For those of you who don’t follow the women on a regular basis, once or twice a year they pack up and move to Rupp Arena for a game. Usually these games set record crowds, with Kentucky fans showing up to the tune of +40k to watch the Cats beat the Cards and the Blue Devils last year. This year over 22k tickets have been distributed for today’s game, and I’m looking forward to having the BBN show yet again why they’re the best fans in the nation.
Arizona State is sitting just outside the Top 25 rankings, last week having garnered 48 votes. (#25 Virginia Tech had 66). ASU is 5-2 on the season, with their losses coming at the hands of #4 Maryland and Marquette (it was 58 degrees here in Milwaukee that weekend, they were probably confused on where the heck they were). They have some good wins over St. Johns, Boston and Florida.
The last time these squads faced off was in Tempe, with the Cats coming from behind with an overtime win of 68-64. ASU returns three starters from that squad, and seven players in total. Sun Devils to watch include Sophie Brunner, who leads the team with an average of 10.6 PPG. She is the only Sun Devil who’s averaging double digits on the season.
I’ve got to be honest, in looking at their stats, I don’t think ASU will be a huge threat, as the only areas where they outshine the Cats are steals (70 on the season to the Cats 59), and blocks (28 to UK’s 27). Kentucky has performed better in overall shooting (46% to their 44%), 3 pointers (32% to their 29%), FT shooting (73% to their atrocious 59%), and rebounding (40 RPG to their 37). But as we all know, stats only get you so far in prepping for the opposition.
What should we expect to see today:
- Probably a slight drop in shooting for the Cats, who for some reason have traditionally struggled a bit on accuracy when playing at Rupp. Hopefully ASU struggles as well, or the “Rupp Effect” could even the playing field on offense.
- Taylor Murray and Evelyn Akhator having a big game. They had a beauty against MTSU Friday: Taylor led the 16 points, grabbed 7 rebounds, and pulled off 3 assists and 3 steals. Evelyn had yet another double-double with 13 points, 12 rebounds, 1 block and 1 steal. Nicely done, ladies!
- Hopefully a return to form for two of our best outside shooters: Maci Morris had just 3 points Friday, and was 0/3 from three point range, while Makenzie Cann had 6 points and went 0/5 from beyond the arc.
Tipoff is at 1 EST on the SEC Network. And if you’re not familiar with the ladies’ game, you should know that switching to quarters has made these games move very quickly...the game should be over in time for you to flip to ESPN and watch the men beat up Hofstra at the Barclay’s Center.
Until tipoff, Cat fans....Go Big Blue!