UK Women's Basketball

UK women's notes: Maegan Conwright gets playing time, makes most of it

AUBURN, Ala. — Maybe Maegan Conwright might be in the process of moving to a new neighborhood.

The Kentucky sophomore, a starter much of last season, has spent a good portion of this season residing in the coach's doghouse and at times on the UK bench.

In one game against Mississippi Valley State, UK Coach Matthew Mitchell didn't even play her a minute.

But in sixth-ranked Kentucky's 66-48 win at Auburn on Thursday night, it was Conwright getting praised by Mitchell for sparking the Cats' defense.

"She made a huge difference in our defensive energy," Mitchell said. "She energized our entire team."

Conwright had 10 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals in 22 minutes of play, her most in a Southeastern Conference game this season.

If Conwright had been frustrated with her playing time or her residence this season, she didn't let on after the game.

"At the end of the day, I just want to win, and if I'm not giving him what he wants, then I shouldn't play," she said.

Mitchell joked that he's going to keep the guard at her current abode to keep her motivated.

"She's still in the doghouse," he said. "That's a good place for her to be. ... We're not letting her out."

All jokes aside, Mitchell said he couldn't be more pleased with Conwright's effort.

"Tonight was her best game of the year," he said. "Maegan's had some struggles here and I'm impressed she's had the maturity and the toughness to work through some hard times."

Walker improving

When Samarie Walker transferred from Connecticut, Mitchell said she wasn't up to Kentucky standards as a defensive player.

But the coach was pleased with her performance Thursday night even though she made just one of her 11 shots. The sophomore pulled down 15 rebounds and had two blocks and two steals.

"I was real proud of Samarie for holding it together," Mitchell said. "It was a bad shooting night, but she continued to make contributions on the boards and defensively. You continue to see her get in the passing lanes and making plays defensively."

Sunday's game a sellout

For the second straight game and the fourth time this season, UK will play in front of a sellout crowd in Memorial Coliseum on Sunday against Alabama.

The school announced the sellout shortly before the Cats started play against Auburn.

Kentucky averages 6,149 fans a game, which is second in the SEC and 13th in the nation.

Alumni Day at UK

More than 40 former Kentucky players are expected to be a part of the Alumni Day events in Memorial Coliseum.

At the ceremonies, Kentucky will honor the 1981-82 team, which won the program's only SEC regular-season title.