UK Women's Basketball

No place like home? UK women will find out with 2018-19 non-conference schedule.

Kentucky's Maci Morris, left, and Taylor Murray trapped Alabama forward Quanetria Bolton during an SEC Tournament game in Nashville last March. Both players return for the Wildcats this season.
Kentucky's Maci Morris, left, and Taylor Murray trapped Alabama forward Quanetria Bolton during an SEC Tournament game in Nashville last March. Both players return for the Wildcats this season. AP

In the Matthew Mitchell era, Kentucky has won almost 85 percent of its home games.

The Cats will have plenty of opportunities to build on that number this coming season, with nearly all of their non-conference games being played at home this season.

Aside from a trip to the U.S. Virgin Islands for the 2018 Paradise Jam where UK will face South Florida, UCLA and North Carolina, all but one other non-conference game is at home.

The lone exception is a Dec. 9 trip to Louisville to face the Cardinals, who advanced to the Final Four last season.

The non-conference slate features home games against Alabama State, Southern University, Virginia, High Point, Morehead State, Rhode Island, Middle Tennessee, Western Carolina, Murray State and Sacred Heart. UK hasn't yet announced if any of the home games will be played in Rupp Arena or will remain at their primary home venue: Memorial Coliseum.

Four of Kentucky’s 2018 non-conference opponents participated in the NCAA Tournament last season, including Louisville, South Florida, Virginia and UCLA. The Bruins made it to the Elite Eight.

The Cats, who didn’t advance to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in eight years last season, will return 10 of their 13 players along with forward Ogechi Anyagaligbo, who sat out last season with a knee injury.

Each of UK’s top four scorers return, starting with guard Maci Morris, who averaged 17.3 points a game and finished second nationally in three-point shooting, making 47.5 percent of her shots from long range.

Kentucky women’s basketball coach Matthew Mitchell talks about the play of junior guard Maci Morris.

Fellow senior guard Taylor Murray also returns her 11.5 points a game and team-best 136 assists and 67 steals. Sophomores Dorie Harrison (6.7 points, 3.8 rebounds) and Tatyana Wyatt (6.6 points, 3.5 rebounds) were the team’s third- and fourth-best scorers.

In all, Kentucky returns 81 percent of its scoring, 75 percent of its made three-pointers, 74 percent of its rebounding and 80 percent of its assists.

UK also adds a top-20 recruiting class that includes Rhyne Howard, who recently was one of 12 players named to the Team USA U18 roster, and Blair Green from Harlan County.

Howard was named Tennessee’s Miss Basketball and the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year.

The 16-game Southeastern Conference schedule is expected to be released later this summer, but will include home games against Arkansas, Florida, Ole Miss, Missouri and Vanderbilt and road trips to Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Mississippi State and Tennessee.

The Cats’ permanent rotational opponent is South Carolina, so UK will face the Gamecocks twice in 2019 and play home-and-away games with Louisiana State and Texas A&M.

2018-19 UK non-conference schedule

(Home games in capital letters. Times for most games to be announced later.)

Nov. 2 — LINCOLN MEMORIAL-1

Nov. 7 — ALABAMA STATE

Nov. 11 — SOUTHERN

Nov. 15 — VIRGINIA

Nov. 18 — HIGH POINT

Nov. 22 — South Florida-2

Nov. 23 — UCLA-2

Nov. 24 — North Carolina-2

Nov. 29 — MOREHEAD STATE

Dec. 6 — RHODE ISLAND

Dec. 9 — At Louisville

Dec. 15 — MIDDLE TENNESSEE

Dec. 18 — WESTERN CAROLINA

Dec. 21 — MURRAY STATE

Dec. 29 — SACRED HEART

1-Exhibition game; 2-Paradise Jam at St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands (All three games scheduled for 1 p.m. EST tip-offs)

Related stories from Lexington Herald Leader

  Comments