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#7 UK Hoops hosts Tennessee State: Gamethread and Preview

Tonight at 7 EST, your #7 Kentucky Wildcats take on Tennessee State in Rupp Arena. Coming off a nice Christmas break following their 71-61 win over #12 Duke, can the Cats keep up their red-hot start and improve to 11-0?

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off a seven-day break between games that started with a victory over the Duke Blue Devils last Sunday, the No. 7 Kentucky women’s basketball team returns to Memorial Coliseum tonight at 7 p.m. ET to end its 2015 nonconference schedule against Tennessee State.

The game will be televised nationally on SEC Network with Brenda VanLengen and Carol Ross calling the action. The game can also be seen through WatchESPN.

UK has been off on break since beating Duke in front of 17,150 inside Rupp Arena. The victory moved UK’s record to 10-0 , marking only the fourth time in program history a team has started a season with at least 10 consecutive wins. The strong start is the best since the 2013-14 team started 11-0, which tied a program record.

Can the ladies reach that mark tonight and beat the Lady Tigers?

Some things to know about UK entering this game:

  • UK is shooting 49.1% from the field this season to rank eighth nationally and second in the SEC.
  • UK's 3-point field goal percentage is at 41.5, which is fourth nationally and first in the league.
  • The Cats rank 12th in the nation in assists per game at 18.5.
  • On the defensive end of the floor, UK ranks 12th in the nation and second in the league in field goal percentage defense at 33.0, while sitting 27th nationally in scoring defense, allowing 54.4 points per game.
  • The Wildcats are also forcing 21.1 turnovers a game, which ranks 21st nationally.
  • Junior guard Makayla Epps ranks 11th in the nation in assist-turnover ratio, 29th nationally in assists per game and 74th in field goal percentage
  • Senior guard Janee Thompson is 21st nationally in assists per game and 20th in the nation in 3-point field goal percentage.
  • Junior forward Evelyn Akhator is averaging 10.1 rebounds per game, which ranks first in the SEC and 32nd in the nation.
  • UK is ranked seventh in the latest USA Today/Coaches Top 25 and the Associated Press Top 25. The Wildcats have been ranked in each poll since week 13 of the 2009-10 season, the longest-ranking streak in program history.
  • On the other side, the Lady Tigers are led in scoring by junior guard I’mani Davis, who is posting an average of 13.5 points per game and is tied for first on the team in rebounding with an average of 6.7 boards per contest.
  • Also leading in the rebound category is Jayda Johnson, who is averaging 12.5 ppg.
  • Brianna Lawrence is the third Lady Tiger averaging in double figures with 10.8 ppg and leads the team in 3-point field goals made, with 20 while also leading the team in steals with 39, which ranks fifth in the nation.

And last and most importantly, Go Cats!