Dec 29, 2013 6:43 PM
Grambling State interim coach Lou Hamilton knew his team faced an uphill battle at No. 6 Kentucky.
Although facing the sixth-ranked Wildcats was tough enough, the Lady Tigers were missing four players and dressed just seven in a 109-46 loss on Sunday.
"We knew it was going to be tough for us to come in and make a good showing," Hamilton said. "We were very undermanned. With seven players you've got to play smart from the standpoint of fouls. You most definitely play to win and with motivation. This will give us some positive motivation going into the conference."
Hamiltom has coached Grambling State for the first 11 games this season as head coach Pat Bibbs recovers from an undisclosed surgery.
"We're just trying to hold things together as she recovers from her surgery," Hamilton said.
They had a hard time keeping up with the Wildcats from start to finish.
Bria Goss scored a career-high 23 points and had eight rebounds to lead the Wildcats (12-1), who were coming off a 69-61 loss to No. 2 Duke.
"I told the team during warmups that we were coming off a loss and it was an important game," Goss said. "We came out (early) and set the tone."
Kentucky coach Matthew Mitchell was pleased with his team's performances during the non-conference schedule, a run which included a 69-64 win over No. 7 Louisville and a 133-130 shootout victory over No. 9 Baylor.
"It was a good win for us," Mitchell said. "Our players played hard and made some good things happen out there today. I'm just really happy that the players came back from Christmas break and got some things going that we've worked on in practice. It was a great job by the team handling the non-conference schedule to go 12-1."
Joanna Miller led Grambling State (3-8) with 14 points and Jasmine Godbolt scored 10.
Kentucky set a season high for most points scored in the first half in taking a 60-19 lead. Grambling State managed seven field goals in the first half and shot 23.3 percent from the field.
Kentucky scored 100 points for the fifth time this season, with four of those lopsided victories coming at home.
Linnae Harper had 15 points for Kentucky and Janee Thompson scored 13, Samarie Walker and Kastine Evans added 11 each and Makayla Epps had 10.
Goss wasn't surprised by Kentucky's ability to spread the wealth on offense.
"I had a game-high today, but tomorrow it might be somebody else," she said. "That's what's so special about our team. We all have a tendency to score at will on offense."
They did well on defense, too.
The Wildcats forced 34 turnovers and scored 47 points off those miscues, with 26 of those coming in the first half.
The Wildcats led 8-6 during the first 5 minutes but pushed the margin to double figures with a 22-2 run for a 30-8 lead with 11 minutes remaining. Bernisha Pinkett made two 3-pointers during the spurt.
The Wildcats shift their attention to Thursday's Southeastern Conference opener at Alabama.
"It's a great conference to be a member of," Mitchell said. "Having the chance to compete for a conference championship is really exciting."