LEXINGTON, Ky. — Dre’una Edwards scored 19 points, Rhyne Howard added 18 and No. 9 Kentucky held Wofford to 28% shooting while running away to a 98-37 rout on Saturday.
The Wildcats (7-1) shot 51% in rolling to their largest victory margin this season and 13th biggest in school history. They led led 48-11 at halftime before stretching it to 74-16 in the third and extending the margin over 60 in the fourth.
Edwards made 8 of 10 from the field and had eight rebounds while Howard was 7 of 12 with four 3-pointers. Chasity Patterson added 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting and 10 steals, while Olivia Owens had 10 points and nine boards.
Kentucky also dominated the boards 45-29, the paint 56-18 and scored 49 points off 33 turnovers in bouncing back from Wednesday’s 86-82 loss at No. 24 DePaul.
“There were different things that we were looking for defensively,” first-year Wildcats coach Kyra Elzy said. “I wanted to make sure that we were in our press, that we made them play fast. We got into the traps, we were rotating up and we weren’t just sitting back on our heels.
“We wanted to force 25 or more turnovers. We had 18 at halftime and I wanted to see if we could get 18 more. They were really locked into the goals we wanted to achieve defensively.”
Lilly Hatton and Jackie Carman each had seven points for the Terriers (3-3), who missed their first 11 attempts in a 1-of-15 first quarter that dug a 21-5 hole. Things only got worse for the Southern Conference school that was coming off a 70-64 loss at Big East member Xavier.
“They’re one of the top teams in the country and they showed that,” Wofford coach Jimmy Garrity said. “But when you turn the ball over as much as we did, it doesn’t matter who you play, it’s going to be hard to win.”
Kentucky’s annual Ugly Holiday Sweater promotion had participants on both benches. Wildcats coach Kyra Elzy sported a black sweater with red bands on the sleeves, trimmed with snowflakes and a strip of tinsel beneath a Santa Claus rendering with the words “Santa’s Favorite.”
Wofford coach Jimmy Garrity made a case for the most unique sweater, a black number with a llama in sunglasses amid a pattern of words “Fa La La La Llama.”
Kentucky bounced back impressively from its first loss, though it remains to be seen if it will keep the Wildcats in the top 10.
Wofford had plenty of looks early on but little fell for the Terriers as they were out of contention after one quarter. They actually shot 63% in the third period (5 of 8) to break 20 points and 48% after the break, but generally were outmatched by Kentucky’s size, quickness and better shooting. They finished 3 of 15 from long range and their turnover total was the most since committing 35 against Mercer in February 2016.
Kentucky’s biggest focus after letting DePaul off the hook on Wednesday was finishing, which the Wildcats did in grand style. It took a little while to get going and there was no stopping them once that happened. Eleven players scored including Tennessee transfer Jazmine Massengill (three points), a junior guard who became eligible this week after the blanket NCAA waiver passed, and they made 18 steals.
“Having a post presence really helped us,” Patterson said. “Shots weren’t falling, so we wanted to throw it inside and see how the defense played. We just take the defense gives us.”
Wofford returns home to host Erskine on Jan. 2 in its final non-conference game before SoCon play.
Kentucky hosts Arkansas in Dec. 31 in its Southeastern Conference opener.