LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky women’s basketball team used a 17-0 run in the first half to rout Kentucky State 99-28 on Wednesday night in an exhibition game in front of 1,098 fans in Memorial Coliseum. Senior Eleia Roddy (Columbus, Ohio) scored 21 points to lead four Wildcats in double figures.
Roddy, who missed the first 12 games of the season last year with injury, came out with the Midas touch in the first half, netting 8-of-8 from the floor for 17 points. She finished 9-of-11 from the floor while also grabbing a team high-tying eight rebounds and blocking two shots. Amani Franklin (Stone Mountain, Ga.) and Carly Ormerod (Louisville, Ky.) added 18 and 14 points, respectively while All-SEC second team selection Victoria Dunlap (Nashville, Tenn.) scored 13 points, grabbed eight rebounds and five steals. All 10 players that saw action scored at least three points, including sophomore Amber Smith who charted eight. It was her first game back after sustaining a season-ending knee injury vs. Tennessee on Feb. 3 of last season.
“I thought we had good transition offense tonight,” UK Coach Matthew Mitchell said. “If we continue to work hard, that can lead to success. I thought we hustled tonight. We attacked the paint effectively. The press was something that we had not worked on a lot in practice but it showed signs of potential tonight. Overall, I thought it was a good night for us and tonight should help us get ready for this weekend.”
Kentucky State, a Division II school picked to win the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, struggled from the floor early, shooting a dismal 15.4 percent in the first half (4-of-26) and just 12.5 percent for the game (6-of-48). Most of the Thorobrettes’ points came from the free throw line as they hit 16-of-25.
Roddy scored six straight points to open the second half and Kentucky went on to outscore KSU 52-8 in the final 20 minutes. The Wildcats shot 47.8 percent for the game (38-of-78) and outscored the smaller Thorobrettes’ 60-12 in points in the paint. UK also won the rebounding margin 59-33.
“I thought our guards did a really good job of feeding Eleia the ball tonight,” Mitchell said. “Our assistant coach Wendy Palmer has really worked hard with our post players to help them develop this year. Roddy has really raised the level of her game. Coach Palmer has helped our players max their potential and help those players. Roddy is a much better player than a year ago because she works hard and she has put in the time.”
Kentucky concludes its 2008-09 exhibition schedule on Sunday, Nov. 9, when it plays host to Bellarmine of Louisville, Ky. Tip-off in Memorial Coliseum is slated for 2 p.m. and the game will be carried live on the Big Blue Sports Network (radio) with Neil Price. Admission is free.