No. 25 Kentucky Improves to 3-0 After Stopping Host Montana 71-54 Thursday Night
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MISSOULA, Mont. – Junior guard Taylor Murray (pictured) scored 18 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as the 25th-ranked Kentucky women’s basketball team won at Montana 71-54 on Thursday night.
Junior Maci Morris added 16 points while sophomore Jaida Roper had a career-high 14 points to go with a career-best five rebounds.
The Wildcats hit 25 of 58 (43.1 percent) from the field while holding Montana to just 16 of 56 shooting (28.6 percent). Kentucky won the battle of the boards 41-36 and outscored the Lady Griz in the paint 26-20.
Freshman Dorie Harrison had nine points and eight rebounds, while senior Alyssa Rice had eight points and a career-high tying nine rebounds for the Cats.
Kentucky (3-0) raced out to a 9-2 lead early in the contest behind a pair of field goals by Murray and a three-pointer by Morris. Montana cut the lead to 12-9, but the Wildcats finished the period by scoring eight of the last 12 points in the frame to lead 20-13 after one quarter.
In the second period, it was Montana getting off to a quick start, as the Lady Griz scored the first nine points of the frame to take a 22-20 lead with 5:29 left in the half. Kentucky went more than five minutes without scoring before Roper tied the game at 22-22 with 4:50 left in the half. The game would be tied 27-27 at the break.
Kentucky opened the third period with a 13-2 run to take a 40-29 advantage. Murray had six points during what proved to be the decisive stretch in the game. From there, Kentucky expanded its lead to as many as 13 on two occasions before settling for a 47-37 lead after three quarters.
In the fourth quarter, Kentucky led by as many as 20 points before winning by 17.
Montana (1-2) was led by McKenzie Johnston, who scored 12 points.
Kentucky returns to action on Sunday when the Wildcats visit Washington State in Pullman, Washington. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m. ET on Pac-12.com
Photo by Tommy Martino for UK Athletics