COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Junior Morgan Bergren was one of 12 players selected by USA Volleyball to represent the U.S. Collegiate National Team during a tour of China from June 17-27, it was announced by the association on Thursday.
The roster represents 12 different collegiate programs with athletes having remaining eligibility. The tour is being organized by Bring It Promotions. The U.S. Collegiate National Team, which will train at the University of Southern California June 13-15 before leaving for China, will play six matches against Chinese collegiate and adult teams.
"It's unbelievable," Bergren said. "It's starting my big dream of continuing to play after college, and hopefully it's helping me improve myself for Kentucky. I'm so honored and humbled and ready to experience as much as I can over there."
Bergren finished her sophomore campaign with 10.9 assists per set as UK's starting setter in all 31 matches this season. The Muncie, Ind., native contributed 130 kills, 192 digs and 77 blocks for the season. Her 1,215 assists for the year ranked third for a single-season in the 25-point rally scoring era records books at Kentucky.
"We're excited for the opportunity for Morgan," UK coach Craig Skinner said. "She's worked very hard. She tried out for the same group last year and didn't make any of the teams, so the hard work she's put in throughout the last 12 months have been significant. She'll do a great job representing Kentucky and on the USA Collegiate National Team."
The junior setter was one of four UK players who tried out for various USA Volleyball teams in February. Bergren was joined by senior Jackie Napper, sophomore Anni Thomasson and freshman Emily Franklin.
"It's always an awesome experience," Bergren said. "I went last year, just to get a feel for things, and going back this year, training hard throughout the spring, getting stronger, I felt like a totally different player going back this year. I felt pretty good and confident about it. It's always fun getting to play with the top players in the U.S., so I'm really excited to go to China with them."
USA Volleyball will have two other opportunities for athletes to take part in the U.S. Collegiate National Team program representing 60 total athletes this summer. USA Volleyball will announce later this month its 12-player U.S. Collegiate National Team that will play friendly matches in Maribor, Slovenia, and compete in the Global Challenge in Pula, Croatia. The European trip will take place July 9-18.
In addition, USA Volleyball will select 36 players to participate in the U.S. Collegiate National Team program that will train and compete in conjunction with the USA Volleyball Girls' Junior National Championships from June 22 to July 1. The players will be placed onto three teams and compete in a round-robin event along with a Canadian Senior A2 team.
Athlete selections for all three U.S. Collegiate National Team programs are being determined based on evaluations from the U.S. Women's National Team Open tryouts held Feb. 21-23 in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Visit UKathletics.com for the most up-to-date information on the Kentucky volleyball team and all 22 varsity sports. For additional info on the volleyball team like Kentucky Volleyball on Facebook or follow the team on Twitter at @KentuckyVB.
LEXINGTON - Craig Naivar, who has been a defensive coordinator or special teams coordinator for the last 15 seasons, has joined the Kentucky football staff as special teams coordinator and safeties coach, Head Coach Mark Stoops announced Thursday.
"I've gotten to visit with Craig the last couple of years and am very impressed with him," Stoops said. "He has vast knowledge, both as a defensive coordinator and as a special teams coordinator. He's a high-energy coach with a great reputation as a recruiter."
Naivar comes to Kentucky from Texas State, where he was the defensive coordinator and safeties coach the last three seasons, helping the Bobcats transition from independent status (2011) to the Western Athletic Conference in 2012 to the Sun Belt Conference in 2013. Formerly a member of the Football Championship Subdivision, the Bobcats were bowl eligible in 2013, becoming the second-fastest team in history to become bowl eligible after moving up from the FCS to the Football Bowl Subdivision.
Naivar helped produce defensive lineman Michael Ebbitt, the 2011 Independent Defensive Player of the Year, along with two All-Independent Team selections. He had two second-team All-WAC honorees in 2012 and a second-team All-Sun Belt pick last season. Two of his Texas State players are now in the National Football League, linebacker Joplo Bartu with Atlanta and defensive back Darryl Morris with San Francisco.
Naivar also coached at Texas State from 2004-06, where he was defensive coordinator and safeties coach. That term was highlighted by the 2005 season, when the Bobcats posted an 11-3 record and advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA FCS (then-Division I-AA) playoffs. The Bobcats ranked in the nation's top 25 in scoring defense and total defense while generating 33 turnovers.
It was at Texas State where Naivar first became associated with current UK defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot, who also was on the Bobcat staff. The duo moved on to Rice in 2007, where Naivar was co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach from 2007-09. Their best season came in 2008 when Rice went 10-3, the Owls' best record since the 1950s, capped by a share of the Conference USA Western Division championship and a 38-14 rout of Western Michigan in the Texas Bowl.
Individually, Naivar coached safety Andrew Sendejo, currently with the NFL's Minnesota Vikings, and safety Travis Bradshaw, who led the nation in solo tackles in 2009.
Naivar moved to special teams coordinator and defensive line coach in 2010, helping guide Rice to some impressive accomplishments. Led by All-America punter Kyle Martens, the Owls were sixth in the nation in net punting. Rice ranked 26th in the nation in punt returns and had the nation's 10th-best kickoff returner, Charles Ross, who averaged 29 yards per runback.
Born in Austin, Texas, Naivar was a four-year letterman, playing safety and quarterback, and was team captain at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas. He earned bachelor's and master's degrees at Hardin-Simmons and began his coaching career there, helping lead the Cowboys to the NAIA Division II Playoffs in 1994 and '95.
Naivar was a graduate assistant at New Mexico and TCU before landing at Southern Illinois as special teams coordinator and defensive line coach. From there he coached at Sam Houston State, serving at various times as defensive coordinator, special teams coordinator, safeties coach and defensive line coach. The top campaign there was 2001, when the Bearkats went 10-3, were co-champions of the Southland Conference and advanced to the quarterfinals of the Division I-AA playoffs before losing to eventual national champion Montana. Naivar left Sam Houston State for his first stint at Texas State in 2004.
"I'm excited to be part of the Big Blue Nation and such a prestigious university," Naivar said of his decision to come to Kentucky. "I was attracted by the opportunity to work with Coach Stoops, the energy he brings and the success he's had everywhere he's been.
"It's also exciting to reunite with Coach Eliot. He is one of the really sharp minds in college football, a great coach and recruiter."
Naivar and his wife, Michelle, have a daughter, Jordan, and a son, Gunner.
Naivar Coaching File Years School Position 1994-95 Hardin-Simmons Special Teams Coordinator 1996-97 New Mexico Graduate Assistant 1998 (spring) TCU Graduate Assistant 1998-99 Southern Illinois Special Teams Coordinator, Defensive Line 2000-01 Sam Houston State Special Teams Coordinator, Defensive Line 2002-03 Sam Houston State Defensive Coordinator, Safeties 2004-06 Texas State Defensive Coordinator, Safeties 2007-09 Rice Co-Defensive Coordinator, Safeties 2010 Rice Special Teams Coordinator, Defensive Line 2011-13 Texas State Defensive Coordinator, Safeties 2014-present Kentucky Special Teams Coordinator, Safeties
The Wildcats will play the winner of Florida vs. Mississippi State Friday, March 7 at 2:30 p.m. EST
LEXINGTON - For the fifth consecutive season, the Kentucky women's basketball team earned a first-round bye with the No. 4 seed in the Southeastern Conference Tournament. The Wildcats are preparing to square off against the winner of Florida (No. 5 seed) and Mississippi State (No. 13 seed) in the quarterfinals Friday, March 7 at 2:30 p.m. EST at the Arena at the Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Ga. The game will be carried live on SportsSouth/Fox Sports Southwest/Sun Sports, ESPN3 and the UK IMG Sports Network (radio) with Neil Price.
Fans can follow Twitter updates on @UKHoopCats and use hashtag #BeSECWBB to talk about the game.
Florida (18-11, 8-8 SEC) earned the fifth seed after falling to Texas A&M in its regular-season finale on Sunday, 83-72. Mississippi State, which defeated Missouri on Wednesday night, 73-70, in a thrilling back-and-forth game, is the 13th seed after finishing 19-12 overall, 5-11 in the SEC.
"We're always excited this time of year to go compete in the SEC Tournament," UK Hoops Coach Matthew Mitchell said. "It's a fantastic event. I've always said if you win this tournament, you've identified yourself as a very, very good basketball team. We'll have to play well and play hard and see if we can keep advancing in the tournament. We would love to win it and we're going to go down there with the mindset to win it and the players have had two good practices here before we head down this afternoon, so we're really excited to go down there to get ready to play."
UK?holds a slight, 25-24, lead over Florida in the overall series despite dropping both games against the Gators in the regular season. The Wildcats fell, 83-73, in Lexington on Jan. 5 and lost, 86-80, in Gainesville on Feb. 9.
UK is 4-2 vs. the Gators when playing in the SEC Tournament. The Cats' last matchup against the Gators in the SEC Tournament was in Nashville, Tenn., in 2012. UK won, 71-67, in the quarterfinals.
UK leads the all-time series with Mississippi State, 23-17, and won the lone meeting between the teams this season in Starkville, Miss., 81-74, in overtime.
UK is also 4-2 vs. the Bulldogs when playing in the SEC Tournament. The last matchup came in 2010 in Duluth, Ga., with UK winning, 76-65, in the semifinals.
Overall, Kentucky is 27-35 in the SEC Tournament, including 11-12 in quarterfinal games. UK has finished in the top four of the SEC standings six out of Matthew Mitchell's seven seasons and has earned a first-round bye in seven of the last nine tournaments, including five in a row.
A balanced scoring attack as helped Kentucky chart its school-record fifth straight 20-win season. All-SEC second team members Jennifer O'Neill (Bronx, N.Y.) and DeNesha Stallworth (Richmond, Calif.) lead the way with 13.0 and 11.9 points per game, respectively. Senior forward Samarie Walker (West Carrollton, Ohio) follows with 9.3 ppg and is UK's leading rebounder with 8.8 rebounds per game, which ranks fourth in the SEC. She also has 19 career double-doubles, including eight this season which ties for fourth in the SEC. Narrowly missing the double-digit scoring mark is junior guard Bria Goss (9.9), sophomore point guard Janee Thompson (9.2), and senior guard Kastine Evans (8.8).
Additional information on the tournament, including game times and online ticket links, can be found at www.secsports.com.
LEXINGTON - After opening up its home schedule with three wins last weekend at John Cropp Stadium, the No. 8/10 University of Kentucky softball team is set to start conference play this weekend as it travels to Starkville, Miss., to square off against the Mississippi State Bulldogs in a three-game set beginning Friday at 7 p.m. ET.
The three-game series is the first Southeastern Conference set of the season for Kentucky. The Wildcats and Bulldogs begin action Friday at 7 p.m. ET, followed by a 4 p.m. ET first pitch on Saturday and 2 p.m. ET finale on Sunday. Live stats from all three games will be available on UKathletics.com, while live video streaming for every game will be available at through hailstate.com (subscription required).
Kentucky (16-2) is looking to continue its best start in school history. The Wildcats started the season with 12 consecutive wins, which was not only the best start in school history but the longest winning streak in program history. Through 18 games, UK's current record is the best ever. The Wildcats stayed at No. 8 in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association/USA Today Top 25 this week, but fell two spots to No. 10 in the ESPN.com/USA Today Top 25.
UK enters the weekend having won four straight games after claiming its final game of the FAU Invitational two weekends ago before winning all three games last weekend in its first home tournament of the season. Kentucky took down Butler, Pittsburgh and EKU in the four-team tournament, claiming walk-off wins over Pittsburgh and EKU. Senior outfielder Emily Gaines was the story for the Wildcats over the weekend, hitting her first career home run against EKU in walk-off fashion.
Junior catcher Griffin Joiner paces Kentucky offensively with a .388 (19-for-49) batting average, including three doubles, six homers and 14 RBI. Gaines is second on the team with a .364 (8-for-22) average, while sophomore slappers Darington Richardson and Sylver Samuel are third and fourth on the team in average at .353 and .321, respectively. Sophomore Christian Stokes and senior Lauren Cumbess pace the team with four doubles each, while senior Emily Jolly is second on the team with five home runs and 11 RBI.
Freshman pitcher Meagan Prince paces the team with a 1.66 ERA, sitting 5-0 with 25 strikeouts in 21.2 innings pitched. Cumbess is second on the squad with a 4-0 record and 2.00 ERA, posting 29 strikeouts in 36.0 innings pitched, while sophomore Kelsey Nunley is 5-1 with a 2.52 ERA in 53.2 innings pitched with a team-best 44 strikeouts. Freshman Shannon Smith is having a good start to her career with a 1.08 ERA in 16.2 innings pitched. Shannon Smith has a 2-1 record on the year and 20 strikeouts.
Mississippi State enters the weekend with a 19-2 record and off to one of the best starts in program history. The Bulldogs, who are receiving votes in both national polls, won their first 15 games on the year before dropping a 1-0 battle to top-15 ranked Baylor. MSU is coming off a 5-3 loss to UAB on Tuesday night in Starkville.
MSU is led offensively by freshman infielder Caroline Seitz, who is hitting .354 with seven doubles, three triples, four homers and 12 RBI. Junior infielder Julia Echols is second on the team in batting average at .352 with two doubles and two homers, while sophomore outfielder Loryn Nichols has a team-high nine stolen bases. Senior catcher Sam Lenahan has five homers this season to lead the team behind 19 RBI.
Four of MSU's five pitchers have ERAs below 1.00, paced by senior Alison Owen, who is 8-2 in 63 innings pitched with a 0.78 ERA and 91 strikeouts. Freshman Alexis Silkwood is 5-0 with a 0.62 ERA in 45 innings pitched, while sophomore Jacey Punches is 6-0 with a 0.24 ERA in 28.2 innings pitched. Freshman Mackenzie Toler has thrown 3.1 innings, allowing no runs on two hits, while senior Shanna Sherrod has tossed three innings allowing no run on three hits.
Mississippi State holds the all-time record vs. Kentucky at 27-19. The Wildcats swept the three-game set against the Bulldogs last season in Lexington, while Mississippi State swept Kentucky with three one-run wins in Starkville in 2012. In fact, eight of the last nine times the teams have played each other it has ended in a team sweeping the other. Miss. State swept three-game sets in 2005, 2006 and 2012, and two -game sets in 2007 and 2008, while Kentucky swept three-game sets in 2009, 2011 and 2013. Kentucky is 11-6 against Miss. State under head coach Rachel Lawson with all six losses coming in Starkville.
The three-game series begins an eight-game road swing for Kentucky, who will return from Starkville and travel to Marshall on Tuesday for a midweek non-conference game before a three-game set with highly ranked Missouri next weekend.
For the latest on UK softball, follow @UKSoftball on Twitter and Instagram or like Kentucky Softball on Facebook.
Records Kentucky 16-2 Mississippi State 19-2
Rankings Kentucky - No. 10 in ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25; No. 8 in NFCA/USA Today Top 25 Mississippi State - receiving votes in ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 and NFCA/USA Today Top 25
Schedule/Results Friday, March 7 Kentucky at Mississippi State - 7 p.m. ET - Live Stats - Live Video (subscription required)
Saturday, March 8 Kentucky at Mississippi State - 4 p.m. ET - Live Stats - Live Video (subscription required)
Sunday, March 9 Kentucky at Mississippi State - 2 p.m. ET - Live Stats - Live Video (subscription required)
Austin Cousino collected three hits and A.J. Reed drove in three runs to boost his NCAA lead in RBI, lifting No. 22 Kentucky to an 11-4 win over Cincinnati, sweeping a doubleheader on Wednesday at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Kentucky (11-2) posted a doubleheader sweep over the Bearcats on Wednesday, getting a 7-0 win in the opener, behind the first midweek complete-game shutout in the modern era (2003-present) of the UK program from sophomore southpaw Dylan Dwyer. A native of Murray, Ky., Dwyer worked nine innings for the win in the opener.
"Dylan Dwyer did a good job throwing strikes and only walked two guys and went nine innings," UK head coach Gary Henderson said. "He didn't do a great job of 0-0 strikes, but did a very good job of throwing strikes after that. He threw a really good mix the entire day. (In a midweek doubleheader) You don't have to go a complete game, but you have to get some innings. It should really help his confidence going forward. He is really talented. It is just a matter of putting it all together. He has to stay poised, repeat his delivery and finish guys off. He did a really good job of that today."
UK also got the first career homer from freshman JaVon Shelby in the opener of the doubleheader, with the second baseman also smacking a double.
"JaVon (Shelby) keeps getting better at second base," Henderson said. "He got the opportunity to play second base for 18 innings, so that was really good. He is looking more comfortable every day. He got two hits in the first (game) and one in the second. He still has a ways to go as a freshman hitting in this league. It was a great game for him as he hit two line drives that resulted in a double and a homerun. He clobbered both those, so he is progressing and getting better."
In the nightcap, UK jumped out with two runs in the first, one in the second and a six-run frame in the third, with UC chipping away with two in the fourth and single runs in the fifth and sixth. UK added two tallies in the sixth for the final margin.
The Wildcats were led by a three-hit game from Cousino, a preseason All-America centerfielder. Cousino went 3-for-5 with a triple - his second of 2014 - and two runs scored. UK also got a two-hit game from Kyle Barrett and Zach Arnold, with Barrett going 2-for-5 with an RBI and Arnold posting a 2-for-4 game with an RBI.
UK got a 1-for-3 game with three RBI and a walk from Reed, who leads college baseball in home runs and RBI. Reed has now hit .426 (20-for-47) with four doubles, seven homers and 24 RBI in 13 games, with a .541 on-base percentage.
The Wildcats also got hits from Shelby, Ka'ai Tom and Thomas Bernal, with Connor Heady driving in one run and Max Kuhn drawing two walks and scoring twice.
UK starter Andrew Nelson worked four innings, allowing four hits and two runs - one earned - walking one and striking out three.
"That was the most relaxed in his four appearances," Henderson said about Nelson. "He should pitch well for us. He did a nice job of keeping the ball low. He got a little tired in the fourth. He did a great job of staying ahead and keeping it down through three innings."
Sophomore Taylor Martin allowed a run and two hits in an inning, with sophomore Sam Mahar working the fifth, getting an out and allowing a run. Spencer Jack (1-0) took over with the bases loaded and one out in the top of the sixth inning, getting out of the jam. Jack worked 2.1 innings for his first career win, allowing just one hit and one walk, striking out one. UK used freshman Robert Zeigler to get an out in the eighth, with Zach Strecker working a perfect ninth inning by striking out the side.
Cincinnati (2-9) starter Grant Walker (0-2) worked three innings, allowing eight hits and nine runs - seven earned - walking two and striking out four. Colton Cleary worked three innings, allowing three hits and two runs, walking one and striking out one. Austin Woodby came on to work the final two innings, striking out three.
UK will return to action on Friday opening a three-game series at Cliff Hagan Stadium with Ball State, with first pitch slated for 4 p.m. ET.
The Wildcats got on the board in the first inning, as Cousino singled with one out and Kuhn drew a walk. After Cousino stole third base, Reed grounded out to the right side, allowing Cousino to score, with Kuhn scoring after an error on UC first-team preseason All-America second baseman Ian Happ, who was playing first base, who went 1-for-7 with five strikeouts in the doubleheader.
UK added a run in the second, as Bernal was hit by a pitch to leadoff, scoring on Heady's sacrifice fly to leftfield.
In the third inning, UK busted the game open, getting six runs on six hits. Cousino led off the inning with a triple to centerfield and Kuhn followed with another 3-2 walk. Reed then smashed a two-RBI single up the middle, scoring on Bernal's double to centerfield. Arnold then scored Bernal with a single down the line, with Barrett forcing in Arnold with a two-out single to centerfield.
In the fourth inning, Justin Glass drew a one-out walk, taking third on Happ's double, scoring Glass with a ground ball RBI.
Cincinnati got a run back in the fifth inning, as Russell Clark doubled to leadoff and Matt Williams scored him with a single to leftfield.
UC got a run in the sixth inning, as Happ drew a one-out walk, scoring on Connor McVey single to leftfield.
UK added two runs in the sixth inning, as Shelby led off with a single and Barrett reached on an infield single after Shelby collided with second baseman Collin Hawk, who was charging the grounder. Cousino followed with an RBI single and after a fly out and an intentional walk to Reed loaded the bases, Tom hung a sac fly to score Shelby.
The University of Kentucky released a statement Wednesday that they are supportive of the Rupp Arena upgrades.
Executive Director of Public Relations & Marketing Jay Blanton issued the release that the university is working on the financing to help support the project.
He also said that UK's plan includes a long-term lease and new project revenues that will be generated from the premium seating and other opportunities created by the new arena.
The statement closed with pointing out that no university funds support Rupp Arena today and none will be used in the new project as well.
You can read the complete statement below.
"As the primary tenant, the University of Kentucky and its Athletic Department are supportive of this project. It will redefine Rupp Arena for the next 30 years and it is a key initiative as we focus on improving the fan experience. We continue to work on our financing plan to help support this initiative. The UK plan includes a long-term lease and new project revenues generated solely from premium seating and other revenue opportunities created by the new Rupp Arena. No University funds support Rupp today and none will be used to support this new project.
We will continue to work with the City/LCC to help make this project a success for the city, state, University and the Big Blue Nation." - Jay Blanton
The annual Kentucky Football Blue/White Spring Game, set for Saturday, April 26, at 3:30 p.m. at Commonwealth Stadium, will be a ticketed event again this year. Seating in the lower level will be reserved, and seating in the north upper level will be general admission.
A special availability for season ticket holders for the free tickets will begin Monday, Mar. 10, at 9 a.m. Current season ticket holders will receive an e-mail this week detailing how they may obtain up to six tickets:
UK students may obtain their free tickets beginning Monday, Mar. 10, at 9 a.m. at the Joe Craft Center ticket office. Students may pick up two tickets per ID.
Remaining tickets will be available to the general public through the same Ticketmaster channels beginning Wednesday, March 19 at 9 a.m.
Tickets still available on game day (April 26) may be picked up free of charge at the stadium, based on availability. Due to construction at Commonwealth Stadium, seating in the south lower and south upper level sidelines will not be available. Capacity for the Blue/White Spring Game will be approximately 42,500.
A book co-authored by John Calipari will soon be available for purchase.
"Players First: Coaching from the Inside Out" by John Calipari and Michael Sokolove will go on sale April 15.
You can get a limited edition of a signed bookplate when you pre-order the book "while supplies last."
The book can be found at participating bookstores or people can send online proof of purchase and mailing address to email@example.com with the subject line "Players First bookplate" to receive a bookplate.
JaVon Shelby Hits First Career Homer, Dylan Dwyer Tosses Complete-Game Shutout
LEXINGTON - Freshman JaVon Shelby smashed his first career home run and sophomore Dylan Dwyer worked a complete-game shutout in his third career start, leading No. 22 Kentucky to a 7-0 win over Cincinnati in the opener of a doubleheader on Wednesday at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Kentucky (10-2) posted the midweek win in the opener of a twinbill at Cliff Hagan Stadium on Wednesday, getting a run in the second, before plating two runs each in the third, fourth and seventh innings.
The Wildcats got a historic start from Dwyer, who worked the first complete-game shutout in a midweek game in the modern-era of the Kentucky program (2003-present). Dwyer's complete-game shutout was the first for UK since Alex Meyer tossed a complete-game shutout vs. No. 1 Vanderbilt in 2011. It marked the first complete-game for a UK pitcher in a midweek game since Greg Dombrowski worked a complete-game and allowed one run in a 2005 win over Murray State.
In his third career start, Dwyer worked a career-long nine innings, scattering three singles and two walks and striking out a career-high eight. He threw 113 pitches, with 65 going for strikes. Dwyer, a native of Murray, Ky., retired 10 consecutive hitters from the second to sixth innings.
Kentucky senior shortstop Matt Reida had his streak of 129 consecutive games snapped after suffering a minor injury during pregame infield/outfield. It marked the end of the 12th longest starting streak in college baseball and was the first time UK had started someone other than Reida at shortstop since 2011.
The Wildcats were led at the plate by Shelby, who went 2-for-4 with a double and his first career homer. UK also got hits from Kyle Barrett, Austin Cousino, Max Kuhn, A.J. Reed and Ka'ai Tom, with Connor Heady - making his first career start at shortstop - drawing two walks. Reed and Barrett extended their hitting streaks to 14 games, with Barrett reaching base safely in 30 consecutive games.
Cincinnati (2-8) starter Connor Walsh (1-2) worked four innings, allowing three hits and five runs, walking five and striking out four. Righty Mitch Patishall worked four innings, allowing four hits and two runs, walking two and striking out six.
The doubleheader will conclude on Wednesday at 4:14 p.m. ET at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
UK got on the board first in the bottom of the second inning, as Reed and Tom drew walks to lead off the inning, with Wilson laying down a one-out sacrifice bunt to allow a pair of runners into scoring position, with Tom motoring home on a wild pitch for the first run of the game.
In the bottom of the third inning, UK got a leadoff double from Shelby, with UK then loading the bases on a 3-1 hit by pitch from Cousino and a full-count walk from Kuhn. Reed followed with a single chopped off the first baseman's chest, allowing Shelby to score. Tom then hit into a fielder's choice, beating out the back end of the double play to force in Cousino with UK's second run.
UK stretched its lead to 5-0 in the bottom of the fourth inning, as Heady drew a one-out walk. Shelby then smashed a first-pitch offering over the leftfield fence, for a two-run homer, his first career home run.
UK added two runs in the bottom of the seventh, as Cousino singled with one out, scoring on Kuhn's RBI double off the wall in right-centerfield. After a wild pitch and an intentional walk to Reed, Tom grounded out to force in Kuhn for a 7-0 lead.
A Kentucky State University basketball player was arrested after police say he fired shots into a Frankfort building.
Devan Crain is accused of shooting into the Riverford Crossing Apartments Thursday night and damaging a window and a computer, according to the property manager.
Police said no one was in the club house at the time. According to the police report, Crain then hid the gun at a friend's house.
"Very fortunately nobody was hurt, because there is an exercise facility that's open 24 hours on the property, and it just so happened nobody was in that facility," said.
LEX 18 spoke with university officials; they say Crain is no longer on the basketball team. But LEX 18 called Crain himself, who says he is still on the team.
The Thorobreds are playing in the SIAC Basketball Championship Tournament in Alabama Wednesday night. Crain said he is there with the team for support and says it's up to the coaches whether or not he will play.
Crain is being charged with first degree criminal mischief and tampering with evidence.
Q. In the second half, you didn't exactly shoot lights out, but you made a few shots.
COACH CALIPARI: We shot 32% for the game and won. I'm happy. We're still not all the way back. Guys were really tentative. James Young, 1 for 11. Aaron (Harrison) was 1 for 6 from the three. We had open looks and passed on open looks.
Look, this is a young team. They got a little rattled. An overtime loss, go to South Carolina, had what happened there. They're a little rattled, but they're fine. They're fine. They're having a ball.
Q. With James Young's poor shooting night, do you want him to keep shooting?
COACH CALIPARI: I just said, ‘You're not going to shoot open shots, you got to come out.' Now you're playing four against five.
He and Aaron both had open shots. You got to shoot it. You got to be confident. You don't have to shoot a three, step in. You don't even have to bounce it, just don't stand out wide.
We did some things in the second half to get the ball to the baseline. I thought we did a better job of that. But we still missed every open play.
I thought Dakari (Johnson) was outstanding. Willie (Cauley-Stein) did a pretty good job defensively. But Dakari did some great stuff to get baskets for us when we needed it.
Then as bad as James shot it, he makes a 3 that matters and three free throws that matter. That was big. That was big. We could have lost the game.
Like I said, Alex (Poythress) didn't play as well as he's been playing. I'm so happy for Jon Hood and Jarrod Polson. Both of them scored. Jon scored two 3s. One they waved off.
Q. Cal, there was a play where Dakari hit a shot, you gave Jon Hood a high five.
COACH CALIPARI: Jon Hood said, ‘Coach, I'm telling you, the lob is there.' We were in the huddle. Hoody is telling us that lob is there. That's why I walked down. He said it in the huddle.
Q. You talked a little bit about it on the radio last night. How much is your hip bothering you this season?
COACH CALIPARI: It's been bothering me. But I got no excuse. I'm just a negative guy (laughter).
Q. Are you on pain medication right now (laughter)?
COACH CALIPARI: Oh, my goodness (laughter).
I'm going to say this: If Alan (Cutler) chased me, he could catch me.
Q. Has that been a rough thing, though, to deal with in season?
COACH CALIPARI: Yeah, but c'mon. I mean, I got a massage today. We're winding it down. I'm fine. I did take some painkillers. I don't take aspirin, drugs, nothing. Never smoked. I'm like ridiculous. But I took four straight days of pain pills so I could sleep. I said, ‘I'm not doing it. I stopped.'
I'm fine. Look, I'm old. I used to be young. I'm old. I'm going to have to have my hip replaced. I don't know.
Q. When you said the players are fine, they're having fun. Watching them, it doesn't always look that way.
COACH CALIPARI: Let me say this. I said this the other day. You remember when John Wall came in and said, ‘I'm not having any fun.' It really got rough. He wasn't playing as well. They were playing a way to make the game tougher for him.
That's part of being here. Then it's highlighted here because of all the glow, the other stuff, a hundred cameras, all that.
But there's no better place to coach or play than here. I just keep telling them, ‘You have to have more fun than the other team. You have to.' If we lose, I've said this for five years, who is taking responsibility? I will take responsibility. If we win, they get all the glory. So play. If we lost today, I was going to say it was me again.
I'm so mean, I didn't kiss them enough. I tried to kiss the kid on the mouth. He wouldn't take it. I would have taken responsibility. Just play.
You know, the other thing is to tell them that we're here and we're all in this together for them. But they're young. I mean, I don't read it and hear it, but I imagine they may. I have five filters before it gets to me. Any tweets, Facebook, articles written, it will go through five people before I read it, which means I don't read it.
You know what, I read stuff about me sometimes. I imagine they're reading stuff about them. Got to deal with it.
The biggest thing, today was a little bit better. When adversity hits, we have not responded here with this group. Instead of coming together when it hits, they go apart.
Now, the other side of it is when we get down 12 or 15, what happens? They fight and claw and get back in the game. So my thing is, play that way the whole time. Play like you're down 15.
That was a tough zone for us to go against, too, by the way. It's a different kind of zone. It's a 1-1-3 zone. That middleman clogs. You don't get as much drive. You have to throw it to the baseline, which we started doing. It's a different kind of zone.
Again, we got a bunch of young guys out there, talking them through stuff.
Let me just say, you shoot 32% and win, you're really happy as a coach. You're happy.
Q. There was a stretch in the second half you were getting after it. Andrew (Harrison) dove on the floor.
COACH CALIPARI: We're getting there.
Q. How much of that happens only when shots fall?
COACH CALIPARI: That's the young guys. That's what we're trying to battle a little bit. Like I said, at the end of the day, you and I know we just had to win this game. Didn't matter the score. Could have been a half-court bank shot. We have to keep building.
We have a day off tomorrow, two days, a noon game down in Florida. Absolute war. It will be a hard game for us. But it's a great game for us. It's exactly what this team needs.
Q. Talking about that Florida game, there's so many storylines you can look with them trying to go 18-0. What are you going to zone in on for that game?
COACH CALIPARI: Haven't even thought about it.
Q. Like you are playing with house money?
COACH CALIPARI: Haven't thought about it. I'm trying to figure out if I'm coming back next year or not (laughter).
I didn't do a press conference. I didn't have anything to say. Couldn't talk about the officials, and I couldn't talk about the last 10 minutes, I wasn't there. I didn't do it. All of a sudden it's like people are going nuts, losing their minds.
Q. What is the mark that Jarrod and Jon left on this program?
COACH CALIPARI: Well, they're two of the most loved players, maybe other than Darius (Miller), that I've coached here. But they're right there with him.
They're both going to have great careers because of what they've done here. Both of them already have companies that have called them about, Hey, what are you doing after you're done playing? They both have grown as young men. Jon Hood especially.
I mean, this kid, I'd like to be around him all day. Those first two years were so hard and so tough on him. It's like he said at the end of last year, I hated everybody. I hated you, coach. Now I have fun every day. I want to be coached. I'm better. I'm the best I've ever been as a player.
He's played with more NBA players than any other player in history. He played with more in his time here.
Both of them have benefited. We both benefited by having them here.
Q. You said you have five filters before anything gets to you. How did it get to you about there was some talk about you not coming in back?
COACH CALIPARI: When I went in the office, my secretary asked me, Are you not coming back next year? She said it was on Around the Horn, it was on First Take and they're doing a 30 for 30 movie on it. Really? Then Dan Patrick talked about it, Andy Katz already has my replacement.
Because I didn't do a post-game interview? Wow! We're not the most overanalyzed program in the country. I was wrong when I said that.
Q. You are coming back?
COACH CALIPARI: I hope. If I get through the hip surgery.
Again, guys, understand, tough for these kids what we've been through. But they hung tough and did it. Even now you got a couple guys that you could see were still not through the dregs of what we went through. But we win, we move on, we see what happens from here.
Kentucky Men's Basketball
No. 25/24 Kentucky vs. Alabama
Rupp Arena - Lexington, Ky.
March 4, 2014
#44, Dakari Johnson, C
On whether he feels like he is getting more comfortable as an offensive threat...
"Yes, I feel like when I get established, it's easier for me to score. And, that's due to the coaching staff just helping me every day before practice. Just learning new post-up moves to get position and stuff like that."
On whether he felt like the team really needed a win tonight...
"You know, we felt like we just needed to get back on that path of just winning. Just getting the feeling of how it feels to win and I think this is just a good start for us and, hopefully, we can just carry it on."
On where the team was confidence-wise before coming into this game...
"We just needed a win. That was the main thing. It wasn't desperate. It wasn't a must-win but we knew as a team that we had to win this game."
#3, Jarrod Polson, G
On what was going through his mind during the senior day ceremony ...
"Honestly, just how blessed I am to be a part of this. That was just kind of a final hooray for all of the cool blessings that I have had to experience in my four years here."
On sharing the moment with fellow senior Jon Hood...
"We were talking about it all day. He was talking about how he was going to shoot 15 shots in the first three minutes, and he was almost there. We were both really excited this whole past week. It was really fun for us."
On how they are preparing the younger guys for postseason play...
"Mainly just by talking to the guys. Me and (Jon) Hood, we haven't played that much in tournament times, but we've been there and know what it's like. It's win or go home. Pretty much it's just going to be getting in their ears and telling them you can't let up at all once the tournament starts. If you let up at all, it's over."
#4, Jon Hood, G
On getting that flip shot off in time...
"Yes. 18 people have told me that I got it off in time. I cannot go back, I went kind of ballistic on the court, sorry for everyone who was close enough to hear me what I said. Mr. (Joe) Lindsay who was refereeing the game told me that they could not go back and review it since it was not the last ten minutes of the game. We still got a win so it doesn't really matter."
On teammates struggling from the perimeter...
"I think that our guys right now have a conscience and something as a shooter, as a scorer you cannot have. You have to continue to think next, next, keep going and keep moving on to the next shot, and moving the next play and the next free throw"
On playing Florida next...
"We lost a tough one here a couple of weeks ago, and we just want to go down and play like we know how. If we play like we know how everything should work out and everything should be fine."
· Kentucky is 22-8 overall, 12-5 in the Southeastern Conference. Alabama is 12-18 overall, 6-11 in league play.
· Kentucky leads the series 103-37, including 54-10 in Lexington. This is the only meeting between the teams in the regular season.
· Kentucky closes the regular season Saturday at Florida. Game time is noon and will be telecast on CBS.
· Kentucky started seniors Jon Hood and Jarrod Polson, along with Aaron Harrison, Julius Randle and Willie Cauley-Stein.
· Hood and Polson opened the UK scoring by each making a 3-pointer to give the Wildcats a 6-4 lead.
· The half was played at a deliberate pace with five ties, five lead changes and neither team leading by more than four points. Alabama's Shannon Hale hit a 3-pointer to send the Crimson Tide to a 28-25 halftime advantage.
· Trailing 32-28, Kentucky went on a 15-2 run for a 43-34 lead.
o Randle began the spurt with a pair of baskets.
o Aaron Harrison broke a 32-all tie and put Kentucky ahead to stay with a 3-pointer.
o Dakari Johnson got a pair of baskets, ending the run with a dunk off a missed foul shot.
· Trailing 45-36, Alabama made an 11-3 run to get within one at 48-47 but that was the Tide's final basket of the game.
· Kentucky responded with a basket by Johnson, a 3-pointer by Young and two foul shots by Randle to stretch the lead back out to 55-47. Meanwhile the UK defense held Alabama without a basket for the final five minutes of the game.
· Kentucky finished the regular season with a 16-2 home record (.889).
· Kentucky limited Alabama to 48 points, the fewest UK has allowed this season.
· UK now 36-0 under Coach John Calipari when holding the opponent to 55 or fewer points.
· UK dominated the rebounding 41-27, leading to an 18-3 advantage in second-chance points.
· Aaron Harrison collected seven points, was second on the team in rebounds with six, and tied for a game-high three assists.
· Dakari Johnson notched nine points, making 4-of-4 from the field, with five rebounds.
· Julius Randle had 12 points and 11 rebounds, his 17th double-double of the season.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Julius Randle had 12 points and 11 rebounds and No. 25 Kentucky rallied past Alabama 55-48 on Tuesday night to end a two-game losing streak.
Needing a bounce after Saturday's loss at South Carolina with a huge hurdle looming this weekend at No. 1 Florida, the Wildcats (22-8, 12-5 Southeastern Conference) used a 15-2 second-half run to build a 43-34 lead. They added several smaller runs to hold off the stubborn Crimson Tide (12-18, 6-11) in their regular season home finale.
Kentucky avoided its first three-game losing streak under coach John Calipari and clinched second place in the conference.
It wasn't easy or pretty for the Wildcats, whose 33 percent shooting reflected their generally tentative play. But a couple of timely dunks by Dakari Johnson and 3-pointers by Aaron and Andrew Harrison keyed the run that helped put away Alabama.
Trevor Releford had 13 points for Alabama.
Johnson and James Young had nine points for Kentucky.
The senior night started out with a perfect touch.
The two classy seniors, Jon Hood and Jarrod Polson started. They each hit a three pointer as UK went up 6-4 over Alabama at the first TV timeout.
After that, the wonderful feeling of senior night quickly disappeared. The Cats once again couldn't hit a shot and once again grabbed a lot of rebounds and didn't do very much with it. Plus, they got beat on transition defense much more than Cal would have liked.
WIth Alabama up 23-21, Jon Hood throws up a wild 3 pointer because the shot clock was winding down. It bounces in and was good, but the refs missed the call and UK got nothing.
Alabama leads 28-25 at the half. UK is shooting only 24%. Alabama is shooting 42%.
Julius Randle leads UK with 6 points and 7 rebounds.
UK is winning the battle of the boards 22-14.
UK looked like a different team in starting the second half. They went on an 18-8 run to take a 43-36 lead. In that run, Dakari Johnson had two dunks and Julius Randle had one.
From a good looking run by UK, to back to confusion. UK shoots 1 for 7, turns it over 3 times and it's 45-42 UI.
James Young, was having a tough night. He was 0 for 8 before hitting a big three. UK goes up 53-47 with 3:10 to go.
UK goes on to win 55-48.
Julius Randle is the only UK player in double figures. He had 12 points and 11 rebounds.
UK shot 33% for the game and control the boards 41-27.
Because of how UK is playing and the grumbling by True Blue Fans, LEX Sports asked the question on TV and on our True Blue Fan site on Monday, is the honeymoon for Cal over?
Erin Calipari on twitter was upset.
"People saying my dad should be fired, he won 81% of games @ UK. Coach K 79% @ Duke. Roy Williams 78% @ UNC. Pitino 74% @ UL...#forreference."
ESPN speculated on Monday and Dan Patrick Tuesday morning on Fox Sports that they think, and they don't know, that Cal is going to leave.
"I think John Calipari is not long for Kentucky," Dan Patrick said. "It's just my feeling. And now, snapping at a writer here, and getting into it with an official. I think he is frustrated to watch this kind of basketball. Because as great a coach as it can be, you got to be able corral that. They have to be willing to be taught. AAU ball has damaged college basketball greatly."
Pitino does agree with either ESPN or Dan Patrick.
"I don't think Kentucky can get any better than John Calipari," Pitino said. "I'm objective. It's not a close friend, we're friendly. He's great at what he does. Now, are they having a great year? No. But, you wouldn't want to play them come tournament time. With that size, that ability and his coaching. I'm a big believer in the way he teaches, and the way he recruits. They can't get better than him."
It isn't everyday you see players disagree with Cal. You are normally not supposed to. This one is okay. Cal said it's tough having fun here playing basketball. Jon Hood and Jarrod Polson said it's been a blast.
"It's hard having fun playing ball here," Cal said. "Remember John Wall, coming into me? I'm not having fun. I think we were 19-0 at the time. It's hard to have fun here."
"I'm having a blast," said Jon Hood.
"I don't think it's tough to have fun here," Jarrod Polson said. "We have the best fans in the nation. I don't know for me personally I always wanted to play at Kentucky so every time I step on the court it's fun for me."
Perhaps the fun for this season might not be over.
Winners of seven consecutive games, No. 22 Kentucky will play Cincinnati in a two-game midweek series, with the Wildcats hosting the Bearcats in a doubleheader, starting on Wednesday at 1 p.m. ET at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
The games will be broadcast live on the UK IMG Radio Network, with Neil Price and Dick Gabriel voicing the action, live in Lexington on WWTF 1580-AM and online at UKathletics.com.
Kentucky (9-2) became a consensus top-25 team on Monday, checking in No. 22 in the USA Today, the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and the Perfect Game polls, and No. 23 in the Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball weekly rankings.
UK will turn to sophomore southpaw Dylan Dwyer (0-0, 7.50 ERA) for his third consecutive midweek start to open the year. Cincinnati will start right-hander Connor Walsh (1-1, 6.23 ERA) in the first game and righty Grant Walker (0-1, 9.00 ERA) in the finale.
The Wildcats have won seven consecutive games entering the midweek tilts with the Bearcats. UK is coming off its first home week of the year, sweeping Eastern Michigan over the weekend and posting a 7-1 midweek win over Wright State in the home opener last Tuesday.
The Wildcats posted an 8-2 win over EMU to open the series on Friday, with the teams playing a doubleheader on Saturday to avoid inclement weather on Sunday. UK swept its first twinbill test of 2014, with a 9-5 win in the opener and a 13-2 result in the nightcap.
UK's numbers during the four-game week saw UK hit .353 as a team, drawing 23 walks, getting hit by six pitches, stealing 12 bases and striking out just 14 times. On the mound, UK owned a 0.75 ERA in 36 innings, holding opponents to a .188 average.
On the year, Kentucky has hit .326 with a .439 on-base percentage, slugging 28 doubles, two triples and nine homers in 11 games, stealing 27 bases. On the mound, UK has a 2.77 team ERA, with 36 walks and 68 strikeouts in 97.1 innings, with UK fielding .965 with 12 double plays turned and five steals allowed defensively.
Individually, junior A.J. Reed is off to a blistering pace to the season, batting .429 (18-for-42) with four doubles, seven homers and 20 RBI, also owning a 3-0 record and a 1.00 ERA in 18 innings on the mound. Junior centerfielder Austin Cousino - who hit .500 over the week - has a team-high .438 average (21-for-48), with six doubles, one triple, one homer and eight RBI, stealing six bases. Junior third baseman Max Kuhn has hit .347 (17-for-49) with four doubles and 10 RBI, with fifth-year senior catcher Micheal Thomas hitting .345 (10-for-29) with three doubles and seven RBI, owning a .500 on-base mark. Rightfielder Kyle Barrett has hit .340 (16-for-47) with a homer, 11 RBI and six steals, with leftfielder Ka'ai Tom hitting .324 (11-for-34) with three doubles, five RBI and four steals, drawing four walks without striking out to open his NCAA career. Senior shortstop Matt Reida has hit .250 (10-for-40) with nine RBI and a .388 on-base percentage.
On the mound, UK's weekend rotation of Reed, Chandler Shepherd (2-0, 3.32 ERA) and Kyle Cody (2-0, 1.35 ERA) has combined in nine games for a 7-0 record, a 1.97 ERA and a .210 opponent average. In the bullpen, junior Spencer Jack (0-0, 0.00 ERA) has appeared in a team-high five games with eight innings, with freshman Logan Salow (1-0, 0.00 ERA) working in four games with nine strikeouts in six innings. Sophomore Zach Strecker (0-1, 0.00 ERA), sophomore Ryne Combs (1-0, 2.16 ERA), junior Andrew Nelson (0-0, 2.70 ERA), freshman Zack Brown (0-0, 3.00 ERA), sophomore Matt Snyder (0-0, 6.75 ERA) and sophomore Taylor Martin (0-0, 9.82 ERA) have each appeared in three games in relief.
Kentucky leads the SEC in average (.326), slugging percentage (.478), on-base percentage (.439), runs (106), RBI (92), doubles (28) and two-out RBI. Individually, Reed ranks as the NCAA in homers (seven) and RBI (20), leading the SEC in slugging (1.024) and total bases (43), while also ranking tied for the SEC lead with three wins on the mound.
Cincinnati (2-7) enters the game hitting .239 as a team, with one homer and 36 runs scored in nine games, stealing 12 bases and fielding .965 as a team. On the mound, UC has a 4.19 ERA in 77.1 innings, walking 31 and striking out 38. UC is led by first-team preseason All-America infielder Ian Happ, the No. 2 prospect in the Cape Cod League during the summer, who has hit .303 with two doubles, one homer and nine RBI.
Rankings Kentucky - No. 22 (NCBWA, USA Today, Perfect Game), No. 23 (Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball) Cincinnati - not ranked
Schedule (times Eastern and subject to change) vs. Cincinnati * March 5 * 1 p.m. ET (doubleheader)
Radio (UK IMG Network with Neil Price and Dick Gabriel) WWTF 1580-AM in Lexington
Tentative Pitching Matchups Wednesday vs. Cincinnati So., LHP Dylan Dwyer (0-0, 7.50 ERA) vs. R-So., RHP Connor Walsh (1-1, 6.23 ERA) Wednesday vs. Cincinnati TBA vs. Jr., RHP Grant Walker (0-1, 9.00 ERA)
Internet Coverage Live video, audio and stats on UKathletics.com
Stadium Cliff Hagan Stadium (3,000)
Parking Parking at Cliff Hagan Stadium is FREE.
UK will utilize two lots: the C8 lot behind Shively Sports Center, and the Parking Structure 7 on the corner of Complex Drive and Jerry Claiborne Way. Both parking lots are only steps away from Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Fans who park in the PS7 lot will be given a parking value card to exit the structure free of charge. Value cards should be picked up at the baseball ticket booth prior to the fifth inning.
Fans should not use the university "R" lots adjacent to the dorms or on the south side of Nutter Training Facility. These lots are patrolled by the university 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Fans that park in these lots may be ticketed or towed. Plenty of parking is available in the C8 and PS7 lots.
Tickets SINGLE GAME TICKET PRICES $5 - General Admission Seating - Adults $2 - General Admission Seating - Kids/Seniors
SEASON TICKET PRICES $35 General Admission $55 Reserved Seating
MOREHEAD - Morehead State Director of Athletics Brian Hutchinson has announced that Tom Hodges will not return as head coach of the women's basketball program.
Hodges compiled a 51-68 overall record and 31-35 Ohio Valley Conference record in four seasons.
A national search to fill the vacancy will begin immediately.
"I want to thank Tom for his time as head coach of our women's basketball program," Hutchinson said. "We ultimately didn't achieve the goals we set for ourselves, and as a result, it is my belief that we need a leadership change."
In Hodges' first season in 2010-11, the team finished 21-10 overall, 13-5 in the league, garnered a third-place finish and advanced to the OVC Tournament semifinals. The team was 30-58 overall his final three seasons and did not qualify for the conference tournament his final two campaigns.
He coached OVC Player of the Year Chynna Bozeman in 2010-11 and MSU's 21st member of the 1,000-point club, Terrice Robinson, all four seasons. Four players earned all-OVC honors during his tenure.
"We will be clear and focused in our direction during the search as well as the program's direction moving forward," Hutchinson said. "It is important we have success in women's basketball and are committed to doing so."
Jennifer O'Neill and DeNesha Stallworth named All-SEC Second Team, while Linnae Harper named to All-Freshman Team
LEXINGTON - Three University of Kentucky women's basketball players were honored by the Southeastern Conference on Tuesday, as junior point guard Jennifer O'Neill and senior forward DeNesha Stallworth were named to the All-SEC Second Team, while O'Neill also earned Co-6th Player of the Year with South Carolina's Alaina Coates. Freshman guard Linnae Harper was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team.
O'Neill, a Bronx, N.Y., native becomes the second UK Hoops player to earn Co-6th Player of the Year honors after Keyla Snowden was the award in 2012. O'Neill takes home her first All-SEC honor after leading the team in scoring (13.0), field goals made (121), 3-pointers made (47) and ranking second in assists (2.9). She, a two-time SEC Player of the Week, has scored in double figures in 20 of the team's 29 games this season. When O'Neill scores 10 or more points, UK is 17-3 this season.
Stallworth joins O'Neill on the All-SEC Second Team to earn her second straight All-SEC honor. A native of Richmond, Calif., she was named to the All-SEC First Team as a junior. Despite having midseason knee surgery that forced her to miss five games, she leads the team in field goal percentage (.514) and ranks second in scoring (11.9), rebounding (7.2), blocks (25) and double-doubles (6).
Stallworth has returned to form as of late by scoring in double figures in six of the last seven games. In an overtime win at Mississippi State, Stallworth scored 16 points and grabbed a career-high 20 rebounds, becoming just the sixth UK player to record 20 or more rebounds in a game and the first since Victoria Dunlap (23) on Dec. 5, 2010 at Louisville.
Harper is the 13th Wildcat to earn SEC All-Freshman Team honors and the first since Bria Goss (Indianapolis) in 2012. The Chicago native averages 6.4 points and 2.4 rebounds in 13.5 minutes off the bench for Kentucky. She has scored 10 or more points in 10 games this season and earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors after averaging 14.5 points and 4.5 rebounds in wins over DePaul and East Tennessee State.
The Wildcats begin postseason play Friday, March 7 at 2:30 p.m. ET in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament. UK will receive a double-bye to begin the tournament after earning the No. 4 seed.
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