By EVAN CRANE, UK Athletics
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The No. 12 University of Kentucky women’s basketball team looks to take full advantage of its unique opportunity to play an NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 game in Lexington, Ky., when it faces seventh-seeded Washington on Friday at 7 p.m. ET inside historic Rupp Arena.
Kentucky-Washington will begin the session on Friday before No. 1-seeded Notre Dame faces off with fourth-seeded Stanford in the late game at 9 p.m. ET. UK-UW will air live nationally on ESPN2 with Dave Pasch, Debbie Antonelli and Allison Williams on the call. The same crew will call the second game on ESPN. Kentucky’s game will also be available on the UK Sports Network with Neil Price calling the action.
Tickets are available for purchase three easy ways, including online at Ticketmaster.com, where you can select seats from an interactive seat map. Tickets are also available by calling the Lexington Center Ticket Office at 859-233-3535, which is open Monday–Friday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. ET. Fans can also purchase tickets in-person at the Lexington Center Ticket Office, which is located off of the High Street entrance of Rupp Arena.
Fans are encouraged to purchase all-session tickets for the best seats available. All-session tickets are $54 for adults (ages 19-64), $34 for youths (ages 0-18) and seniors (ages 65+). Single-session tickets are also available for the event and are $30 for adults (ages 19-64), $20 for youths (ages 0-18) and seniors (ages 65+).
Kentucky is coming off impressive performances in both the first and second rounds of the event, taking down UNC Asheville in the opening round and No. 24 Oklahoma in the second round. The win over OU punched Kentucky’s fifth all-time ticket to the Sweet 16, including the fourth in the last five seasons.
Overall, Kentucky is averaging 82.0 points per game in the tournament, hitting .444 from the field including .483 from 3. The Wildcats outrebounded opponents by 10 rebounds per game and had 29 assists while opponents had only 15. Junior guard Makayla Epps led the way by averaging 18.5 points per game with 5.0 rebounds per game and nine assists. Senior guard Janee Thompson averaged 14.5 points per game and had six assists.
Defensively, Kentucky limited opponents to 44.5 points per game behind a field-goal percentage defense of .240 and a .191 mark from 3. UK forced 28 turnovers and had 15 total blocks.
Washington enters this weekend’s Sweet 16 with a 24-10 overall record, including a 12-4 mark at home, 8-4 mark in true road games and 4-2 record in neutral-site games. The Huskies went 11-7 in Pac-12 play this season. Overall, UW is averaging 71.0 points per game, shooting 41.1% from the field, including 33.3% from 3. Washington is limiting opponents to 62.1 points per game and a 36.5 mark from the field.
Kelsey Plum leads the team, averaging 26.3 points per game, including 3.7 rebounds per game and a team-best 136 assists. Talia Walton is averaging 15.9 points per game with 6.6 rebounds per game, while Chantel Osahor is averaging 9.6 points and 10.8 rebounds per game.
Washington is coming off wins over Penn and Maryland in the first and second round of the NCAA Tournament and has won eight of its last 10 games with the two losses coming at highly-ranked Arizona State and vs. Oregon State in the Pac-12 Tournament.
Friday’s NCAA Tournament Lexington Regional Semifinal between Kentucky and Washington marks just the second time in program history the two schools have met in women’s basketball. Washington won the first and only meeting, 67-57, back on Jan. 7, 2008 in Lexington.
Kentucky is 5-6 all-time against teams that make up the current alignment of the Pac-12 Conference with Washington being the third Pac-12 school that Kentucky has face this season after already defeating highly-ranked Arizona State on the road and Colorado at home.