LEX 18 True Blue Coverage

Nov 25, 2012 4:14 PM

Cats Crack the Century Mark

A'dia Mathies scored 17 points, Samarie Walker added 13 and No. 9 Kentucky forced 38 turnovers in a 100-34 blowout of USC Upstate on Sunday.

DeNesha Stallworth added 11 points and Janee Thompson had 10 for the Wildcats (4-1), who shot 50 percent in winning their 24th consecutive home game.

Bria Goss and Azia Bishop led Kentucky with six rebounds. Walker had three blocks.

Every player scored for the Wildcats, who shot 12 of 30 from 3-point range in breaking 100 points for the first time this season.

Valese McAllister scored nine points to lead USC Upstate (2-5), which was close in the opening minutes before being overwhelmed by Kentucky's defense. The Spartans shot just 26 percent and were outrebounded 42-33.

Kentucky was coming off a 73-37 victory over Morehead State on Friday, but Wildcats coach Matt Mitchell wasn't happy with how his team reacted. He had no complaints after a game in which his players were active on both ends from start to finish.

"I just felt like we gave a more energetic performance," Mitchell said. "It was a lot closer to where we were trying to get. I'm happy for the players. They worked hard to earn this victory today."

Kentucky's man-to-man defense proved tough for Upstate in the opening minutes, forcing six turnovers resulting in a 13-4 lead. The Wildcats forced 21 overall in the first half including 11 steals, leading to 26 points.

Mistakes have been a huge problem for the Spartans, who began the day averaging 27 turnovers and committed 33 in their previous game against George Washington, a 48-37 loss.

"That's been our Achilles' heel, especially against a very, very good team like Kentucky," USC Upstate coach Tammy George said. "We just struggled, obviously, with 38 turnovers. (Kentucky) played very hard and with lots of pressure. Kentucky's just solid all the way around."

Good perimeter shooting got the Wildcats started on the other end as Goss hit back-to-back 3-pointers to counter the Spartans' zone. Mathies added a couple as well, setting the stage for a 7-of-16 half from beyond the arc.

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