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UK athletes reach department's academic goals again

University of Kentucky Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart
University of Kentucky Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart Herald-Leader

For the fifth semester in a row and sixth time in seven semesters, University of Kentucky student-athletes combined to reach the athletics department's goal of a 3.0 grade-point average.

UK's scholarship student-athletes had a cumulative GPA of 3.112 for the fall semester of 2014.

"Our student-athletes work hard to meet the high standards that come with being a part of this department and I want to congratulate them on the results showing in their grades once again," Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said. "Academics are an important part of our mission and I'm thankful our student-athletes and coaches have embraced that."

Eighteen of 20 teams posted GPAs higher than 3.0, led by women's swimming and diving (3.535), women's golf (3.484), women's soccer (3.462), softball (3.425) and baseball (3.417).

The three UK teams that reached the NCAA Tournament this fall — women's soccer, volleyball and men's soccer — all had GPAs of 3.108 or better even though postseason play coincided with the end of the semester.

UK's basketball teams both excelled academically as well. The women's team combined for a GPA of 3.335, while the men had a 3.111 GPA.

"These kids work in the classroom, and I'm proud of them," Kentucky men's coach John Calipari said. "They're not only playing selfless basketball, they're getting it done in the classroom too, which makes me just as proud."

UK reported that women's freshman Alyssa Rice and senior Jelleah Sidney both had a 4.0.

"I am extremely proud of our team for working hard during the fall semester," UK women's coach Matthew Mitchell said. "This is a credit to our players and their commitment to uncommon work ethic."

Weekly b asketball honors

■ Alexis Jennings of the UK women's team was named the Southeastern Conference's freshman of the week after leading the Cats to an 87-75 win over Tennessee State on Sunday. Jennings came off the bench to score a career-high 27 points and tie a career high with eight rebounds. It was the most points by a UK freshman since A'dia Mathies had 32 against Liberty on March 20, 2010.

■ UK men's point guard Tyler Ulis was named the Southeastern Conference's freshman of the week. He scored a career-high 14 points in a win over Louisville.

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