Kentucky vs. Virginia preview

After posting impressive wins in its first two games of the season, the University of Kentucky women’s basketball team looks to keep its winning ways alive Thursday as it heads downtown to historic Rupp Arena to play host to 2018 NCAA Tournament participant Virginia at 8:30 p.m. ET.

The game will be televised live on the SEC Network with Brenda VanLengen and Andraya Carter on the call. The action can also be seen through WatchESPN on computers, smartphones or tablets. Darren Headrick will have the call on the UK Sports Network on 630 WLAP in Lexington. Live stats and free live audio will be available online at UKathletics.com.

Kentucky (2-0) is coming off back-to-back dominating wins to start the season, taking down Alabama State, 87-35, and Southern, 91-41. Both wins were by 50 or more points, marking the first time in program history that UK has won consecutive games by 50 or more points. The Wildcats earned both wins with strong performances on both ends of the court. In the two games, UK has forced 72 turnovers and scored 92 points off those miscues. Offensively, UK has shot 43.1 percent from the field, 46.0 percent from long range and racked up 44 assists on 62 made baskets.

Kentucky (2-0) is coming off back-to-back dominating wins to start the season, taking down Alabama State, 87-35, and Southern, 91-41. Both wins were by 50 or more points, marking the first time in program history that UK has won consecutive games by 50 or more points. The Wildcats earned both wins with strong performances on both ends of the court. In the two games, UK has forced 72 turnovers and scored 92 points off those miscues. Offensively, UK has shot 43.1 percent from the field, 46.0 percent from long range and racked up 44 assists on 62 made baskets.

Freshman guard Rhyne Howard, who was named the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week on Tuesday, is leading the team by scoring 22 points per game with 5.0 rebounds per game and 3.5 assists per game. The native of Cleveland, Tenn., is shooting 53.6 percent from the field and 62.5 percent from long range. Against Southern, Howard hit seven 3s which tied the program record for 3s in a game. Fellow freshman Blair Green is averaging 8.0 points per game with four total rebounds and three steals.

Virginia enters the game with a 0-1 record after falling in its season and home opener, 72-44, to fellow SEC foe Mississippi State. The Bulldogs built a 45-17 lead at halftime before UVA won the third quarter 18-10. The Cavaliers shot just 26.2 percent from the field in the game, going 16-for-61 overall and 5-for-13 from long range. UVA had 23 turnovers and State scored 26 points off those miscues.

Dominique Toussaint led the Cavaliers with 19 points on 7-of-18 shooting with three rebounds and two steals. Felicia Aiyeotan had four points and 16 rebounds with four blocks, while Brianna Tinsley had six points and two rebounds in the game.

UVA is in its first season under head coach Tina Thompson, who was named the fifth head coach in program history in April after serving as an assistant coach at Texas. Last year, UVA went 19-14 (10-6 ACC) and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Virginia returns four starters and eight letterwinners from that squad.

This is the first all-time meeting between Kentucky and Virginia in women’s basketball. UVA is the first of three ACC teams that UK is scheduled to face this season with the other two being Louisville and North Carolina.

Be sure to follow UK Fans All Day on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram for all your Kentucky sports news. God bless and Go Big Blue!

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