LEXINGTON, Ky. – Maci Morris scored a season-high 22 points and three other Wildcats reached double figures as the Kentucky women’s basketball team topped High Point 71-49 on Sunday afternoon at Memorial Coliseum.
Morris, the senior from Bell County (Ky.) High School, made eight of her 16 shots from the field, including a pair of three-pointers, to go along with a perfect four-of-four showing at the free throw line. Morris added five rebounds, two blocked shots, an assist and a steal in the game.
Fellow senior Taylor Murray had 14 points and three steals for the Cats, while freshmen Blair Green and Rhyne Howard each scored 10.
Kentucky (4-0) hit 26 of its 59 shots (44.1 percent) from the field, including six of 16 (37.5 percent) from behind the arc. But the Wildcats held High Point to just 28.3 percent shooting (15-53) in the game and forced 19 Panther turnovers.
High Point took an early 5-0 lead, as Kentucky missed its first five shots from the field. The Wildcats got on the board when Morris connected on a pair of free throws with 6:40 left in the first period. Amanda Paschal hit two free throws to cut the lead to 5-4 with 5:27 left in the period. The Cats’ first made field goal came on a jumper by Morris with 4:08 left in the first period, but Kentucky still trailed 7-6 at that point.
But Morris’ field goal was part of a 16-0 run that Kentucky used to close the first quarter. The Wildcats led 20-7 after one period, making six of their final eight shots from the field in the period.
In the second quarter, High Point used a 9-4 run, including back-to-back three-pointers from Emma Bockrath, to cut the UK lead to 26-16 with 6:22 left in the half. But Kentucky answered with threes from Howard and Morris to lead 32-18 with 4:47 remaining in the half. Kentucky would lead by as many as 17 points in the quarter before settling for a 42-28 lead at the half. Morris led the Cats with 13 points and Murray had 12 in the game’s first 20 minutes.
High Point scored the first three points of the third quarter, but Kentucky scored the next seven to extend its lead to 49-31. In fact, Kentucky would assemble a 15-4 run to take a 57-35 lead with 1:49 left in the quarter. Kentucky forced five High Point turnovers in the third quarter and turned those into 12 points, and the Cats would lead 57-37 after three periods of play.
In the fourth quarter, Kentucky would lead by as many as 26 points, eventually winning by the 22-point final margin.
Bockrath, a senior guard from Dayton, Ohio, led High Point with 14 points.
Kentucky returns to action on Thursday, facing South Florida in the 2018 Paradise Jam in the Virgin Islands. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m. ET and the game can be seen on FloHoops.com.
- Kentucky used the starting combination of senior guard Taylor Murray, senior guard Maci Morris, freshman guard Rhyne Howard, sophomore forward KeKe McKinney and redshirt junior forward Ogechi Anyagaligbo.
- This was the first time UK has used this starting combination this season.
- The Wildcats got off to another slow start offensively missing its first six shots before Maci Morris hit a jumper with just over 4 minutes left in the first quarter.
- HPU started on a 5-0 run before UK finished the first quarter on a 16-0 run as part of a 20-2 run overall to take a 20-7 lead after the first 10 minutes of play.
- Seniors Taylor Murray and Maci Morris scored 15 combined points in the first quarter with Morris leading the way with eight and Murray with seven.
- Both teams were more efficient offensively in the second quarter with UK winning the quarter, 22-21.
- HPU’s 21 points in the second quarter were the most UK has allowed in a quarter this season.
- Ten of HPU’s 21 points were from free throws as UK got into foul trouble in the second half with Howard, Morris and Roach all with 2 or more fouls.
- High Point had more points off turnovers than UK at halftime with seven.
- Kentucky outscored High Point 15-9 in the third quarter including a 8-2 run to end the period.
- The run helped UK earn its first 20-point lead of the game at 57-35 with 2:05 left.
- UK earned its largest lead of the game at 4:58 in the fourth quarter, 69-43.
- The Wildcats have had at least a 15-point lead in every game this season.
- Kentucky had 15 assists on 26 made baskets and has had 15 or more assists in three of its four games this season.
- Senior guard Maci Morris led all scorers with 22 points going 8-of-16 from the field with five rebounds.
- Morris now has 1,263 career points, which ranks 19th most in program history. She needs 53 more to tie Bria Goss for 18th all-time in school history in points scored.
- Morris has 185 career 3-pointers made which ranks third in program history. She needs 12 more to tie Jennifer O’Neill for second all-time in program history.
- This was Morris’ first 20-point scoring game of the season and the 13th of her career.
- Morris has now led Kentucky in scoring 26 times during her career while Sunday’s performance was her 69th career game with 10 or more points.
- Senior guard Taylor Murray went a perfect 5-for-5 from the field for 14 points.
- Murray now has 1,014 career points and is the 34th player in school history with 1,000 career points.
- Murray has 343 career assists and needs 6 more to tie A’dia Mathies for 10th all-time in program history.
- Murray has now led Kentucky in assists 44 times during her career.
- Freshman guard Blair Green scored 10 points in the game, going 5-of-10 from the field with four rebounds and a team-best three assists.
- Green has scored in double figures twice this season.
- Sophomore forward KeKe McKinney had a season-best nine rebounds.