No. 5 Kentucky loses F Stallworth for 3-4 weeks
Kentucky starting forward DeNesha Stallworth will be sidelined
up to four weeks after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery.
Stallworth had surgery on Wednesday to remove loose cartilage in
her left knee. She was averaging 14.2 points and 7.0 rebounds for
the fifth-ranked Wildcats (9-0).
Azia Bishop will start in her place for Thursday night’s game at
DePaul (4-2). Jelleah Sidney also will get extra playing time, with
Wildcats coach Matthew Mitchell saying he plans to use a four-guard
The team lost reserve forward Samantha Drake for the season
after she tore her left anterior cruciate against Central
Mitchell says the Wildcats’ depth has prepared them to handle
”Everybody in the country has some type of adversity in
different ways,” Mitchell said during a news conference. ”I think
we’re as well-equipped to handle it as anybody. We have 10 really
good players available for us tomorrow night against DePaul and we
have to embrace this as an opportunity to get better.”
Stallworth scored 16 points, grabbed nine rebounds and made four
steals in Kentucky’s 133-130, quadruple overtime victory over No. 9
Baylor on Friday. Mitchell said her knee kept swelling after the
game and kept her from practicing Monday and Tuesday before having
While the coach said Stallworth’s injury was news he didn’t want
to hear, the damage isn’t serious and he expects her to return ”as
good as new” in time for the beginning of Kentucky’s Southeastern
In the meantime, the 6-foot-3 Bishop, 6-2 Sidney and freshman
guard Makayla Epps will assume bigger roles for a Wildcats team
coming off consecutive wins over top-10 teams.
Bishop has been a key reserve for Kentucky with per-game
averages of 6.1 points, 6.3 rebounds and a team-high 11 blocks.
Sidney has played in every game and averaging career bests of 3.1
rebounds and 2.8 points including a career-high nine against
Epps, 5-10, is averaging 5.3 points and coming off scoring nine
points against Baylor. She can play several spots and is being
counted to provide support for forward Samarie Walker.
Kentucky will need everybody to weather the absence of one of
their best players.
Said Mitchell, ”we feel good about our prospects of handling
this piece of adversity.”