LEXINGTON, Ky. – Freshman Tatyana Wyatt had a career-high 20 points and a career-best 10 rebounds as the 20th-ranked Kentucky women’s team thumped Evansville 100-62 on Tuesday night at Memorial Coliseum.
Maci Morris scored 20 points for the Wildcats, Alyssa Rice added 14, Taylor Murray had 11 and Jaida Roper added 10. In all, 13 Wildcats played in the game, and 11 of those players scored.
Kentucky (8-1) opened the game on a 19-0 run and never looked back, winning their second straight game. And for the second straight game, it was Morris who had the hot hand. The junior hit eight of her nine shots from the field, including four of her five attempts from beyond in the arc. In the last two games, Morris has connected on 14 of her 16 shots (87.5 percent), including six of seven (85.7 percent) from three-point range.
The Wildcats forced 20 Evansville turnovers in the contest, turning those miscues into 31 points on the offensive end. Kentucky turned the ball over only six times in the game, and Evansville only scored two points off of the UK mistakes. Kentucky used its size advantage to dominate second-chance points, as the Wildcats outscored the Purple Aces 22-3 in that category.
During the opening 19-0 run, Morris had six points and Murray had five as the Wildcats hit eight of their first 11 shots from the field, including three of their first four from behind the arc. After Evansville got on the board, on a three-pointer by Hannah Noe with 5:06 left in the first period, Kentucky scored 14 of the game’s next 16 points to take a 33-5 advantage. The Wildcats would lead 35-8 at the end of the period behind 11 points from Rice.
In the second quarter, Kentucky hit six of its first eight shots to lead by as many as 32 points. And when Morris closed the half by hitting a three-pointer as time expired, Kentucky again held that margin, carrying a 55-23 lead into the half. Morris hit all seven of her shots from the floor in the first half, including four from behind the arc, for 18 points.
The third period saw Evansville (2-5) assemble a modest 12-6 run to cut Kentucky’s lead to 62-35. But Kentucky answered with a 7-1 run near the end of the quarter to lead 75-45 after three periods of play. Wyatt had seven points in the quarter for the Cats, while Roper added six. The Wildcats would build the lead to as many as 38 in the fourth quarter, and that would be the final margin of victory.
Kentucky returns to action on Friday, as the Wildcats visit Florida Gulf Coast in Fort Myers, Fla. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. ET and the game can be seen on the ESPN App.
KENTUCKY WBB POSTGAME NOTES
Evansville at Kentucky
Memorial Coliseum – Lexington, Ky.
Dec. 5, 2017
FINAL SCORE: No. 20 Kentucky 100, Evansville 62
Team Records and Series Notes
– Kentucky rises to 8-1 this season, while Evansville falls to 2-5 overall
– Matthew Mitchell is in his 11th season as head coach at Kentucky. He is the winningest head coach in program history at 249-101.
– Kentucky has won 71 consecutive regular-season non-conference games in Memorial Coliseum, dating back to Dec. 19, 2008 vs. Alabama A&M.
– UK picked up its first win in the series tonight, but trails in the all-time series, 1-2.
o The two teams hadn’t met since Dec. 4, 2002, when Evansville picked up a 70-66 victory in Evansville.
o With the win, the Wildcats own a 12-4 advantage over teams from the current alignment of the Missouri Valley Conference.
– Kentucky will return to action this weekend, heading to the Sunshine State for a two-game road trip. UK will first take on FGCU on Friday, Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. ET before taking on Miami at 1 p.m. on Sunday. Both contests will be broadcast live on the UK Sports Radio Network with Darren Headrick calling the action.
– Kentucky used the starting combination of senior Alyssa Rice, senior Makenzie Cann, junior Taylor Murray, junior Maci Morris and freshman Keke McKinney.
o UK is 2-1 with that starting-five combination.
– The Wildcats opened the game on a 19-0 run, their second longest run of the season.
o Kentucky did not trail in the game.
– UK ended the first quarter with a 35-8 lead.
o Its 35 points in the first quarter was the most scored in any single quarter by Kentucky since moving to the four-quarter format.
o The previous high was 33 points in the second quarter against Florida on March 4, 2016.
– At the half, UK led 55-23.
o It was just the second time this season Kentucky has scored 50 or more points in a half after scoring 55 against Sacramento State in the first half of the season opener.
– Kentucky shot a season-high 57.1 percent in the game, going 40-of-70 from the floor.
o It was just the third time this season UK has shot at least 50 percent or better in the game.
– Kentucky scored at least 20 points in all four quarters for just the second time this season.
– The Wildcats reached the 100-point mark for the second time this season.
o UK also scored over 100 points against Sacramento State in the season opener, winning 101-70.
o The Wildcats have scored 100+ points 18 times under Matthew Mitchell with a 18-0 record in those games.
– Kentucky had a season-high 60 points in the paint, 12 more than the prior season-best over Sacramento State (11/10/17).
– UK’s 10 blocks today marked a season high, surpassing the previous high of nine set on Sunday vs. Tennessee Tech.
– Five UK players posted double-digit scoring in the win.
o It was just the second time this season five players have scored in double digits.
– UK’s bench outscored Evansville’s 46-12.
o Kentucky’s 46 points off the bench marked its highest total this season.
– Tatyana Wyatt recorded her first career double-double, scoring 20 points to go with 10 rebounds.
o The freshman is the first UK player to post a 20-10 game this season.
o Both her 20 points and 10 rebounds marked season highs for the freshman.
o She’s the first UK player to post a 20-10 game since Evelyn Akhator in the first round of the NCAA Tournament a season ago against Belmont (22pts/10reb, 03/17/17).
– Maci Morris recorded 20 points in the win, with 18 of those points coming in the first half.
o It was her third game with 20 or more points this season.
o She went 8-of-9 from the floor, including 4-of-5 from beyond the arc.
o Morris is the only player of the team who has scored in double digits in every game this season.
o Her one missed 3 in the game snapped a streak of nine made 3s.
o She also added two rebounds, three assists and two blocks.
– Alyssa Rice added 14 points, five rebounds and four assists.
o Her four assists were a career high for the senior.
o It was her third double-digit scoring effort this season and just the sixth of her career.
– Jaida Roper posted 10 points and dished out six assists.
o It was the fifth time she’s scored at least 10 points this season.
o It was also the fifth time she’s led Kentucky in assists this season.
o She’s recorded six assists now in back-to-back games.
– Dorie Harrison had a season-high five blocks in the win.
o She had not posted more than one block in any games prior.
– Makenzie Cann dished out a career-high six assists in the game.