LEXINGTON - Ninth-ranked University of Kentucky held a 63-21 rebounding edge and outscored the visiting Morehead State University women’s basketball team 46-12 in the paint Friday as the Wildcats defeated MSU 73-37.
Three players - Samarie Walker (13), Azia Bishop (10) and DeNesha Stallworth (10) - grabbed double digit boards as UK won its 23rd straight game in Memorial Coliseum.
The Eagles, who were paced by six points each from sophomores Whitney Kyle and Mackenzie Arledge, fell to 1-4. Kentucky improved to 3-1.
The Eagles trailed 6-4 early following an Almesha Jones’ layup, but the ‘Cats opened up a 14-2 run to distance themselves from the visitors, 20-6. A three-pointer by junior guard Terrice Robinson cut the deficit to 11 (20-9), but that’s as close as MSU got in the half.
UK hit just 2-of-15 from the three-point arc in the half, but forced the Eagles into only 24 percent efficiency (6-of-25). UK led 36-13 at the break.
Martinez played a career-best 16 minutes and committed only two miscues.
The host team ran out to 48-15 advantage at the 15:38 mark of the final half, but the Eagles outdueled the ‘Cats 10-4 over the next four minutes. A 50-25 UK advantage was as close as MSU got, however, as Kentucky led by as much as 42 late.
Walker completed a double-double with a team-high 15 points for UK, while Stallworth (10 points) also had a double-double. A’dia Mathies scored 11, and Bria Goss tossed in 10 tallies.
The Eagles hit seven three-pointers and forced 18 Kentucky mistakes. MSU had 24 turnovers, and UK blocked 10 Eagle shots. Morehead State finished the contest with a 29 percent (15-of-52) efficiency from the field, while UK hit just 38 percent (30-of-80). Freshman guard Kailee Howe dished off a career-best four assists for the Eagles.
Morehead State will returns to action on Wednesday at Cincinnati. Tip-off for the Morehead State-Cincinnati game is set for 7 p.m.