The Wildcats needed to rebound ahead of SEC play following their loss to No. 24 DePaul on Wednesday, and they did so in a major way, dismantling the Wofford Terriers 98-37 on Saturday afternoon. An exceptional defensive effort from Chasity Patterson and the rest of the Wildcats allowed them to cruise to the win.
It was Olivia Owens who gave Kentucky a boost in the first quarter, racking up six straight points for the Wildcats early on. The Cats would lead by seven going into the first media timeout, and 21-5 after the opening quarter.
Things remained all-Kentucky throughout the second quarter.
Patterson recorded four steals in the period, directly leading to 13 points for Kentucky off turnovers. A 19-2 run for the Wildcats made it 48-11 and put the game away before halftime.
The Cats demonstrated great balance on offense in the first half, Rhyne Howard led all scorers at the break without even cracking double digits (9).
Everything was falling for Kentucky in the third quarter. Dre’una Edwards scored nine points (4-for-4 shooting) and Patterson recorded four more steals, giving her ten on the day. Those and her 17 points netted her a double-double.
At least four players scored in double figures for Kentucky for the fifth straight game. This time, they Howard (18), Patterson (17), Edwards (19) and Owens (10). Owens led the team with nine rebounds, coming up one shy of her first double-double in blue and white.
This continued, sustained variation in scoring is something that coach Kyra Elzy finds to be extremely valuable.
“I love that we’re sharing the basketball,” she said after the game. “They play team basketball offensively… which makes us hard to guard.”
The recently ruled-eligible Jazmine Massengill made her Wildcat debut in the first quarter. The Tennessee transfer recorded three points and two assists in 19 minutes played.
“It’s definitely great to have Jazmine eligible,” Patterson said after the game. “[She] makes our team more versatile and we can be more aggressive with her too.”
The Cats forced a whopping 33 turnovers against the Terriers, scoring 49 of their 98 points (50%) on those turnovers. They hope such a dominant display on that end of the floor is a good omen as they get into the meat of their schedule.
Kentucky begin SEC play on Dec. 31 at home against Arkansas. Tip is set for 8:30 p.m. ET on SEC Network.