Following its nail-biting victory over then-No. 13 Indiana on Sunday evening, No. 9 Kentucky was back on the floor Wednesday night. The Cats picked up right where they left off in the Hoosier game’s second half, defeating the Marshall Thundering Herd in convincing fashion, 79-45, to move to 5-0 on the young season.
Beating Indiana was huge for the team’s future tournament resume, but head coach Kyra Elzy – who missed the last game due to illness – was excited to get back on the floor.
“We’re coming off a big win… however, you have to put that game behind you and move forward,” she said after the Marshall contest. “What you do next is the most important thing,”
It was a hot start for the Cats. Two threes from Rhyne Howard and good work on the defensive end jetted them out to a 13-0 lead, forcing a Thundering Herd timeout halfway through the opening quarter. Kentucky would go into the second quarter up 22-7 on the back of 4-for-7 shooting from behind the arc.
Both teams traded buckets throughout quarter two, finding and keeping their rhythm in the scoring column. Marshall was able to cut the Wildcat lead down to eight late in the half, but turnovers prevented them from getting closer. Robyn Benton and Blair Green scored 11 of the 19 Kentucky points in the quarter, and the Cats remained in front by 15 at the break.
The Thundering Herd couldn’t handle Green or Dre’una Edwards in the third quarter. Both of Green’s shots were made off assists, and Edwards was everywhere on the floor. At one point, she pulled down a defensive rebound, dribbled up the floor and kicked the ball out for three, snagged the offensive board off the miss and put in the second chance bucket.
The dominant sequence was representative of the game overall, as another 13-0 run in that third period allowed the Cats to run away with things. A three-pointer from senior Kameron Roach early in the fourth quarter put the Cats up by 30, and they’d win by their largest margin of the night.
Four Wildcats – Green (17), Howard (13), Edwards (13) and Olivia Owens (10) – scored in double figures, which Coach Elzy credited to stellar ball movement. Overall, Kentucky shot 54% (33-of-61) from the field and 32% (7-of-22) from three-point range.
Every player that saw the court scored, allowing Kentucky to rack up 22 bench points. Getting the reserves a high number of minutes was important as the Cats move forward, according to Elzy.
“It was good to be able to play our bench tonight,” she said. “They were an X-factor.”
Kentucky’s next game comes Sunday, Dec. 13 at 2 p.m. ET against Samford in Memorial Coliseum. You can catch the Cats on SEC Network +.