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Howard Leads No. 17 Kentucky Past Florida
Kentucky scored 88 points behind a complete offensive performance
POSTGAME NEWS CONFERENCE RECORDINGS
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Rhyne Howard scored 31 points and grabbed nine rebounds as the 17th-ranked Kentucky women’s basketball team beat Florida 88-80 on Monday night at Exactech Arena.
Howard made 12 of her 20 shots from the floor, including four of seven from behind the arc, and three of four at the free throw line. In addition to her nine rebounds, Howard added two steals, two assists and a blocked shot.
Kentucky (15-5, 8-4 SEC) got 13 points apiece from KeKe McKinney and Chasity Patterson. The Cats also got nine points and 10 assists from Jazmine Massengill.
Kentucky got the scoring underway on a three from Patterson. The Cats took a 6-0 lead when Howard hit a three from the left wing. But Florida answered by scoring the next six in a row, tying the game at 6-6. Kentucky would get a Tatyana Wyatt corner jumper and a McKinney layup to lead 10-6.
After Florida cut it to 10-9, McKinney hit a three from the top of the key to make it 13-9. But Florida would hang tough, tying the game at 13, 15, 17 and 19 before UK’s Massengill converted a layup with 10 seconds left in the quarter to give the Cats a 21-19 advantage after one period of play.
Early in the second period, Florida’s Danielle Rainey hit consecutive threes to give Florida a 25-21 advantage. After UK got a Patterson jumper to cut the deficit to 25-23, the Gators scored four in a row to take a 29-23 advantage and force at UK timeout.
Kentucky would continue to chip away at the lead throughout the period but it took a big run late in the half for the Cats to take the lead back. Trailing 42-37 with 2:50 left in the half, Kentucky got a jumper from Massengill, then a jumper from Howard and a basket from Blair Green, the latter giving UK a 43-42 advantage with 1:36 left in the half. Kentucky would get another Howard jumper and a Howard layup to close the half on a 10-0 run that gave the Cats a 47-42 lead at the break. Howard closed the first half with 12 points and six assists.
Florida got a Kiara Smith free throw to start the second half scoring. However, Kentucky would get a three from Howard, a jumper from McKinney and a Howard layup to score seven in a row and to grab a 54-43 lead with 7:47 left in the third. Florida would get a Nina Rickards layup to cut the UK lead to nine, but the Cats responded with a 9-3 run to lead 63-48 with 5:18 to play.
Howard had an amazing third period, scoring 13 of UK’s first 19 points in the period as the Cats built a double-digit lead. However, Florida would close the third period on a 7-2 run to cut the UK lead to 70-59 with one quarter to play.
Florida continued to chip away at the UK lead early in the fourth period. After a Howard free throw gave Kentucky a 71-59 lead, Florida scored eight in a row, cutting the lead to four with 7:48 to play. The Gators would eventually get within three, 73-70 but Florida could get no closer.
Kentucky would put the game away with a 9-0 run late in the fourth period. Howard scored five of UK’s nine points in the run as the Cats put the game out of reach.
Kentucky returns to action on Thursday, hosting LSU at Memorial Coliseum. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. ET and the game can be seen on SEC Network Plus.
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL POSTGAME NOTES / NO. 18 KENTUCKY VS. FLORIDA
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2021 / EXACTECH ARENA – GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA
No. 18 Kentucky 88, Florida 80 – FINAL
Team Records and Series Notes
- Kentucky is 15-5 on the season and 8-4 in the SEC, while Florida is 10-9, 3-8 in the league.
- This was the 59th all-time meeting between Kentucky and Florida in women’s basketball.
- Kentucky leads the all-time series in games played, 33-26.
- UK holds a 13-10 mark in the series in games played in Gainesville.
- Kyra Elzy is in her first season as head coach at Kentucky.
- Elzy is now 15-5 as head coach of Kentucky.
- UK is now 860-553 all-time in its 47th year of varsity women’s basketball.
- Kentucky is ranked No. 18 in the latest AP Top 25 and No. 18 in the USA Today/Coaches Top 25.
- The Wildcats will return to action Thursday, Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. ET vs. LSU inside Memorial Coliseum.
- The game will be streamed on SEC Network+ and broadcast on the UK Sports Network.
- The game will be UK’s annual Play4Kay Pink Game.
- Kentucky used the starting combination of senior guard Chasity Patterson, senior forwards Tatyana Wyatt and KeKe McKinney and junior guards Jazmine Massengill and Rhyne Howard.
- This was the second time this season that UK has used this starting combination, holding a 2-0 record in those games.
- Chasity Patterson scored first for Kentucky in the game – the fifth time this season she has been the first Wildcat to score.
- Robyn Benton was the first sub for Kentucky.
- It was the team-leading 12th time Benton has been the first sub for the Wildcats.
- Kentucky won the tip, marking the sixth time this season that UK has lost the opening tip.
- It was the second opening-tip won by Tatyana Wyatt.
- Kentucky started the game with back-to-back 3s to take an early 6-0 lead, but the Gators battled back and the game was tied 13-13 at the first media timeout in the first quarter.
- UK hit three of its first four 3-pointers in the first 5:35 of the game.
- At the end of the first quarter, both teams were shooting over 50 percent from the field with UK 9-of-18 from the field and UF 9-of-17.
- Kentucky had six first-quarter assists and three blocks.
- Florida had 12 paint points and held a 6-0 edge in second-chance points.
- Kentucky’s 21 first-quarter points was its most in the first quarter since 22 at Auburn at Jan. 21.
- Florida started the second quarter by hitting back-to-back 3s and went on a 10-2 run to take a 29-23 lead at the 7:44 mark and force a UK timeout.
- UK ended the second quarter on a 10-0 run to take a 47-42 lead into the break at halftime. The 47 points were the most the Wildcats have scored in the first half of game since scoring 48 against Wofford back in December.
- The 47 points is the most points that Kentucky has scored in the first half of an SEC road game since Jan. 2, 2014 at Alabama (50).
- Florida’s 42 points marked the sixth time they have scored 40 or more in the first half and the first since scoring 44 vs. Arkansas earlier this season.
- Florida had four turnovers in the final 2:32 of the first half to allow UK to go on its run.
- Kentucky shot 55.3 percent from the field in the first half, going 5-of-11 from 3. Florida shot 53.3 percent from the field and also hit five 3s.
- Two Wildcats were in double figures in the first half with Howard leading with 12 points and six rebounds, while Patterson had 10 points and hit two 3s.
- Massengill had six assists in the first half.
- Florida held a 13-2 edge in second-chance points in the first half, but Kentucky had a 20-18 edge in paint points.
- Kentucky continued its run at the start of the third quarter, extending it to 21-3 and grabbing a double-digit lead.
- UK went 8-of-15 from the field in the third quarter and 2-of-3 from 3.
- UK’s biggest lead was 16 at the 3:36 mark of the third quarter but the Gators would answer by ending the quarter on a 7-2 run to close it to 70-59 heading into the fourth.
- The run continued for Florida to start the fourth quarter, spreading to 18-5 and cutting the UK lead to 73-70 with 6:45 to go.
- Kentucky responded, ending the game by making five of its last seven field goals and ending the game on a 13-8 run.
- The Wildcats won the battle in the paint, 40-32.
- This is the second time UK has won the paint points in league play. The other was against Alabama.
- UK’s 40 paint points was its most since scoring 56 against Wofford in non-conference action.
- UK is 13-2 and 7-1 in the league when it scores over 70 points this season.
- UK is 6-0 this season when it shoots 50 percent or better form the field.
- The 53.7 percent is the second best this season for Kentucky and its most in league action.
- The 88 points scored by Kentucky is the second most against Florida in Gainesville in school history (scored 89 on Feb. 20, 1982).
- The 88 points scored are Kentucky’s most against Florida since Mar. 4, 2016 (92)
- Kentucky shot 53.7% from the field tonight, its best shooting performance in an SEC game since Jan. 25, 2018 vs. Alabama (64.7%)
- It was also it’s best shooting performance in an SEC road game since Jan. 31, 2016 at Florida (58%)
- Junior guard Rhyne Howard scored a game-high 31 points, going 12-of-20 from the field and 4-of-7 from 3 with nine rebounds and two steals.
- Howard is the fourth player in school history to have at least six career 30-point games (Valerie Still, Leslie Nichols, Makayla Epps).
- Howard is the second player in school history to have at least three 30-point games in consecutive seasons (Valerie Still).
- Howard is the second player in school history to have at least five career 30-point games against SEC opponents (Valerie Still).
- Howard is the first player in school history to have three career 30-point games against SEC opponents on the road.
- Howard has made 196 career 3s, which ranks fourth most in school history.
- Howard has 1,493 career points as a Wildcat, which ranks her 11th all-time in scoring at UK.
- She needs 9 more points to tie Sara Potts for 10th all-time.
- In 76 career games, Howard has …
- Hit at least one 3 in 67 career games, including 14 games this season.
- Made three or more 3s in 34 career games, including eight games this season.
- Scored 10+ points in 67 career games, including 15 games this season.
- Scored 15+ points in 54 career games, including 11 games this season.
- Scored 20+ points in 39 career games, including eight games this season.
- Scored 25+ points in 21 career games, including three times this season.
- Scored 30+ points in six career games, including three times this season.
- Led UK in scoring in 47 career games, including nine times this season.
- Led UK in rebounding in 41 games career games, including 10 games this season.
- Senior guard Chasity Patterson scored 13 points, going 5-of-8 from the field and 3-of-4 from 3 with three steals.
- This was the 15th time this season Patterson has scored 10 or more points.
- She has hit three or more 3s in four games this season and six games in her career.
- Led UK in steals in 13 games this season, including 17 career games.
- Junior guard Jazmine Massengill neared a triple-double in the game with nine points, 10 assists and seven rebounds.
- This was a season high in assists for Massengill.
- The seven rebounds were also a season high.
- She has nine or more points in back-to-back games.
- She played a season-high 33 minutes.
- This was the first time that Massengill has led UK In blocks.
- Senior forward KeKe McKinney scored a career-high tying 13 points in the game, adding four rebounds and a steal.
- The 13 points were a season high for McKinney.
- Senior forward Tatyana Wyatt scored eight points with five rebounds in the game.