Wildcats Roll Over Coastal Carolina 79-53 in Women's Basketball Action

Compiled by UK Athletics

Jada Walker in action against Coastal Carolina (UK Athletics Photo by Eddie Justice)

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL POSTGAME NOTES KENTUCKY VS. COASTAL CAROLINA SUNDAY, NOV. 13, 2022 MEMORIAL COLISEUM - LEXINGTON, KY. Kentucky 79, Coastal Carolina 53 – FINAL Team Records and Series Notes

· The University of Kentucky women’s basketball program is in its 49th season with an 885-569 (.609) all-time record.

o The Wildcats improved to 3-0 this season, including 3-0 at home in 2022-23.

· Kyra Elzy is in her third season as the head coach of the Wildcats, holding a 40-21 overall record.

o Elzy is 25-7 at home, including 23-5 record inside Memorial Coliseum and 2-2 mark inside Rupp Arena.

· In their first-ever meeting, Kentucky leads the all-time series with Coastal Carolina, 1-0.

· Kentucky will host Bellarmine for its next game Thursday, Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. ET n Memorial Coliseum.

o It will mark UK’s final home game before it travels to The Bahamas to compete in the Baha Mar Hoops Flamingo Championship.

Team Notes

· Kentucky used the starting combination Jada Walker, Maddie Scherr, Robyn Benton, Blair Green and Nyah Leveretter. The Wildcats are 3-0 using that starting combination this season.

o Kentucky won the opening tip.

o Blair Green was the first Kentucky player to score in the game.

o Adebola Adeyeye was the first substitute off the bench.

· Kentucky began the game with a 7-0 run, thanks to the scoring effort of three different players.

o Kentucky held Coastal Carolina scoreless until 7:31 in the first quarter, but the Chants’ first score in the first quarter allowed them to make a 5-0 run.

o It remained back-and-forth until Kentucky rallied a 6-0 run around the fourth minute of the first quarter.

o The Chants scored the next four points.

o The Wildcats ended the first quarter with a 6-0 run, capped by a layup from Jada Walker.

o Kentucky led Coastal Carolina, 21-11, at the end of the first quarter.

· Coastal Carolina scored first in the second quarter, cutting Kentucky’s lead to single digits.

o Robyn Benton and Walker continued their impressive scoring effort with a layup, followed by a 3-pointer, respectively. The Chants responded with a 3-pointer of their own, but Benton and Walker went back-to-back once again, helping the Wildcats to a 30-16 lead before the five-minute mark.

o It was back-and-forth through the middle of the second quarter, until Kentucky went on a 9-0 run to conclude the half. Meanwhile, it kept Coastal Carolina scoreless for the final three-and-a-half minutes of the second quarter.

§ Benton had a block in the final seconds of the second quarter.

o Kentucky led Coastal Carolina, 43-23, at halftime.

· The Chants scored first to start the third quarter, but the Wildcats responded with a 10-0 run over the next 38 seconds as Kentucky extended its lead over Coastal Carolina, 50-25, at 7:45 in the third quarter.

o Since Kentucky’s first score in the third quarter at 9:28, it went on a 19-4 run over the next four-and-a-half minutes. That was a series that included three 3-pointers.

o Scoring evened out the rest of the third quarter.

o The Wildcats scored a season-high 30 points in the third quarter, compared to the Chants’ 16 points.

o Kentucky led Coastal Carolina, 73-39, at the end of the third quarter.

· Freshman guard Amiya Jenkins scored first in the fourth quarter on a layup at 8:40.

o Her score helped Kentucky open up the fourth quarter with a 4-0 run.

o Coastal Carolina followed up with a 4-0 run for themselves, but Emma King snapped the streak with a jumper.

o Despite King’s jumper, the Chants’ continued their scoring efforts, going on a 14-2 run for the last five-plus minutes of the game, which included a 10-0 run to conclude the game.

o Kentucky scored just six points in the fourth quarter, as the Wildcats introduced several new lineups.

o Kentucky defeated Coastal Carolina, 79-53.

· Kentucky had its second straight game shooting at least 47.0 percent from the field, shooting 47.0 percent against Coastal Carolina on 31-of-66. The Wildcats went 4-of-20 from the arc.

o The Wildcats forced the Chants to commit 32 turnovers, scoring 27 points off those miscues, while the Cats had 25 turnovers themselves.

o The Wildcats shot a season-high 81.3 percent from the line, going 13-of-16.


Player Notes

· Kentucky had three scorers in double digits for the second straight game.

· Sophomore guard Jada Walker had her first career double-double, leading the team with a career-high tying 21 points on 7-of-9 from the field and 3-of-3 from long range and a career-high 10 assists.

o The last time a Kentucky player has had a double-double in points and assists was Rhyne Howard (22 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists) against Winthrop on Nov. 21, 2021.

o It marked her third 20+ point game in her career.

o It marked the second time this season she has led the team in scoring.

o She added a season-high five steals, three rebounds and a block in 26 minutes of action.

· Graduate guard Robyn Benton had a season-high 19 points on 6-of-10 from the field and 7-of-8 from the line.

o Benton has scored in double digits all three games this season.

o She added a season-high five rebounds, four steals, a career-high tying two blocks and two assists in 24 minutes of action.

· Graduate guard Blair Green had 10 points on 5-of-9 from the field.

o She has scored in double digits for two straight games.

o She added a season-high five rebounds in 21 minutes of action.

· Three players tied for the team lead in the battle on the boards including Benton, Green and junior forward Ajae Petty with five apiece.

· Junior guard Eniya Russell had a career-high tying four assists, adding a steal, a block and a rebound in 21 minutes of action.

Maddie Scherr (UK Athletics Photo by Eddie Justice)

POSTGAME QUOTES


Kentucky Head Coach Kyra Elzy

On if she really made the team shoot 150 free throws after Friday’s game …

“Yes, we absolutely did. We took 150 free throws on top of about 50 additional free throws before that, but you know it’s a big part of the game and we have to be able to get up there, knock them down with confidence, and if they didn’t shoot 80 percent, they had to come back today and make 150 before game day practice today. Thirteen for 16 today, so very proud that we bounced back.”

On the 32 turnovers they forced as a team today…

“You know, I was so proud, I told the players if our defensive intensity and energy today, that’s more what I’m looking for. Jada Walker, Robyn Benton, set the tone for us defensively. I was happy to see us flying around loose balls, taking charges, and we generated 27 points from our turnovers so we didn’t put as much pressure on our offense.”

On Jada Walker playing the point…

“Jada and Maddie (Scherr) are both point guards on the floor and I have the luxury to play both of them. Jada played a majority of the point today and she had a phenomenal game, I thought she was aggressive, I thought she was poised. Offensively not only did she score 21, which is a career high for her, but also 10 assists today. Let’s not forget about what she did on the defensive end.”

On if Walker is one of the best guards in the league…

Well Jada is one of the best guards in this league and you now, we can’t worry about how people vote or what they say. Finished product, you do what you’re supposed to do and at the end you have a chance to make one of the All-SEC teams. It’s up for grabs, preseason is preseason, that doesn’t mean that’s what it’s going to be in the final.”

On importance of depth that the team lacked last year…

Well, it’s great to have depth, that you have a bench of people that can come in and make plays. Whether it’s Eniya Russell, she can come in, Ade (Adeyeye), she brings the energy defensively and she’s going to rebound. Amiya Jenkins can come in and score, so we have some pieces so that’s where depth plays a big part of what we do.”

On bench performance in the fourth quarter…

“Yeah, I would just say that we’re a work in progress. Everyday, you know, having a game experience until you get some, so some of its nerves, some of its lack of experience, and everyday, we have to use these opportunities to learn. So, we will go back and watch the film, but also just trying to prepare them in practice because given that day, we are going to need everybody on our roster, so just trying to get them some confidence, but also showing them how they can grow.”

On getting better each game…

“Yes, yes we have. We have gotten better. You know, I talked to our players, they’re so competitive and they want everything right now big picture. We’re not going to be playing our best basketball right now, and I told them, we’re not looking for perfection but I am looking for progression every game. So, we took a step forward from game one to two, two to three, so if we keep progressing we are going to be a very special basketball team.”

On UK committing 25 turnovers…

“Oh yes, do not worry we talked about those 25 turnovers. They knew it right away, but you know a lot of it was hats off to Coastal, I thought they pressed us, changed up their defense, they were very aggressive. We weren’t meeting our passes so we made some careless turnovers as well. That’s something that we’re working on in practice, so in practice if we turn the ball over more than two times we’ll have a development because that’s a run. So just being cognitive of how much we’re turning the ball over. Our goal is 12 or less, we’re going to commit some, but 25 is way too many.”


Kentucky Student-Athletes

#1, Robyn Benton, Gr., G

On the halftime break to have a great third quarter…

“Well, the coaches they preach to us like don’t go out there playing around. Third quarters are like one of the most important quarters of the game and just keep going and start fast.”


On team chemistry now compared to a few weeks ago, a few months ago…

“Day-by-day, you earn a dollar every day. We just keep on building on it, we just hope that our team chemistry is the best towards the end of the season.”


On what the team worked on over the one-day break to improve their offensive presence…

“The past two days you know, we toned it down – we shot like 150 free throws each. And basically, they’ve been preaching to us like our defense can turn into offense. We didn’t have a lot of transition points the previous two games, so they were honing on us about our defense and create transition points."


#11, Jada Walker, So., G

On bouncing back from the last game…

“This game was definitely a chance to rebound. I feel like I could’ve played better two days ago, so just to come back today and play even better. And the fact that I got beat up last game, so just being tougher and pushing through.”

On being comfortable with playing different positions…

“Yeah, playing off the ball was an adjustment for me just because I’m the shortest person on the floor. So, adjusting from 2-2-1 and scoring from a 2 (shooting guard) position but also setting my team up from a 1 (point guard) position.”

What you improved on offensively on the two-day break…

“We shot a lot of free throws, so we definitely did better at the free throw line. Still being aggressive and being smart. Knowing when to shoot the ball and knowing when to pass and just moving the ball around more and making the defense shift.”

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