No. 13 Kentucky continues winning streak vs. Morehead State

Howard scores a game-high 24 points while four Wildcats score in double figures

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (UK Athletics) – Rhyne Howard scored 24 points and Sabrina Haines added 14 as the 13th-ranked Kentucky women’s basketball team thumped Morehead State 79-54 on Thursday night at Memorial Coliseum.

For Howard, it was just another night at the office. The Cleveland, Tennessee, scored at least 20 points for the second time this season and the 12th time in her career. Wednesday’s game was also the 30th time in 37 games during Howard’s career that she has scored in double figures.

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Kentucky (5-0) used its pressure defense to affect Morehead State all night. The Cats forced 25 turnovers and turned those miscues into 35 points. Meanwhile, Kentucky committed just six turnovers in the game, leading to only nine MSU points. The Cats hit 29 of 73 (39.7 percent) from the floor, including 11 of 32 (34.4 percent) from behind the arc. MSU made 16 of 47 (34.0 percent) of its shots, but the Eagles hit just three of 14 (21.4 percent) from long-range.

Kentucky took an early 5-0 lead on a basket by Tatyana Wyatt and a three from Amanda Paschal. The Cats would eventually build a 10-2 lead. MSU, however, would mount a 6-2 run to cut the UK lead to 12-8 with 3:48 left in the first. Howard ended that streak by scoring five in a row, part of a 10-0 run that gave Kentucky a 22-8 lead. The Cats would have a 27-13 advantage after one period.

In the second period, Kentucky wasted no time extending the lead. A three-pointer from Howard and another from Haines gave the Cats a 33-13 lead, forcing an MSU timeout with 8:52 left in the half. The Cats would extend the lead to as many as 24, on multiple occasions, including the halftime score, 48-24.

Kentucky’s defense was swarming in the first 20 minutes, forcing 16 MSU turnovers and turning those into 23 points. The Cats also hit seven of their 16 shots from behind the arc (43.8 percent) in the first 20 minutes. Howard led all scorers with 13 first-half points.

In the third quarter, Kentucky kept the defensive pressure turned up, forcing four early turnovers and converting those into eight points. In the process, the Cats built a 31-point advantage, 59-28, with 6:24 left in the third period. That lead would eventually balloon to 34 points, 68-34, with 3:22 left in the period. Howard scored 11 points in the third quarter, and Kentucky took a 71-43 lead into the final stanza.

Kentucky would lead by as many as 32 in the fourth period before settling for the 25-point victory.

Kentucky returns to Memorial Coliseum on Tuesday, hosting Grambling. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. and the game can be seen on SEC Network Plus.

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Bryan Kennedy hails from the Bluegrass State. He was born and raised in Owensboro, KY where he graduated from Apollo High School in 2006. Bryan graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Spanish in 2010. He also received his master's degree in Sports Media and Branding from Western Kentucky University. While at UK, Bryan was the general manager of the on-campus TV station. He also did sports reporting, anchoring, producing and even the weather for UK Student News Network. While working for UKSNN, he also had the pleasure of covering Coach John Calipari's first press conference when he was introduced as the new head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats; easily one of his favorite moments as a young sports reporter. Before coming to ABC 36, Bryan was a morning anchor and reporter at WXXV News 25, our sister station in Gulfport, MS. He anchored more than four hours of news every day, including morning shows on NBC and Fox. While down south, Bryan had the opportunity to cover the Sugar Bowl, New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans. After spending a little more than two years at WXXV, Bryan is extremely excited to return home. In his spare time, Bryan enjoys playing sports, especially rugby. He also enjoys crossfitting and watching sports (obviously). He's extremely excited to cover Central Kentucky. Feel free to say hello and send story ideas toBKennedy@wtvq.com