UK women's Samantha Drake out for season with torn ACL

jsmith3@herald-leader.comNovember 18, 2013 

Kentucky forward Samantha Drake will miss the rest of the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament and a torn meniscus in her left knee.

The senior from Bardstown injured her knee battling for a rebound in the final seconds of the first half against Central Michigan on Sunday.

Drake, a 6-foot-3 senior, will have surgery in a few weeks and then likely return with a medical redshirt by next September, a UK spokesman told the Herald-Leader.

UK Coach Matthew Mitchell broke the news Monday night on his radio show.

The former Nelson County star has played in 88 games for seventh-ranked Kentucky, with 23 starts. She has three career double-doubles and was expected to provide depth in the post.

Kentucky already lost freshman forward Kyvin Goodin-Rogers for the season after a blood clot was discovered in her lungs just before the start of the season.

Drake played sparingly in four games this season, averaging one point and less than a rebound.

The forward was suspended from the team during Kentucky's NCAA Tournament run last season, but had worked her way back into Mitchell's good graces in the off-season.

"I think a lot of Sam; I love her a lot," Mitchell told the Herald-Leader before the season started. "I want her to be successful. ... She had to search her soul to see if she wanted to play and once she made that decision, she had to do some things to get back on the team."

UK starts charity drive

Kentucky is starting a service project and encouraging fans at the next two home games (vs. Lipscomb on Thursday and vs. Bradley on Nov. 27) to bring unused toiletry items travel size or regular size (tooth brush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant) to either game. The items will be donated to Bluegrass Hospitality Group's Thanksgiving Dinner for the less fortunate.

Fans who make a donation, which can be dropped off at any UK marketing kiosk at Memorial Coliseum, will get a voucher for a free box of popcorn.

Mitchell will donate 2,000 sets of winter hats and gloves to be distributed at the dinner as well. UK also will give out a free ticket to any home game and a food voucher.

■ Kentucky's game on Sunday at Middle Tennessee State has been picked up for television by the student media there and will be carried live on the CW in Lexington. Because of television, the tip also was moved to 5 p.m (Eastern).

Jennifer Smith: (859) 231-3241. Twitter: @jenheraldleader. Blog: ukwomen.bloginky.com.

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