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No. 15 Wildcats Ready to ‘Pack The House’ vs. No. 23 Arizona State

Makenzie Cann (Vicky Graff Photo)

Makenzie Cann (Vicky Graff Photo)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – After getting back in the win column with a hard-fought victory over Middle Tennessee State Friday, the No. 15 University of Kentucky women’s basketball team returns to action Sunday at 1 p.m. ET inside historic Rupp Arena against No. 23 Arizona State.

The game is the annual “Pack the House” contest for the Wildcats as over 21,000 tickets have been distributed for the game. Single-game tickets are available online through at $9 for lower-level reserved seats and $8 for upper-level general admission. Only a limited number of general admission seats are available. Senior citizen (65+) and youth (6-18) tickets are available for $5, while children age five and under will be admitted free (based on availability) in upper-level general admission. In lower-level reserved seating, all patrons require a ticket regardless of age.

The game will be televised nationally on SEC Network with Melissa Lee and Debbie Antoneli calling the action. The game can also be seen via WatchESPN through computers, smartphones and tablets. For the 12th consecutive season Neil Price will have the call on the UK Sports Network. Fans in Lexington can hear Price’s call on Fox Sports 1580AM.

More than 10,000 convenient parking spaces are available within a 10-minute walk of Rupp Arena. In addition, most surrounding parking lots and parking garages offer spaces for individuals with disabilities. A parking fee will be in effect for most all Rupp Arena events. A parking map is available here.

Kentucky (7-2) is coming off a 61-48 victory over Middle Tennessee Friday night in Memorial Coliseum. The Wildcats dominated down low in the game, outscoring the Blue Raiders in points in the paint 34-20 and out-rebounding MTSU, 44-22. The +22 rebounding margin was Kentucky’s largest of the season. Sophomore guard Taylor Murray led the Wildcats with 16 points and seven rebounds, while senior Evelyn Akhator recorded her sixth double-double of the season with 13 points and 12 rebounds.

On the season, Kentucky is averaging 75.2 points per game and shooting 45.8 percent from the field. Senior guard Makayla Epps leads the way for UK by averaging 18.7 points per game, adding 4.2 rebounds per game, while Akhator is averaging a double-double with 14.8 points and 10.3 rebounds per game. Two additional Wildcats are averaging in double figures with Murray earning 12.3 points and 5.2 rebounds per game and Maci Morris averaging 10.7 points per game.

Sunday’s game is the lone contest in Rupp Arena this season for the Wildcats. UK is 25-14 overall in the historic arena and has won five of the last six regular-season games it has played in Rupp. UK went 2-1 last season in the arena, defeating Louisville and Duke in the regular season before falling to Washington in the NCAA Tournament. Matthew Mitchell is 6-6 as a head coach in Rupp Arena.

Arizona State enters Sunday’s game with a 5-2 record to start the season, only having suffered losses to No. 4 Maryland and Marquette, which is receiving votes in the latest AP Poll and USA Today Coaches’ Poll. The Sun Devils are 0-1 on the road this season and 1-1 in neutral sites.

Most recently, the Sun Devils took down then-No. 19 Florida 69-63 in the championship game of the ASU Classic on Dec. 4. Four ASU players scored in double figures in the game, including senior forward Sophie Brunner who led the team with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Senior center Quinn Dornstauder followed close behind with 13 points and 8 rebounds. Kianna Ibis also added 12 points and Kelsey Moos scored 11.

Brunner is the only member of the team averaging double-digit scoring with 10.6 points and also leads the team in steals with 13 (1.9 per game). Dornstauder leads ASU in rebounding, with 5.7 per game.

ASU returned three starters and seven letterwinners from its 2015-16 squad which went 26-7 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Kentucky and Arizona State met last season in Wells Fargo Arena with the Wildcats earning a 68-64 victory over the Sun Devils. Epps led Kentucky with 20 points, including eight points in overtime. Akhator scored five points with 10 rebounds in the game. The Wildcats shot 43.3 percent from the field in the game, limiting Arizona State to 39.3 percent from the field. Arizona State out-rebounded Kentucky, but UK had a 44-26 advantage in points in the paint and a 19-11 advantage in points off turnovers. The meeting was the first in program history between the two teams.

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