Four days after suffering its first loss of the season, Kentucky travels to Louisville?s Freedom Hall to play host to its annual neutral-site game in the venue. The Cats play host to Austin Peay on New Year?s Eve at the home of the UofL Cardinals, who defeated UK 65-56 in Rupp Arena on Saturday.
Kentucky has played more than 140 games in Louisville (113-30 all-time) and owns a 50-16 record in Freedom Hall. UK has won 17 of its last 20 games in the venue. The Wildcats also own a 2-0 record vs. Ohio Valley Conference schools so far this year with victories over Tennessee Tech and Eastern Kentucky in Rupp Arena.
Less than two weeks remain before Kentucky opens Southeastern Conference play against Vanderbilt Jan. 10. After taking on Austin Peay, UK returns to the friendly confines of Rupp Arena to face its third ranked opponent of the season in No. 9 North Carolina. The game will mark Roy Williams? first appearance in Rupp Arena since his Kansas Jayhawks defeated UK 88-71 on Dec. 8, 1990.
The Austin Peay Governors
The Governors enter Wednesday?s game with a 3-6 overall record and have lost four of their last five games. Austin Peay has been idle since a 70-56 loss at Middle Tennessee on Dec. 23, just three days after falling to Louisville 80-63 at Freedom Hall.
Adrian Henning leads the team in scoring, averaging 13.8 ppg and 7.3 rpg. Anthony Davis and Josh Lewis also are scoring in double figures, averaging 12.4 ppg and 10.4 ppg, respectively.
Dave Loos is in his 14th season in Clarksville, holding a 201-187 record at the helm of the Austin Peay program. He?s in his 18th season as a head coach with a 283-240 career record.
Kentucky and Austin Peay have met on the hardwood just three previous times, with UK winning each of the contests. The first series meeting came on March 15, 1973 – a 106-100 Wildcat win in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.
The schools last met just over 15 years ago on Dec. 27, 1988, an 85-77 UK victory in Louisville?s Freedom Hall.
UK vs. Ohio Valley Conference
Kentucky is a perfect 24-0 against current members of the OVC and holds a 2-0 record against the conference this season after defeating Tennessee Tech and Eastern Kentucky earlier this year. Kentucky plays the OVC more than any other non-SEC league this season.
Home Away from Home
Kentucky could easily call Louisville a second home after playing more than 140 games there, dating back to the 1908 season. The Wildcats own a 113-30 (.790) record in the ?River City? and have won 17 of their last 20 games in Freedom Hall.
Last season, the Cats downed Indiana in the arena before falling to Louisville a week later. Kentucky defeated Tulane at the venue in during the 2002 season.
Kentucky is 1-0 all-time against Austin Peay in the arena after meeting there in 1988.
Freedom Hall opened in 1957 and the Cats helped to christen the facility by winning the 1958 NCAA Championship there. UK?s ?Fiddlin? Five,? led by Vernon Hatton and Johnny Cox, upended Temple and Elgin Baylor-led Seattle to grab Adolph Rupp?s fourth NCAA title in 11 seasons.
Winning Spree in 2003
Kentucky will close the 2003 calender year against Austin Peay on New Year?s Eve. Kentucky owns a 32-2 record so far in 2003, which includes most of the Cats? amazing 26-game win streak, which was tops in the nation last season.
The Wildcats are 26-1 in regular-season games this year, with its only loss coming to Louisville last weekend.