Wildcats’ annual “Pack the House” game looks to break single-game attendance record
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The No. 7/6 Kentucky women’s basketball team puts their 25-game home winning streak on the line when it plays host to DePaul in Rupp Arena on Friday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. ET in their annual “Pack the House” game. The game will be televised live on the UK IMG Sports Network and FSN South. It also will be available on ESPN3.
“We are excited to play in Rupp Arena and we want to thank anyone who has bought a ticket already,” UK Coach Matthew Mitchell said. “We are really appreciative of that. It is going to be a record-setting night for us attendance wise, so that is exciting for our players. We want to encourage anyone who doesn’t have a ticket to get out there and we would love to make this the most well-attended women’s basketball game in the country this year. We have a chance to do that. We are really trying to impress upon our players the importance of a sharp, focused and aggressive effort tomorrow night to honor the folks who have put so much into getting out and watching this game. We are really looking forward to it.”
Last year in the “Pack the House” win over No. 6/5 Duke in Rupp Arena, UK set a new single-game attendance record of 14,508. As of Thursday afternoon, over 17,000 tickets (and counting) have been sold.
General admission tickets are still available for just $1 on Ticketmaster.com only. Just use the code DOLLARDAYS.
At the door, single-game reserved tickets cost of $9 for all ages. General admission tickets for adults are $8, while single-game general admission tickets for seniors and children (ages 6-18, 65 and over) are only $5. UK faculty, staff and children ages five and under are admitted free in the general admission seating area, while supplies last.
Overall, the Wildcats (6-1) have won five straight games this season after a thrilling come-from-behind victory over intrastate rival Louisville on Sunday. Trailing by 14 points with 15:08 to go in the game, UK outscored the Cardinals 18-6 in the final 10 minutes. Despite not seeing action in the first half, freshman point guard Janee Thompson (Chicago) became the most valuable player after hitting three straight critical free throws down the stretch and nailing the go-ahead 3-pointer with 8.5 seconds to play. Sophomore center Azia Bishop (Toledo, Ohio) also had a key play when she blocked a driving layup attempt by Louisville’s Bria Smith with just one second remaining. It marked the Cats’ first win over the Cards on the road since 1999 and their first win over a top-10 foe on the road since defeating No. 8 Western Kentucky in 1991. It also tied for the largest comeback in the Matthew Mitchell era.
Thompson ended with 13 points in just 16 minutes of action, while junior DeNesha Stallworth (Richmond, Calif.), who needs just three points on Friday to total 1,000 in her career, led UK with a game-high 14 points.
Through seven games, senior guard and All-America candidate A’dia Mathies (Louisville, Ky.) leads a very balanced scoring attack, averaging a team-best 13.3 points per game. After Mathies, nine different players average between 9.9 and 3.5 points per game. Stallworth is second on the team with 9.9 points per game, while sophomore guard Bria Goss (Indianapolis) and junior guard Bernisha Pinkett (Washington, D.C.) average 8.9 and 8.3 points per game, respectively. Junior forward Samarie Walker (West Carrollton, Ohio) follows with 8.0 ppg and a team-high 7.6 rebounds per game.
DePaul travels to Lexington for the first time since 1984 with a 6-2 record after defeating Northwestern 89-61 on Sunday. Sophomore guard Megan Rogowski scored a career-high 22 points on 8-of-15 shooting, including 4-of-9 from behind the arc. She was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll for her efforts.
Overall, sophomore guard Brittany Hrynko leads four players in double-figure scoring with 14.4 points per game. Junior forward Jasmine Penny and Nicholasville, Ky., native and former Lexington Christian Academy standout Anna Martin, follow with 13.9 and 12.1 points per game, respectively. Senior and 6-foot-3 center Katherine Harry averages a double-double with 11.1 points and 11.0 rebounds per game.
DePaul, which is receiving votes in both national polls, returns six of seven players from last season including four starters in Martin, Harry, Penny and Hrynko. The Blue Demons finished 23-11 overall, 9-78 in the BIG EAST.
“We have a really tough opponent tomorrow night,” Mitchell said. “We are going to have to play really well to win. They are extremely talented on offense. They are well coached, Coach (Doug) Bruno has a great program. They are a perennial top-25 NCAA Tournament team and watching them on film has really gotten our attention that it is going to be a tough, tough game. We are going to need to be really in sync defensively to be able to slow DePaul down.”
Friday marks just the third matchup in school history against DePaul. UK leads the series 2-0. The first meeting was in 1983 at DePaul on Jan. 26. UK won 72-48.
The Wildcats’ 25-game home winning streak is the second-longest in school history, and currently ties with Ohio State for the nation’s third-longest longest home winning streak. UK is 21-12 all-time in Rupp Arena (since 1977).