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Wildcats Shake Off Rust, Put Together Balanced Effort vs. Lee
Kentucky will officially start its 2021-22 season Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET vs. Presbyterian inside Memorial
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Dre’una Edwards scored 21 points, grabbed eight rebounds and had four steals as the Kentucky women’s basketball team topped Lee University 95-51 on Thursday night in exhibition action at Memorial Coliseum.
Preseason All-American Rhyne Howard had 17 points, seven rebounds, four assists and four steals in the game for Kentucky, while Olivia Owens had 16 points and seven rebounds for the Cats.
The Cats hit 40 of 78 (51.3 percent) from the floor in the game, including six of 17 (35.3 percent) from behind the arc. Kentucky used its pressure defense to force 29 Lee turnovers. The Cats were able to convert those miscues into 32 points.
Lee got on the board first on a Halle Hughes layup. After Kentucky got consecutive layups from Olivia Owens and Emma King, the Flames tied the game at 4-4 on a Haley Schubert layup.
After another Owens layup gave UK a 6-4 lead, Lee took the lead back on a three from Julia Duncan. But Kentucky scored the next four to grab a 10-7 advantage with 6:26 left in the first.
The teams would be tied 12-12 before Kentucky asserted itself. Over the last 4:56 of the first period, the Cats outscored the Flames 17-0 to take a 29-12 advantage. Freshman Jada Walker sparked the rally with a steal and layup and, later, a three from the top of the key.
Lee would stop the run early in the second period on a basket by Hannah Garrett. But Kentucky responded by scoring the next 12 points, 10 of which were from Howard, to lead 41-14 with 7:11 left in the half.
Later in the second, Schubert would hit a three for Lee to cut the UK lead to 43-19. But the Cats would score the next seven, six of them by Edwards, to extend the lead to 50-19.
An 8-2 run by Lee cut the UK advantage to 52-27 but the Cats would score the last four points of the half to lead 56-27 at the half. Howard scored 15 points in the first half, Edwards had 13 and Owens added 10. The Cats shot 57.1 percent from the floor in the half and scored 18 points off of 14 Lee turnovers.
The third quarter was a back-and-forth affair for the entire period. In fact, the teams scored 20 points apiece as Kentucky maintained its 29-point lead, 76-47, through 30 minutes. Edwards had six points in the third quarter to lead the Cats.
However, the Cats turned it on to start the fourth quarter. UK scored the first 10 points of the period, holding Lee without a point for 4:39 and stretching the lead to 86-47.
Lee’s Schubert led all scorers with 28 points. She hit 12 of 15 from the floor, including all three of her shots from behind the arc and made her only free throw. She added six rebounds and three assists but she did commit 11 turnovers.
Kentucky opens its regular season on Tuesday, hosting Presbyterian College at Memorial Coliseum. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. and the game can be seen on SEC Network Plus.