Hunt, Edwards Lead No. 13 Cats To Season-Opening Win
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Sophomore Treasure Hunt scored a career high 18 points, grabbed a career best nine rebounds and dished out a career high five assists as the 13th-ranked Kentucky women's basketball team beat Presbyterian College 81-53 on Tuesday night at Memorial Coliseum.
Dre'una Edwards led all scorers with 20 points, hitting nine of her 11 shots from the field. All-American Rhyne Howard had 15 points, seven assists, four steals and a blocked shot, while Robyn Benton had 12 points and four steals.
Kentucky made 34 of its 65 shots from the floor (52.3 percent). The Cats made just five of 20 from behind the arc (25.0 percent) and just eight of 19 at the line (42.1 percent).
However, UK had 50 points in the paint compared to just 26 for Presbyterian. The Cats dished out 26 assists and PC had 11. Kentucky also held the advantage in second-chance points (17-6) and bench points (34-18). The Cats forced 25 PC turnovers and turned those into 39 points, while Presbyterian had just nine points off UK's 14 turnovers.
Kentucky started slowly in the season opener for both teams. Presbyterian jumped ahead early, scoring the first six points of the game and forcing a Kentucky timeout. Out of the break, the Cats got on the board for the first time via a pair of Treasure Hunt free throws.
Later, with one second left before halftime, UK's Howard launched, and hit, a shot from just inside half court. The three-pointer gave the Cats a 38-37 lead at the break.
That shot seemed to spark the Cats, who came out with a different intensity in the second half. UK turned up the defense, forcing PC to miss its first six shots of the half, while turning the ball over four times. Meanwhile, Kentucky hit its first nine shots from the floor in the second half. That all added up to a 22-0 run that gave the Cats a 57-37 lead with 4:26 left in the third.
PC would get on the board with a pair of free throws by Trinity Johnson. The Blue Hose would not get their first basket in the second half until Bryanna Brady made a layup with 3:05 left in the period.
By the time the third quarter ended, the Cats had outscored the Blue Hose 29-6 to take a 67-43 advantage into the final stanza.
In the final 10 minutes, Kentucky would continue to extend the lead, with the final score being the largest UK lead of the game.
Kentucky returns to action on Thursday night, hosting North Alabama at Memorial Coliseum. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. and the game can be seen on SEC Network Plus.