No. 15 Kentucky Travels to Ole Miss Thursday

LEXINGTON, Ky. – After back-to-back wins last week at home, the No. 15 University of Kentucky women’s basketball team looks to keep its winning ways going Thursday as it travels to Oxford, Mississippi for a 7 p.m. ET tip vs. Ole Miss.
The game vs. Ole Miss will be streamed on SEC Network+ with Seth Austin and Lindsay King on the call. The action can be seen through WatchESPN on computers, smartphones or tablets. Darren Headrick will have the call on the UK Sports Network on 630AM WLAP in Lexington. Live stats and free live audio will be available online at
Kentucky (14-3, 6-3 Southeastern Conference) is coming off two wins last week against Alabama and Missouri, winning both games in different ways. UK scored 81 points with a season-high tying 23 assists and 10 3-pointers against Alabama, while it limited Missouri to just one 3-pointer and 55 points in a defensive battle inside Memorial Coliseum. Rhyne Howard led Kentucky in both games, scoring 16 points with eight rebounds and seven assists against Alabama before 22 points and 10 rebounds for her fourth double-double of the season against Missouri.
Howard has led Kentucky this season by averaging 19.3 points per game while ranking second with 6.9 rebounds per game. The guard is also second on the team with 52 assists and 24 steals. Senior guard Chasity Patterson is averaging 12.5 points per game and leads the nation with 61 steals, while sophomore forward Dre’una Edwards leads the team with 7.2 rebounds per game and adds 11.6 points per game.
Ole Miss enters Thursday with a 7-7 record, including a 1-7 mark in league play. The Rebels are in year three under head coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin, who has a 23-52 record with the program. As a team, Ole Miss is averaging 73.9 points per game while allowing 61.8 points per game. The Rebels are hitting 44.5 percent from the field and 34.8 percent from long range with a +3.3 turnover margin and 16.3 assists per game.
Shakira Austin leads the team with 16.8 points per game and 7.8 rebounds per game while Donnetta Johnson is averaging 13.5 points ad 4.3 rebounds per game. Madison Scott is the third Rebel averaging double figures at 10.6 rebounds per game while Snudda Collina leads the team with 29 3-pointers made.
Ole Miss leads the all-time series in games played against Kentucky, 23-19. The Rebels lead the all-time series in games played in Oxford, 13-8. This is the second straight game in the series in Oxford after UK defeated the Rebels 94-52. UK has won three of the last four in the series, including each of the last two in Oxford.
For more information on the Kentucky women’s basketball team, visit or follow @KentuckyWBB on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.


On Rhyne Howard and Dre’una Edwards strong play vs. Missouri and how it carries over to Ole Miss …
“As far as Rhyne goes, we need her to continue to be the vocal leader on the floor. Obviously, she scored well and was very efficient going 7-of-8 from the free-throw line, but she really makes everyone else around her better. She is an unbelievable passer. I think she did a better job and we have challenged her to go to the boards and rebound. She finished with 10. Dre makes our offense different. She keeps the defense honest when she can slow down and catch the ball and actually see the rim, she is dynamic. Not only can she score around the rim, but to be able to get the ball and lead the break and pick and pop makes her extremely versatile. We need both of them in a big way.”
On what she has learned from the first of the season to now …
“I have learned a lot in my first year as a head coach. I am going to write a book about all the firsts that I have experienced. I think the biggest think is trusting what you believe in, trusting your gut instinct. This job does not come with a rule book. So evaluating yourself and taking that time to evaluate yourself after practice and after games. Making sure that you hold your players accountable for what you think is important. What you deem is important is what they will too. The biggest thing is to continue to have honest, open conversations with the players and allow them to give me feedback so we can adjust. It has been a great start but I would not be able to do this without the amazing staff that is surrounding me.”
On the team not seeming to keep the foot on the gas for 40 minutes …
“That is a great question. I think that just goes back to our focus for 40 minutes and we talk about it that in this league you are not allowed to play 32 minutes or 34 minutes. This league is tough and no one is going to give you a victory. You are going to have to grind it out. Some games, it may go down to the wire because of the level of competition that you are playing. But I think consistently we have to lock in for 40 minutes on both sides of the basketball.”
On if the team is healthy …
“We are COVID free and will take the floor with a full roster.”
On the team’s biggest improvement this season …
“I think our offensive execution. That does not mean that we always hit shots, there are games where we have not. However, I think they are confident in what we are running, how we are setting people up to score and where their shots are coming from. I think we have really taken a step forward offensively. I would like to see us build upon our defense. We have gotten better, but definitely not where I want to be. That is part of the journey during the season.”
On how she has been accepted with the other coaches in the league …
“People have been amazing to me with the outpouring of love and support. I receive text messages from hall of fame coaches that are either giving me advice or encouragement. That is always a good feeling. I am open and still learning and a work in progress. To have advice from Coach Lin Dunn or Coach Mickie DeMoss or Coach Andy Landers, I am all ears. In order to be the best, you have to learn from the best and also have to continue to prepare and not be afraid to fail. I am going to make some mistakes and that is part of the journey – all coaches do – but learning from the mistakes and getting better.”
On Rhyne Howard developing into a passer …
“She has really taken a step forward. She trusts her teammates. Her basketball IQ is extremely high and she has excellent court vision. Sometimes she can be a little too unselfish, but I can appreciate the fact that she is trying to get everyone involved. She keeps everyone confident. She does understand – as talented as she is – she needs her teammates to hit shots, to loosen up the defense, to get rebounds, to get defensive stops, so it is a team game. It is a team game and she is trying to get everyone involved because she is only as good as our team. She does understand that one.”
On Ole Miss …
“They are playing extremely hard right now. I told the players, their record is not indicative of who they are. They are athletic and they play hard. Shakira Austin makes them different. Even (Donnetta) Johnson hitting shots and (Iyanla) Kitchens setting screens. They are a very dangerous team and we have to match their intensity.”
On Rhyne Howard making her teammates more confident …
“They do look to Rhyne and her vocal leadership this year has been amazing. Her first two years, she barely said anything on the floor it was just give me the ball and you all follow my lead. For her to acknowledge them and challenge them and her coach them on the floor and them coach her as well and all be receptive is huge. I think it is how we practice. We go in saying we need everyone and when your number is called step up. We want to play to everyone’s strength and we play position less basketball and we want everyone being confident in themselves offensively and defensively and I think that starts in practice.”
On Rhyne’s offensive game …
“Last year, one of the things we had worked on all summer long and preseason was getting her to finish through contact – that was a point of emphasis. This year, she wanted to extend her range. She sent me a text and Damian Lillard was basically shooting one step across half court and she sent me a text and said, ‘that is going to be me,’ and I said great. I would love for you to extend your range, but get in the gym and let’s work on it and if you shot over 40 percent from that range then let it fly – I like it. That was her point of emphasis this year. Two things we continue to work with her on is coming off the ball screen and going downhill – making sure she is tight shoulder to shoulder. Then people give her so much attention coming off the stagger screens, so changing her pace and make sure she is shoulder to shoulder on the screen. That is something that we continue to work on with her.”