No. 18 Kentucky Rolls Past Western Carolina, 99-39
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The 18th-ranked Kentucky women’s basketball team had six players in double figures as the Wildcats beat Western Carolina 99-39 on Tuesday night at Memorial Coliseum.
Freshman Rhyne Howard led the Cats with 18 points, her 11th double-figure scoring effort in 12 games this season. Sophomore Tatyana Wyatt had a season-high 16 points, while senior Maci Morris contributed 13.
Sophomore guard Jaida Roper had 12 points for the Cats, while senior Taylor Murray and junior Amanda Paschal each had 11. Kentucky placed six players in double figures for the first time since November 17, 2016 when Makenzie Cann scored 20 points to lead six UK players in double figures in a win over New Hampshire.
Kentucky (11-1) dominated nearly every statistical category in the game. The Wildcats forced 24 WCU turnovers, and scored 33 points off those miscues. Kentucky turned the ball over just 10 times and WCU only scored four points off UK turnovers. The Wildcats won the rebounding battle 41-22, outscored WCU on second-chance points 15-3, had a 40-20 advantage in points in the paint and held a 35-9 edge in bench scoring.
The game was tight for the first three minutes, with Kentucky holding a 6-5 lead. But from there, the Wildcats took control, scoring 10 points in a row and forcing the Catamounts into five turnovers in just over two and a half minutes of play.
Later in the period, Kentucky would assemble a 7-0 run, leading 27-9 before settling for a 27-11 lead at the end of the first quarter. Wyatt scored 10 points in the quarter, while Morris had seven. The Cats forced nine Catamount turnovers, turning those into 13 points in the period.
Kentucky went on another big run to start the second quarter. The Cats scored the first 17 points of the period to extend the lead to 44-11 with 5:07 left in the half. Kentucky hit 10 of its first 12 shots in the second quarter and would stretch the lead to 56-20 at the break. Morris led all scorers in the first half with 13 points, while Wyatt had 12. The Cats hit 24 of their 37 shot attempts (64.9 percent) in the first 20 minutes.
The third quarter started in a similar fashion, with Kentucky scoring the first 11 points of the period to lead 67-20. The Wildcats would outscore the Catamounts 24-7 in the period, led by seven points from Howard and six from Roper. Kentucky held Western Carolina to two of 12 shooting (16.7 percent), while forcing eight WCU turnovers.
In the fourth quarter, the teams played evenly for a while before Kentucky pulled away late. The Cats would lead by as many as 61 points before winning by 60.
Western Carolina (2-9) got 11 points and six assists from Judith Martin Ruiz.
Kentucky returns to action on Friday, hosting Murray State at Memorial Coliseum. Tipoff is set for noon ET and the game can be seen on SEC Network+.