LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky women’s basketball team put together a complete offensive and defensive performance Sunday afternoon in front of over 4,000 fans at Memorial Coliseum, beating Gardner-Webb 72-34 to move to 2-0 on the season.
Junior guard Maci Morris was the standout player for the Wildcats with her first-career double-double, scoring 10 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. The 10 rebounds for Morris were a career high.
The Wildcats were aided by a 19-0 run midway through the first half, in which it held the Runnin’ Bulldogs scoreless for 9:02 of game time, stretching over two quarters. During the run which started at the 1:23 mark of the first quarter, seven different players scored a point.
Kentucky trailed for most of the first quarter, but UK was able to grab its first lead of the game thanks to a Kameron Roach field goal, as part of an 8-0 run midway through the first quarter. The Wildcats ended the first quarter with a 3-pointer from KeKe McKinney followed by a fast-break bucket in transition by Amanda Paschal to make it 17-12 after the first 10 minutes.
In the second quarter, UK scored the first 14 points of the frame – holding GWU scoreless for 7:39 before the Runnin’ Bulldogs were able to score a field goal with 2:21 to go. Kentucky won the quarter, 18-4 and would take a 35-16 lead into the half.
By the end of the third quarter, every Wildcat player that played in the game had a made field goal, and eight of the 10 had at least one rebound. Senior guard Jessica Hardin canned a 3-pointer, her first of the day with under a minute to play in the quarter to give the Wildcats a then-game high lead of 23 points – before GWU hit a runner in the lane as the clock expired in the third quarter.
Again in the fourth quarter, the Wildcats used a 19-0 run to put the game away, extending their lead of 19 points to a game-high 38 points at 72-34. During the 19-0 fourth-quarter run, UK had no free throws, as it was all made field goals with Taylor Murray, KeKe McKinney, Makenzie Cann, Jaida Roper, Alyssa Rice and Maci Morris all scoring in the run to close the game with a 72-34 win.
Gardner-Webb turned the ball over 16 times in the game, and UK was able to capitalize with 15 points off of those turnovers. UK also had a massive advantage off the bench, with 28 bench points to GWU’s zero in the game.
Four Wildcats ended the game with double-digits in the scoring column including team leader, Alyssa Rice (11), and Morris, Cann and Roper (10). Sunday was the first time that Rice has led Kentucky in scoring in her four-year career in the Blue and White.
Kentucky will now commence a five-day, two-game road trip out west starting on Thursday night as UK faces the Montana Griz at 9 p.m. ET from Missoula. The trip continues to the Pacific Northwest on Sunday for a 4 p.m. ET showdown with the Washington State Cougars in Pullman, Washington.