LEXINGTON, Ky. – Senior center Eleia Roddy (Columbia, Ohio) charted her fifth consecutive double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds to lead four other Kentucky players in double figures in a 82-60 win over IUPUI Tuesday night in Memorial Coliseum.
The Wildcats (8-5) had eight different players score five or more points as Roddy led the attack with 15 points followed by a career-high 14 points from junior reserve Brittany Edelen (Springfield, Ky.). Junior guard Amani Franklin (Stone Mountain, Ga.) charted her third career and first double-double of the season with 12 points and a career-high 13 rebounds while sophomores Carly Morrow (Chattanooga, Tenn.) and Victoria Dunlap (Nashville, Tenn.) added 11 and 10 points, respectively. It marked the first time since Nov. 25, 2006 that five or more players scored in double-figures for the Wildcats.
“I think tonight was a huge step for us as we move forward,” UK Hoops Coach Matthew Mitchell said. “Our players certainly played well and did a really good job. We played a really good team. I think we competed in a complete way tonight and we haven’t done that much this season. This was a very encouraging win.”
In the first half, the teams battled evenly until Kentucky broke open a 21-21 tie with 7:56 to go. Sparked by two steals and ensuing layups by Edelen, the Wildcats went on a 21-4 run to close out the remainder of the half with a 17-point (42-25) halftime lead. Edelen led the charge, scoring 10 of her career-high 14 points by hitting 4-of-5 from the floor, including one three-pointer. The Cats hit 50.0 percent from the field (16-of-32) and 5-of-7 from beyond the arc.
“We knew at the beginning of the season that people were going to have to step up and operate in roles that they weren’t use to (playing),” Mitchell said. “Brittany Edelen had practiced great since coming back from Christmas. I talked to her before the game today and told her to do what she has been doing in practice. If you noticed tonight she played very under control on the offensive end and with reckless abandon on the defensive end which caused her to have a terrific game. If we can get that kind of play from Brittany we will be an even stronger team.”
IUPUI (6-6) didn’t back down in the second half but instead came out and mounted an attack of its own. Paced by leading scorer and rebounder Jernisha Cann’s 16 points and 12 rebounds, the Jaguars clawed to within 10 points with 11:10 remaining in the game. However, UK responded with a 13-3 run over the next three minutes and regained a 17-point lead (68-51) with 6:18 to go. The final minutes were all Kentucky as the Wildcats cruised on to win by 22 (82-60), their second-largest margin of victory this season.
Roddy’s five-straight double-doubles are the most since former UK All-American Valerie Still recorded a school-record 11 in a row during the 1982-83 season. The last time two UK players recorded a double-double in the same game was Dunlap (20 pts/10 rbs) and Franklin (16 pts/10 rbs) vs. William and Mary on Dec. 4, 2007.
Kentucky dominated the boards with a 51-32 advantage, including 24 on the offensive glass. It was the eighth straight game the Wildcats have outrebounded their opponent. The Cats also were able to reduce their turnovers dramatically, committing 15 miscues after having 21 or more in each of their last four games. UK also capitalized on IUPUI’s 18 miscues, scoring a season-high 29 points off turnovers.
Kentucky, which shot 42.0 percent for the game (29-of-69) held the Jaguars to 39.3 percent (24-61) shooting from the field. The Cats have held all 13 of their opponents to 50.0 percent shooting or less this season.
UK is now 3-0 all-time vs. IUPUI and 6-1 vs. teams from the Summit League.
The Wildcats finished the 2008 portion of their schedule with an 8-5 record. They return to action Thursday, Jan. 1 against the Aggies of North Carolina A&T. Tip off is slated for 7 p.m. in Memorial Coliseum.