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Cats take on Mountaineers in SEC/Big 12 Challenge

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Freshman Jada Walker has given No. 16 Kentucky a needed boost going into tonight’s game in Memorial Coliseum against West Virginia as part of the SEC/Big 12 Challenge.

“She is really special. She is vital to our team,” said UK coach Kyra Elzy Tuesday. “The intensity she plays with on both sides of the ball, you can’t describe it.

“I have been very impressed with her competitive spirit. She will continue to learn and grow. She is still learning the intricate details of our offense. We need her to be a consistent scorer.”

Walker is averaging 11 points per game. Both Rhyne Howard and Dre Edwards are averaging 19.2 points per game for  UK. Howard is also adding 7.8 rebounds per game and Edwards 6.8. Walker is averaging 11 points per game.

West Virginia (4-1) will be playing its first road game but the Mountaineers are averaging 73.8 points per game and outrebounding opponents by 6.2 per game.

“They have height and athleticism,” Elzy said about her team’s rebounding woes in some games this season.. “We have to be more aggressive, show a little more resistance in the paint. They are tough, they are aggressive. We cannot run under the rim. We have to find a body and box out. We are committed to doing that. They are also going to bring a lot of half-court pressure.”

Kentucky lost a top-25 matchup at Indiana earlier this season and Elzy knows winning at home is important for her team.

“You have to protect home. It is a sacred place and it is important to win at home,” Elzy said. “We learned a lot from the Indiana game. We are taking things we learned and are going to put them to use against West Virginia.”

Larry Vaught
Larry Vaught is a seven-time winner of the Kentucky Sportswriter of the Year award and has covered University of Kentucky sports since 1975. Larry now has a syndicated UK sports column appearing in 34 newspapers across the state as well as, and Larry also joins Mark Buerger and Anthony White on WLAP Sunday Morning Sports each week in Lexington as well as appearing each Tuesday with Tom Leach on The Leach Report.

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