CT).

 

The First Four win over the Delta Devils means WKU has won games in its last three NCAA Tournament trips and sets up a Bluegrass State showdown with Kentucky Thursday night. The Hilltoppers and the Wildcats have not played since 2001, but the two have met twice in the NCAA Tournament over the years, once of which was a 107-83 WKU win in the 1971 Mideast regional semifinals en route to the Final Four.

 

WKU has lost three times to a one-seed in the tournament, most recently to UCLA in the 2008 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16, and the Hilltoppers are 0-6 all-time against the country’s number-one team in the polls.

 

The Hilltoppers have already played a game in the KFC Yum! Center once this season, losing a 10-point decision to fourth-ranked Louisville on December 23 in a game that WKU led by as many as 13 at one point and again as late as 7:58 left in the game.

 

Thursday’s game in Louisville is sold out. No tickets are available through the KFC Yum! Center. WKU’s allotment of 550 tickets, the same number distributed to each of the eight participating teams, will be allocated among students, season ticket holders, the Hilltopper Athletic Foundation and the team. Those receiving tickets will be notified by a WKU staff member on Wednesday by 6:00 PM.

 

WKU students will be able to purchase one ticket through a lottery system by signing up between 8:00 AM and 4:30 PM on Wednesday at the E.A. Diddle Arena Ticket Office. Students need to show their student ID, and all student tickets are $60. They will be notified between 5:00 and 6:00 PM if their name has been drawn.

 

Thursday’s game will be televised nationally on TBS with Verne Lundquist, Bill Raftery and Lesley Visser on the call.

 

The game will be broadcast on the radio on the Hilltopper IMG Sports Network with Randy Lee and Hal Schmitt doing the commentary.

 

Complete game notes are available at WKUSports.com.

 

GAME 35

#16 WKU (16-18, 7-9 SBC) vs. #1 Kentucky (32-2, 16-0 SEC)

2012 NCAA Tournament Second Round

March 15, 2012 // 5:50 PM (CT)

KFC Yum! Center (22,000) // Louisville, Ky.

 

QUICK SHOTS

• WKU came from 16 points down with 4:51 to play to win Tuesday night in the NCAA Tournament First Round, completing the largest comeback with under five minutes to go in NCAA Tournament history.

• Each of the last 12 full-time WKU head men’s basketball coaches, now including Ray Harper, have taken teams to the NCAA Tournament, beginning with the legendary E.A. Diddle in 1940.

• Tuesday’s win gave the Hilltoppers wins in their last three NCAA Tournament appearances (2008 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16, 2009 NCAA Tournament Second Round; 2012 NCAA Tournament First Round) and made the 2012 team the 12th Hilltopper squad to win a game in the tournament.

• Since 1993 WKU is 7-8 in NCAA Tournament games, and the rest of the Sun Belt Conference is a combined 0-14.

• In 13 tournament appearances since the NCAA began seeding teams, this year’s 16 seed is the lowest the Hilltoppers have received.

• WKU is 11 blocked shots away from tying the 2000-01 team for most blocks in a single season in WKU history (155).

• WKU has held 12 of its last 15 opponents to 70 points or fewer and is 10-2 in that stretch, and in the first 19 games of the season the Hilltoppers did it 10 times but were 4-6.

• George Fant is averaging 13.0 points per game during the current seven-game winning streak, and Derrick Gordon is at 12.4 points per contest with Kahlil McDonald at 11.7.

• Entering the Sun Belt Conference Tournament, WKU had only one player averaging double-figure scoring (Gordon, 11.7), and in four Sun Belt Conference Tournament games three Hilltoppers averaged at least 12.0 points per game (Fant 14.8, McDonald 14.5, Gordon 12.3).

• As a team, WKU was plus-8.5 in rebounding in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament after concluding the regular season minus-1.4 boards per game.

• In the last five minutes of Sun Belt Conference Tournament games, WKU went to the free throw line 44 times compared to 10 for the opponents, shot 66.7 percent from the field compared to 30.3 and had just five turnovers.

• Two WKU freshmen have never averaged double-figure scoring in the same season since freshmen became eligible for the varsity team in 1972-73 (Gordon, 11.8; Fant, 10.3).

• The Hilltoppers are 7-0 this season when allowing fewer than 60 points in a game.

• Since the start of the 2010-11 season, WKU is 18-7 when Jamal Crook has at least four assists and 9-2 when he and Kahlil McDonald combine to dish out at least eight assists.

• Derrick Gordon was the only Sun Belt Conference freshman to be averaging at least 11.5 points per game in the regular season.

 

HILLTOPPER INDIVIDUAL TRENDS

• In the first three games of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament combined Teeng Akol had 16 points, and in Tuesday’s championship game he had a career-high 23.

• Kahlil McDonald has had at least 10 points in six of the last seven games and is shooting 41.5 percent from three-point range and 95.0 percent from the free throw line (19-for-20).

• In the last six games, O’Karo Akamune is 8-for-12 from the floor and is averaging 13.0 minutes per game, compared to 6.8 minutes and 2.1 points per game over the nine prior.

• Teeng Akol is averaging 9.3 points and 4.3 rebounds per game in Hilltopper wins and 3.7 points and 2.6 rebounds per defeat.

• T.J. Price is averaging 9.9 points per game away from home this season and has hit 40.2 percent of his three-point tries.

• T.J. Price has hit multiple three-pointers in 10 of the last 14 games.

• George Fant has led WKU in rebounding in nine of the last 15 games.

• Jamal Crook has had 12 10-plus point scoring games this season after entering the year with just one in two previous seasons.

• Nigel Snipes has converted on 17 of his last 19 free throw tries.

• Derrick Gordon has played at least 30 minutes in 29 of the last 33 games.

• George Fant has had 18 games of at least six points and six rebounds this season.

 

HILLTOPPER TEAM TRENDS

• WKU has notched seven-straight wins for the first time this season and third time in the last four seasons.

• WKU has come back to win seven of the last eight times it has trailed at halftime, compared to losing 12-straight in that situation before that and 13 of 14 on the season.

• During the current seven-game winning streak, the WKU bench is outscoring the opponent’s reserves 19.4 points to 13.7 points.

• A freshman has led WKU in scoring in 22 of the last 26 contests.

• In the last 14 games, WKU is holding opponents to 65.9 points per game while forcing an average of over 15 turnovers a contest and is 10-4 in that span.

• The opponent’s leading scorer has had at least 20 points in seven of the last 14 contests.

• The Hilltoppers have had 14 or fewer turnovers in 11 of the last 17 games.

• Derrick Gordon is the only Hilltopper to have started each of the first 34 games of the year.

• The Hilltoppers have used 14 different starting lineups in 34 games played.

• Five different Hilltoppers have missed at least one game this season due to injury, and three others have been unavailable for games at various points.

• WKU has started four freshmen eight times this season (2-6 record when doing so).

• Seven different players have led WKU in scoring this season after four did so in 2010-11.

• WKU has scored 60 points or fewer eight times, topping its total from 2010-11 (6).

• WKU’s 18 losses in 2011-12 have come by an average of 10.4 points, and its 16 wins have been by an average of 5.8 per.

• WKU has faced a double-digit deficit at one point in 27 of its last 34 losses dating back to the start of the 2010-11 season.

• In 66 games since the start of the 2010-11 season, WKU has trailed at halftime 39 times (11-28 in those games).

• WKU and FIU were the only two conference schools with two players in the top 8 in rebounding in the regular season (Gordon, 6th; Fant, 8th).

• The Hilltoppers were first in the Sun Belt Conference in free throw percentage, third in offensive rebounds per game and fourth in assists per game and scoring in conference games this year.

• WKU was in the top-half of 10 of 21 conference statistical categories in league games.

• The Hilltoppers have made it to the semifinals of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament eight-straight times and in 21 instances in 30 years as a member of the league dating to 1983.

 

Anthony Davis Sweeps SEC Awards

Kentucky’s John Calipari earned SEC Coach of the Year honors while Kentucky freshman forward Anthony Davis was selected the SEC Player of the Year by the league’s coaches. Davis also took home SEC Freshman of the Year and SEC Defensive Player of the Year accolades. Kentucky’s Darius Miller was tabbed SEC Sixth Man of the Year while Florida’s Patric Young earned SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors.

 This is the first SEC Coach of the Year honor for Calipari, who led the Wildcats to a perfect 16-0 mark in league play, a 30-1 overall record and a No. 1 national ranking. It is just the third time that a team has posted an unblemished mark in conference play when playing a league schedule consisting of 16 games or more.

 Davis garnered the multiple honors after leading the Wildcats in scoring (14.4 ppg) and rebounding (9.8 rpg). The Chicago, Ill., native is leading the nation with 4.71 blocks per game and is second nationally in field goal percentage (.663). He becomes the  seventh Kentucky player to be named SEC Player of the Year by the league’s coaches. 

 Young earned the SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year award, sporting a 3.37 grade-point average in Telecommunications. The sophomore from Jacksonville, Fla., is averaging 10.5 points and 6.5 rebounds for the nationally-ranked Gators.

 Miller won the SEC’s Sixth Man of the Year award after averaging 10 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game.

 Coaches voted on eight member teams for First Team All-SEC, Second Team All-SEC and for the SEC All-Freshman Team. They voted on a five-player squad for the SEC All-Defensive Team. They were not permitted to vote for their own players and ties were not broken.
A complete list of the 2012 SEC Men’s Basketball postseason awards follows.

 First Team All-SEC

Bradley Beal, Florida – G, 6-3, 207, Fr., St. Louis, Mo.

Kenny Boynton, Florida – G, 6-2, 189, Jr., Pompano Beach, Fla.

Anthony Davis, Kentucky – F, 6-10, 220, Fr., Chicago, Ill.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky – F, 6-7, 232, Fr., Somerdale, N.J.

Dee Bost, Mississippi State – G, 6-2, 176, Sr., Concord, N.C.

Arnett Moultrie, Mississippi State – F, 6-11, 249, Jr., Memphis, Tenn.

John Jenkins, Vanderbilt – G, 6-4, 215, Jr., Hendersonville, Tenn.

Jeffery Taylor, Vanderbilt – F, 6-7, 225, Sr., Norkopping, Sweden

 

Second Team All-SEC

JaMychal Green, Alabama – F, 6-8, 228, Sr., Montgomery, Ala.

^Trevor Releford, Alabama – G, 6-1, 180, So., Kansas City, Mo.

BJ Young, Arkansas – G, 6-3, 175, Fr., St. Louis, Mo.

Erving Walker, Florida – G, 5-8, 177, Sr., Brooklyn, N.Y.

Terrence Jones, Kentucky – F, 6-9, 252, So., Portland, Ore.

Doron Lamb, Kentucky – G, 6-4, 210, So., Queens, N.Y.

Justin Hamilton, LSU – C, 7-0, 260, Jr., Alpine, Utah

^Terrance Henry, Ole Miss – F, 6-9, 210, Sr., Monroe, La.

Jeronne Maymon, Tennessee – F, 6-7, 265, Jr., Madison, Wis.

 

SEC All-Freshman Team

BJ Young, Arkansas – G, 6-3, 175, Fr., St. Louis, Mo.

Bradley Beal, Florida – G, 6-3, 207, Fr., St. Louis, Mo.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Georgia – G, 6-5, 200, Fr., Greenville, Ga.

Anthony Davis, Kentucky – F, 6-10, 220, Fr., Chicago, Ill.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky – F, 6-7, 232, Fr., Somerdale, N.J.

Anthony Hickey, LSU – G, 5-11, 182, Fr., Hopkinsville, Ky.

Rodney Hood, Mississippi State – G, 6-8, 204, Fr., Meridian, Miss.

Jarnell Stokes, Tennessee – F, 6-8, 250, Fr., Memphis, Tenn.

 

SEC All-Defensive Team

Anthony Davis, Kentucky – F, 6-10, 220, Fr., Chicago, Ill.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky – F, 6-7, 232, Fr., Somerdale, N.J.

Reginald Buckner, Ole Miss – F, 6-9, 225, Jr., Memphis, Tenn.

Damontre Harris, South Carolina – F, 6-9, 214, So., Fayetteville, N.C.

Jeffery Taylor, Vanderbilt – F, 6-7, Sr., 225, Norrkoping, Sweden

 

SEC Coach of the Year: John Calipari, Kentucky

SEC Player of the Year: Anthony Davis, Kentucky

SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Patric Young, Florida

SEC Freshman of the Year: Anthony Davis, Kentucky

SEC Sixth-Man of the Year: Darius Miller, Kentucky

SEC Defensive Player of the Year: Anthony Davis, Kentucky

UK Wins 3 SEC Awards

On Sunday, the University of Kentucky women’s basketball team won its first Southeastern Conference Championship since 1982. On Tuesday, the SEC coaches honored three Wildcats for their part in helping make that possible. Junior guard A’dia Mathies was named SEC Player of the Year, freshman guard Bria Goss was named SEC Freshman of the Year and senior guard Keyla Snowden was named SEC Co-6th Woman of the Year. Mathies was also named to the All-SEC first team and the SEC All-Defensive Team for the second consecutive season.

Mathies is UK’s second SEC Player of the Year as voted by the league coaches, joining former Wildcat great Victoria Dunlap, who earned the honor in 2010. Goss is the second SEC Freshman of the Year in school history, joining Mathies on the elite list. Mathies was named the SEC Freshman of the Year in 2010. Overall, this marks the ninth consecutive season UK has had at least one player selected to the All-SEC teams, and the third consecutive season a freshman has been named to the All-Freshman team.

Mathies leads the Wildcats in scoring (15.3 points per game), 3-point field goals made (44), 3-point field goal percentage (.370) and steals (2.7 steals per game). The Louisville, Ky., native is second on the team in rebounds (5.3 rebounds per game) and assists (2.6 assists per game), and is tied for second in blocks (18).

Amongst her SEC peers, Mathies is second in the league in scoring, second in steals, third in 3-point field goal percentage, tied for eighth in 3-point field goals made and 11th in offensive rebounds. Mathies has reached double figures in scoring in every game but six this season, and has 10 games of 20 or more points. Her best game of the season came against Tennessee as she poured in a career-high 34 points and hit the game-winning basket with less than five seconds left to snap Tennessee’s 36-game SEC winning streak. Mathies’ 34 points were the most points scored by a Wildcat since 1987.

In addition to being named the SEC Freshman of the Year in 2010, Mathies was an All-SEC second team and SEC All-Defensive Team selection in 2011.

Goss becomes Kentucky’s second SEC Freshman of the Year in three years, while also being named to the All-Freshmen team. The Indianapolis native was second on the team in scoring and first in the SEC among freshmen, averaging 11.6 points per game. Goss was also a consistent scorer, reaching double figures in scoring in 21 of 29 games. The freshman star shot the ball well from beyond the arc, ranking ninth in the SEC in 3-point field goal percentage (.337), and also got to the foul line well, making 76 of her 105 free-throw attempts (.724), the seventh best clip in the league. A fearless defender, Goss also took a team-high 18 charges.

In the UK freshman record books, Goss is on pace to have the sixth highest scoring average and already has the fourth most double-figure scoring games. She is tied for the fifth most 3-pointers made.

One day after being named to the SEC Community Service Team, Snowden was named the SEC Co-6th Woman of the Year. Snowden shares the honor with Deana Allen of Florida. Snowden is the Wildcats’ third leading scorer with 8.9 points per game. The Lexington, Ky., native is 10th in the SEC in 3-point field goals made (43), and 11th in 3-point field goal percentage (.331). In SEC play, Snowden has been clutch from the foul line, making 34 of 40 attempts (.850), the second best mark in the SEC.

Together, the trio helped lead Kentucky to its first SEC regular season championship since 1982 behind a 24-5 record and program-best 13 wins in conference play. Kentucky defeated a program-record tying five ranked teams, including three top-10 teams.

Mathies, Goss, Snowden and the rest of the No.10/9 Kentucky Wildcats will play again Friday at 1 p.m. ET in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament. UK will play the winner of the first round matchup between Florida and Auburn. The Wildcats swept the regular season series against Florida this year, and defeated Auburn in their only matchup of the season.

First Team All-SEC

C’eira Ricketts, Arkansas

Jennifer George, Florida

Anne Marie Armstrong, Georgia

A’dia Mathies, Kentucky

LaSondra Barrett, LSU

Glory Johnson, Tennessee

Shekinna Stricklen, Tennessee

Christina Foggie, Vanderbilt

 

Second Team All-SEC

Sarah Watkins, Arkansas

Jasmine Hassell, Georgia

La’Keisha Sutton, South Carolina

Jasmine Lister, Vanderbilt

Tiffany Clarke, Vanderbilt

Ieasia Walker, South Carolina

Markeshia Grant, South Carolina

Valencia McFarland, Ole Miss

Diamber Johnson, Mississippi State

 

All-Freshman Team

Calli Berna, Arkansas

Hasina Muhammad, Auburn

Erika Ford, Georgia

Bria Goss, Kentucky

Martha Alwal, Mississippi State

Aleighsa Welch, South Carolina

Ariel Massengale, Tennessee

Kady Schrann, Vanderbilt

 

All-Defensive Team

Anne Marie Armstrong, Georgia

Porsha Porter, Mississippi State

Glory Johnson, Tennessee

A’dia Mathies, Kentucky

La’Keisha Sutton, South Carolina

 

Coach of the Year

Tom Collen, Arkansas

 

Player of the Year

A’dia Mathies, Kentucky

 

Freshman of the Year

Bria Goss, Kentucky

 

Defensive Player of the Year

Glory Johnson, Tennessee

 

6th Woman of the Year

Deana Allen, Florida

Keyla Snowden, Kentucky

 

Scholar-Athlete of the Year

Blanche Alverson, Auburn