After struggling at various points in the season, the No. 11 Kentucky Wildcats have clawed their way to No. 3 in the SEC behind a 10-4 record and are just one spot out of the AP Top 10. With freshman guard Rhyne Howard doing it all for the Wildcats, repeatedly coming up clutch in key moments to drive Kentucky toward big wins, confidence doesn’t seem to be an issue for this team.
With Howard just winning her eighth Freshman of the Week award, and this team being 15-2 at home, conditions are right for the Wildcats to pull even against the No. 19 Texas A&M Aggies in conference play. Tonight marks the second and final regular-season meeting between these teams this season. In the first contest on Jan. 27, the then-No. 25 Aggies edged out a two-point victory over the then-No. 15 Wildcats.
Kentucky enters this one with a big win over now-No. 14 South Carolina (Feb. 21) and LSU (Feb. 24). The win against South Carolina in Columbia marked the first time the Wildcats beat the Gamecocks on their home floor since 2012.
The Aggies enter this one with recent wins over Tennessee (Feb. 21) and Florida (Feb. 25).
With both teams trending upward in the last month, and nearly even in terms of points allowed and points scored per game, expect both teams to leave everything on the floor, but with the Wildcats looking to extend their winning streak to seven straight games.
No. 19 Texas A&M Aggies (21-6, 10-4) at No. 11 Kentucky Wildcats (23-5, 10-4)
When: Thursday, Feb. 28, at 7 p.m. ET
Where: Memorial Coliseum, Lexington, KY
How to tune in: SEC Network Plus
Teaira McCowan marches on — shoe or no shoe
Already a strong contender to repeat as Defensive Player of the Year, No. 5 Mississippi State senior center Teaira McCowan is locked in and ready to hold the Bulldogs at No. 1 in the SEC ahead of the conference tournament, with the NCAA Tournament on the horizon. But what happened when she lost a shoe in a game recently provided a deeper look into her dominance.
No shoe? No problem. McCowan made the shot anyway, before tossing the shoe away. Crazy old ankle support? Who cares? Get it out of her way! Play continues and she sees a shot that needs to be blocked? Shoe or no shoe, the result is the same: REJECTION.
See it to believe it:
Taking a page out of Cinderella's book.#HailState pic.twitter.com/cX6xY8CyNx— MSU W. Basketball (@HailStateWBK) February 26, 2019
Elsewhere in the SEC:
- Rhyne Howard strikes again! The 6-foot-2 guard is now an eight-time winner of the SEC Freshman of the Week award. Howard came up clutch in key moments against South Carolina one week ago, guiding Kentucky to its first win against the Gamecocks since 2012.
- Georgia senior Caliya Robinson was awarded Player of the Week honors after scoring 20 points or more in three straight games, tallying consecutive double-doubles and averaging an impressive 25 points, 12.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 3 blocks and 3.5 steals for the week.
- A clear-bag policy is in place for the SEC championships. Here are the rules.
To check out the other SEC teams in action this week, review the complete schedule.