Wildcats Begin 50th Season of Varsity Basketball, UK Plays Host to ETSU
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky women’s basketball program will welcome East Tennessee State for its season and home opener Tuesday, Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. ET at Clive M. Beck Center on the campus of Transylvania University.
The game can be streamed on SEC Network+ with Maggie Davis and Christi Thomas on the call, and it will be featured on 630 AM WLAP and on the UK Sports Network with Darren Headrick on the mic.
Kentucky enters the contest after defeating Kentucky State, 88-71, in its lone exhibition game earlier this month. The Wildcats had four players with double-digit scoring including Ajae Petty (19), Saniah Tyler (12), Emma King (12) and Eniya Russell (12). The Cats had 24 assists on their 32 makes, with Brooklynn Miles and Maddie Scherr leading that effort with five dimes apiece.
Petty, a senior forward, showed a glimpse of what fans can expect from her this season after she scored 19 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, both of which would be career highs if the exhibition game were official. The former LSU transfer was named Kentucky’s Most Valuable Player by the head coaches at the end of summer practices, which was a result of the improvement she made on the court, the growth in her leadership and her ability to set the standard on and off the court.
The Wildcats are entering their 50th season of varsity basketball, which began in 1974-75 under Sue Feamster. Throughout the season, regardless of location, the program will acknowledge and honor the impressive people and the memorable moments that influenced its rich history.
Kentucky will sport a roster that includes 12 players, nine of which returning from a season ago. UK welcomed three newcomers in 2023-24, including freshmen Jordy Griggs and Janae Walker and Tennessee junior transfer Miles.
Of the nine returners, two were regular starters last season. One of those, Nyah Leveretter, is currently inactive because of an ACL tear and recovery that occurred last February. The other, Scherr, rejoins the Blue and White as the reigning leader in rebounds (5.1), assists (125), blocks (32), three-point percentage (37-110, 33.6%) and free-throw percentage (80-87, 92.0%).
In fact, the senior guard from Florence, Kentucky, set the school record for best free-throw percentage in 2022-23. In the process, she also set the school record for consecutive free throws with 39 straight in the midst of last season.
The Wildcats made several markings in the fact book in 2022-23, including earning 132 blocks last season, which is the ninth-most in a season in program history. Scherr made six of those blocks in a triumph against Alabama in the Southeastern Conference Second Round, which set a program record in the tournament.
The Blue and White also set a school record for the most points scored in the fourth quarter in program history, racking up 33 against Ohio on Dec. 21, 2022.
Kentucky earned a 12-19 record overall and a 2-14 record in the SEC in 2022-23, while it made another historical run in the SEC Tournament. There, Kentucky, the 14th seed, became the highest seed to each reach the quarterfinals after defeating No. 11 Florida in the first round and No. 6 Alabama in the second round. Also after Kentucky defeated Alabama in the second round, head coach Kyra Elzy owned a 7-1 record in the SEC Tournament, which tied with Melanie Balcomb of Vanderbilt for the best eight-game start for a head coach in tournament history.
Big Blue Nation is encouraged to stay up to date with the nonconference schedule promotions and game themes. For the Kentucky-ETSU season opener, the promotions and game themes are as follows:
PROMOTIONAL(S) / GAME THEMES
- Voting Day: In honor of Voting Day, fans will have the opportunity to “vote” on various elements throughout the game, including the music, the halftime game and more!
- A limited number of tickets remain for the Kentucky-ETSU game, so fans are encouraged to purchase in advance because tickets will not be guaranteed at the door.
There are numerous parking options for Big Blue Nation, relatively close to the Clive M. Beck Center.
- Fans is encouraged to use any of the lots marked with a “P” on the parking map.
- Lots marked with a “P” are available for spectators after 4:30 p.m. ET.
- Fans may also choose to park in the BTSU lot and shuttle to and from the arena, which is also labeled on the parking map.
- The shuttle service begins at 5:30 p.m. ET.
For more information on the Kentucky women’s basketball team, visit UKathletics.com or follow @KentuckyWBB on X, Instagram and Facebook.