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Big Blue Preview: Kentucky vs. Texas A&

Since falling to South Carolina early last week, Kentucky seems to have found its way on the basketball court. A win at then-fifth-ranked Tennessee happened last Saturday, which was followed by a win over Georgia on Tuesday night.

How did such a dramatic change happen in such a short amount of time? Senior forward Jacob Toppin explained.

“We’re staying disciplined. We’re focused on what we need to do, winning every day,” Toppin said. “Taking it day by day. We’re not trying to get complacent and get used to winning. We want to still have that chip on our shoulder and understand that we have to be the chasers. We’ve got to hunt and not be hunted. Everyone’s locked in, everyone’s dialed in to winning every day.”

The Cats are hoping to have consecutive good days, whether that’s in practice, in games or whatever. UK head coach John Calipari calls it stacking good days.

“That’s what we’re trying to do, we’re trying to stack days,” Toppin said. “Every day, we’re trying to win, whether it’s a day we’re just scripting and not even practicing, just being dialed in mentally. Being able to win every day helps with that winning mentality for games.”

Part of that is being focused on the task immediately at hand. That means not looking forward to the next game before addressing the practices that come before it.

“We’re not worried about tomorrow, we’re worried about today,” Toppin said. “We’re worried about how we can get better today. It starts with film and then, once we get on the court to practice, we worry about winning that practice.”

The Cats will face another challenge on Saturday when Texas A&M visits Rupp Arena (2 p.m. ET, ESPN). The Aggies are 13-5 on the season, including a perfect 5-0 mark in the Southeastern Conference.

Coach Buzz Williams’ team has won seven games in a row entering Saturday’s contest. Wade Taylor IV leads A&M in scoring at 15.2 points per game. Tyrece Radford scores 12.2 points per outing and Julius Marble averages 9.9 points per game, but is scoring 15.6 points per contest in SEC play.

Senior Oscar Tshiebwe is once again in the thick of the conversation for the nation’s best player after sweeping every major National Player of the Year honor a season ago.
Tshiebwe currently leads the Cats in points per game (17.3), rebounds per game (13.8), field-goal percentage (.580) and blocks per game (1.1). He’s second in steals per game (1.7).

Tshiebwe put together a performance for the ages in a come-from-behind win over Georgia on Jan. 17. He poured in a career-high 37 points and added 24 rebounds. More about that historic performance.

• The last Wildcat with a 35-point, 20-rebound game was Mike Phillips, who had 35-20 vs. LSU on Feb. 2, 1976.

• It was the the fifth 35-20 game in UK history, also Phillips (listed above), Dan Issel (36-29 vs. LSU on Feb. 22, 1969), Cotton Nash (34-20 vs. Tulane on Jan. 11, 1964) and Bill Spivey (40-34 vs. Xavier on Feb. 13, 1951).

• Per ESPN, Tshiebwe’s 24 rebounds are the most for a Division I player with a 35-point game in the last 25 seasons.

• Per ESPN, Tshiebwe’s 24 rebounds are the most in a 35-point performance in the last 25 seasons. UNC’s Brice Johnson had 23 in 2016, Oklahoma’s Blake Griffin had 23 in 2009 and Texas’ Kevin Durant had 23 in 2007.

• Tshiebwe (24) and teammate Jacob Toppin (11) combined for more rebounds (35) than Georgia’s entire team (31).

• He became just the third player in program history to have multiple games of at least 24 rebounds, joining Dan Issel and Cotton Nash as the only others to do so
• It is the fourth 30-point game of his career.

• The 37-point game tied Malik Monk vs. Georgia (1/31/17) for most points in an SEC game and the third-most point in any contest in the Calipari era.

• Tshiebwe’s 37-point, 24-rebound game against Georgia was the fifth such contest of his UK career (at least 22 points and at least 18 rebounds). He now has five of the seven games of 22 or more points and at least 18 rebounds by an SEC player in the last 10 seasons. No other player has more than one and the feat had not been accomplished since South Carolina’s Sindarius Thornwell did so against Alabama on Feb. 7, 2017.

• Tshiebwe also has tallied four 20-point, 15-rebound games so far this season after seven a season ago. He has 11 of the 53 20- point, 15-rebound contests by SEC players in the last 10 seasons.

• Tshiebwe has amassed six games of at least 20 rebounds in two seasons with the Cats. All UK players combined have totaled five other 20-rebound games since the 1973-74 season
• Tshiebwe is one of two players in the NCAA this season averaging more than 17 points and 13 rebounds per game (Zach Edey – Purdue).

• He is the only player in the country averaging at least 15 points, at least 13 rebounds, at least 1.5 steals and at least 1.0 blocks per game.

• Tshiebwe paces the country for the second year in a row with 13.8 rebounds per game
• He leads the nation with 5.17 offensive rebounds per game.

• With 1,299 points and 1,101 boards, Tshiebwe is one of two players nationally to total at least 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds over the last four seasons, joining North Carolina’s Armando Bacot (1,616 points, 1,202 rebounds). Tshiebwe has played 27 fewer games than Bacot.

• Tshiebwe made his season debut at the Champions Classic and played 34 minutes in his first action of the season. Tshiebwe had a team-high 22 points and a game-high 18 rebounds
• In two games in the event (including last year vs. Duke), Tshiebwe averaged 19.5 points and 19.0 rebounds per game.

• In just 49 games for Kentucky, Tshiebwe ranks 23rd all-time in program history with 712 rebounds.

• He has registered a double-double in 39 of 50 career games for the Wildcats, ranking fourth all-time in program history. Dan Issel owns the record with 64 over three seasons.

• In 50 games as a Wildcat, Tshiebwe has only been outrebounded by an individual opponent once, when Alabama’s Brandon Miller pulled down seven boards on Jan. 7, 2023. Two of his teammates (Jacob Toppin this season vs. South Carolina State and TyTy Washington Jr., last season against Ohio) have been the only players to outrebound him in a game

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Sport

Matchday Guide: Boro vs Mariners

Take a read our matchday guide ahead of tomorrow’s game vs Grimsby Town at The Lamex Stadium in Sky Bet League Two…

Kicking off at 3pm in Sky Bet League Two, Steve Evans’ men know three points will be enough to secure promotion to League One when Paul Hurst’s Mariners visit SG2.

In front of a sold-out Lamex Stadium, the atmosphere is set to be electric as Boro aim for one more win to complete their season objective.

Saturday’s fixture is completely SOLD-OUT. No tickets will be sold on the day, so if you do not have a ticket, please do not travel.

For those with seat tickets, we recommend arrival at the stadium earlier than usual to ensure you are seated in your allocated seat.

Our North Stand and East Terrace are operating at 90% capacity due to restrictions placed by the Safety Advisory Group.

A Message to Supporters
At this crucial stage of the year, we must remind you in the interests of safety for everyone inside our stadium, that the pitch is for managers, players and match officials, while the stands are there for you to support the team.

Pitch incursions are dangerous and anyone who does encroach onto the playing surface will face strong sanctions that could include a ban from attending matches here at The Lamex Stadium, across the country and police action.

Furthermore, the use of pyrotechnics or smoke bombs at football grounds also carries an automatic ban and is something we take very seriously.

We appreciate your relentless support for our Club, but please do not put others at risk in doing so.

supporters are encouraged to stick around after Saturday’s final home league game of the season against Grimsby Town, in anticipation of the 2022/23 Supporters’ Association End of Season Awards.

As a reminder to supporters, these awards can only take place if the pitch is clear and safe for the players.

Club Shop & Ticket Office…
The Stevenage FC Club Shop is open at the earlier time of 11:30am on Saturday, closing at kick-off. The shop will also be open briefly at full-time.

Visit us in-store to collect Barrow AFC (A) tickets or purchase and browse our new leisurewear selection.

The North Stand Ticket Office, located on Broadhall Way, opens at midday and closes fifteen minutes after kick-off (3.15pm) for match ticket collections or queries. No tickets will be sold on the day.

Food & Drink…
The 76 Lounge

Open to home & away supporters from midday, at half-time for North Stand ticket holders and again for all from full-time to 8pm.

Supporters can also purchase hot food and drinks inside The 76 Lounge from 3.15pm which can be accessed via both side door of the North Stand.

Fans can move between The 76 Lounge and the tea bar area inside the North Stand to purchase food & drinks.

The Broadhall Suite

The Broadhall Suite is open to both sets of supporters from midday until kick-off, with a variety of drinks to choose from as well as a hot food matchday menu. This venue opens once again at full-time until 8pm.

Tea Bars

Tea bars around The Lamex Stadium are card only when purchasing food and drink around the ground.

How to Follow…
UK-based supporters can listen to Stevenage vs Grimsby Town with an iFollow Audio Match Pass, available to purchase for £2.50.

Overseas supporters can watch the action live with an iFollow Audio Match Pass, available for just £10.

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Sport

Match Preview: Stevenage vs Grimsby Town

Stevenage can secure promotion to Sky Bet League One tomorrow as they welcome Grimsby Town to a sold-out Lamex Stadium…

After Tuesday’s triumph in Swindon, Stevenage sit third in League Two and four points clear of Stockport County in fourth with just two games left to play.

Grimsby Town occupy eleventh place in the league table and, whilst they are unable to reach the play-off places, they will undoubtedly be looking to spoil Stevenage’s fun. The Mariners’ away form has been satisfactory this campaign, winning nine away league fixtures from twenty-two. Grimsby also had a successful FA Cup run, reaching the Quarter finals before being knocked out by Brighton and Hove Albion.

They have had a mixed bag of results recently, so will be unpredictable going into tomorrow’s match. On Tuesday, they picked up a 2-0 victory at home to Crewe Alexandra through goals by Gavan Holohan and Danilo Orsi. But three days prior, Grimsby suffered a 2-0 defeat away to Tranmere.

Paul Hurst is currently enjoying his second spell as Grimsby boss after spending 2011-2016 in charge of The Mariners. Last season, he led his side to National League Play-off Final glory, after beating Solihull Moors at The London Stadium. Hurst previously had managerial spells at Ipswich, Scunthorpe, Shrewsbury and Boston United.

Will Finnie has been appointed Match Referee for tomorrow’s match, with Scott Williams and Damith Bandara as Assistants, and Stephen Finch as Fourth Official.

Finnie has handed out ninety-five yellow cards and just one red in thirty matches this campaign.

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Sport

The Link Between Religicide and Violence Against Women

Violence against women has emerged as one of the hallmarks of religicide. Religious, civil society and business leaders must stop it in its tracks.

Involuntary sterilization and birth control in China. Honor killing in Iraq. State-sponsored rape in Myanmar. Forced marriage in Syria. Female genital mutilation in sub-Saharan Africa.

These are among the weapons used to control women today and throughout history – and likely among the many practices that will be denounced and discussed today on International Women’s Day. Yet an unrecognized form of human rights violation must be added to this litany of abuses in which women’s bodies are the battleground: religicide.

Religicide is the systematic, highly targeted effort to eradicate an entire religion, including its practices, adherents, sacred spaces, habitats and cultural heritage. Religicide plays out largely by controlling the reproductive choices of women, who they marry and who has access to their bodies.

Violence against women has emerged as one of the hallmarks of religicide. It has been practiced in China against Uyghur Muslims, in Iraq against Yazidis and in Myanmar against Rohingya Muslims. This abuse of women is a form of genocide-in-slow-motion.

Intimate partner violence is the most common form of violence against women, affecting around 641 million women and girls globally, according to the World Health Organization. Religicide fosters a form of such violence – rape, which is used as a weapon to wipe out religious identity. In religicide, women forcibly “married” to men of other faiths – or no faith – often must submit to those men or risk losing their lives along with their religious identities. Children from these marriages are under their father’s control. Women escaping religious enslavement would have to abandon their own children.

In China, the Communist Party is taking control of Uyghur women’s bodies through forced birth control in the form of implants, involuntary sterilizations and pills, according to The New York Times and other outlets. Some women say they’ve been forced into giving up their faith and marrying Han Chinese men. They’re free to get pregnant in these marriages – with babies through whom their Muslim faith will not likely be passed on.

According to a report by Human Rights Watch, women say they have been raped repeatedly in prison and subject to genital torture with electric prods. Outside of prison, according to the rights group, Uyghur women’s reproduction is monitored by the local government. There are harsh punishments for unauthorized pregnancies, with violators being sent to reeducation camps. Unless removed by a state-approved medical practitioner, those who take out intrauterine devices – even for medical reasons – are subject to fines and imprisonment.

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