LEXINGTON, Ky. – Junior Maci Morris scored 19 points and dished out four assists as the Kentucky women’s basketball team beat Southern Indiana 87-56 in an exhibition game on Sunday night at Memorial Coliseum.
Junior Taylor Murray had 11 points, six rebounds and six assists for the Wildcats, while freshman Tatyana Wyatt added 10 points and five rebounds.
Three Kentucky players (Keke McKinney, Jaida Roper and Alyssa Rice) had nine points, while Dorie Harrison added eight.
The Wildcats hit 30 of its 59 shots (52.1 percent) from the floor in the game and 21 of 27 (77.8 percent) from the free throw line. The Wildcats forced USI into 27 turnovers, converting those into 30 points. UK committed 22 turnovers of its own in the game, but the Wildcats outscored the Screaming Eagles 46-14 in the paint, and UK held a 37-11 advantage in bench points.
Kentucky got on the board first on a jumper by Harrison. But USI answered by scoring the next seven points, five of which were scored by Kaydie Grooms, who led all scorers with 20 points in the game. Kentucky cut the lead to 7-6 on a three-point basket by Morris and a free throw by Wyatt.
The Wildcats continued to trail until Rice converted an old-fashioned three-point play with 3:19 left in the period, giving the Cats an 18-17 advantage. That play started an 11-1 UK run that gave the Cats a 26-18 lead after one quarter. Morris led Kentucky with seven points in the period and Rice added five. Grooms had 12 points to lead USI.
In the second quarter, Kentucky stretched its lead by hitting its first seven shots from the field. A three-pointer by senior Jessica Hardin capped an 11-0 run that gave the Wildcats a 39-22 lead with 4:15 left in the first half.
The Wildcats would hold a 47-25 lead at the break after outscoring USI 21-7 in the second quarter. Kentucky shot 56.3 percent in the first half, but was hampered by 14 turnovers. However, UK forced the Screaming Eagles into 18 turnovers, and the Wildcats turned those miscues into 21 points. Morris led UK with 11 points in the first half, while Murray, Rice and Wyatt each had five. A total of ten Wildcats scored in the first half.
In the second half, it was much of the same, as Kentucky was able to increase the lead to 25 points early in the third quarter. But Southern Indiana mounted a 13-5 run to cut the UK lead to 58-41 with 3:31 left in the third.
Kentucky answered by scoring nine of the game’s next 12 points, and the Wildcats led 67-44 after three periods of play. Murray had six points in the third period for Kentucky and Wyatt had five.
In the fourth period, Kentucky gradually stretched its lead to as many as 31, which was the final margin of victory.
Kentucky opens the regular season on Friday, facing Sacramento State in Memorial Coliseum. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. ET and the game can be seen on SEC Network+.
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