It's time for one of the biggest games of the season for the Kentucky Wildcats as they travel down to Knoxville to face the rival Tennessee Volunteers. This season, the game is more important than recent meetings because of the Wildcats' struggles on the road, and in recent games both at home and away.
Today's game will be nationally televised on ESPN, and this game represents an opportunity for Kentucky to right the ship a bit, a ship that has been listing alarmingly to starboard in the last few games. The good news is, DeNesha Stallworth has begun to find here early-season form after gradually recovering from minor knee surgery that had her out for a month.
Let's take a quick look at the two teams:
|0||O'Neill, Jennifer||G||5-6||Jr.||Bronx, NY||24||13.0||2.4||3.1|
|3||Thompson, Janee||G||5-7||So.||Chicago, IL||24||9.5||2.0||3.1|
|10||Pinkett, Bernisha||G||5-7||Sr.||Washington, DC||21||4.2||0.9||0.2|
|11||Stallworth, DeNesha||F||6-3||Sr.||Richmond, CA||19||11.4||6.4||1.1|
|12||Sidney, Jelleah||F/C||6-2||Jr.||Queens Village, NY||24||3.5||3.0||0.6|
|13||Goss, Bria||G||5-10||Jr.||Indianapolis, IN||24||10.2||4.5||1.5|
|15||Harper, Linnae||G||5-8||Fr.||Chicago, IL||24||6.6||2.8||0.9|
|23||Walker, Samarie||F/C||6-1||Sr.||West Carrolton, OH||24||10.3||9.0||1.3|
|25||Epps, Makayla||G||5-10||Fr.||Lebanon, KY||23||3.5||1.4||1.1|
|31||Drake, Samantha||F/C||6-3||Sr.||Bardstown, KY||5||3.6||1.8||0.4|
|32||Evans, Kastine||G||5-8||Sr.||Salem, CT||23||9.2||3.0||1.9|
|50||Bishop, Azia||F/C||6-3||Jr.||Toledo, OH||24||5.7||6.0||0.5|
|0||Reynolds, Jordan||G||5-11||Fr.||Portland, OR||24||3.2||2.0||1.7|
|1||Moore, Nia||C||6-3||So.||Chicago, IL||15||2.8||2.9||0.3|
|2||Jones, Jasmine||F||6-2||So.||Madison, AL||23||5.0||3.8||1.0|
|5||Massengale, Ariel||G||5-7||Jr.||Bolingbrook, IL||19||12.5||3.2||5.8|
|10||Simmons, Meighan||G||5-9||Sr.||Cibolo, TX||24||15.2||2.5||2.5|
|11||Burdick, Cierra||F||6-2||Jr.||Charlotte, NC||24||8.3||6.8||2.3|
|12||Graves, Bashaara||F||6-2||So.||Clarksville, TN||24||9.8||6.5||1.4|
|14||Carter, Andraya||G||5-9||Fr.||Flowery Branch, GA||24||6.8||2.9||2.4|
|20||Harrison, Isabelle||C||6-3||Jr.||Nashville, TN||24||13.5||8.7||0.9|
|21||Russell, Mercedes||C||6-6||Fr.||Springfield, OR||24||7.2||5.1||0.5|
What Kentucky needs to do to win
Shoot the ball well. Tennessee is a very good offensive team, and the Wildcats must make shots to win, particularly shots near the basket where they have struggled all season.
Force turnovers. The "40 minutes of dread" hasn't been all that dread-worthy this season.
Keep the pace up. Tennessee is a little more deliberate than Kentucky, and keeping them in transition a lot might get them off their game.
Compete. At times this season, Kentucky has just failed to compete. They can't do that against Tennessee.
This is a tough spot for a Kentucky team that has underperformed expectations quite a bit this season, but injuries have had an effect. They need to show today they can get past that, and get a big road victory and find their way back into the conference race.