LEXINGTON, Ky. – Maci Morris scored 20 points as the Kentucky women’s basketball team beat Arkansas 78-57 on Thursday night at Memorial Coliseum.
Kentucky (13-14, 5-8 SEC) got 13 points and nine rebounds from senior Alyssa Rice, while KeKe McKinney and Tatyana Wyatt each had 11 points. Dorie Harrison had 10 points in just 12 minutes of action.
Arkansas was able to keep the game close in the first half by hitting seven three-point shots in the game’s first 20 minutes. But the Razorbacks made only three shots from behind the arc in the second half, as Kentucky took control.
The Wildcats controlled the boards, grabbing 44 rebounds compared with just 31 for Arkansas. Kentucky had a huge advantage inside, scoring 38 points in the paint, while Arkansas managed just 12 points in the paint. Kentucky also got 32 points off of the bench, while Arkansas had just seven.
Kentucky, and specifically Morris, got off to a quick start in the game. Morris hit two field goals and two free throws inside the game’s first two minutes to give the Wildcats a 6-0 lead. Arkansas answered with a 7-2 run to cut the UK advantage to 8-7 with 5:49 left in the period. The Wildcats would score the next six points, four of which were by Harrison, to lead 14-7. But Arkansas closed the quarter on a 13-5 run to lead 20-19 after one period.
In the second period, Arkansas was able to get within two points on four occasions, the last coming with 5:21 left in the half, when the Razorbacks cut the Wildcats’ lead to 28-26. Kentucky answered with the next nine points to take a 37-26 edge. But as they did at the end of the first period, Arkansas had a strong finish, using a 6-2 run to cut UK’s lead to 39-32 at the break. Morris led all scorers with 14 points in the half.
Early in the third period, Kentucky stretched the lead to double digits for the first time, taking a 45-34 lead on a layup by Morris with 8:05 left in the period. But Arkansas stormed back with an 11-0 run, fueled by three made baskets from behind the arc, to tie the game at 45 apiece. Kentucky answered with a 12-2 stretch, including eight points from Wyatt, to close the period with a 57-47 lead.
Kentucky opened its largest lead of the game in the fourth quarter, growing the lead to as many as 21, which was the final margin of victory.