No. 23 Kentucky falls to Florida at home
Rhyne Howard scored 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the loss
LEXINGTON, Ky. – All-American Rhyne Howard scored 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds but the 23rd-ranked Kentucky women’s basketball team lost to Florida 77-52 on Thursday night at Memorial Coliseum.
Kentucky (8-6, 1-3 SEC) got 12 points from freshman Jada Walker and 10 from Jazmine Massengill.
Florida (14-5, 4-2) hit 30 of 58 (51.7 percent) from the floor, including seven of 15 (46.7 percent) from three-point range. Kentucky hit just 18 of 66 (27.3 percent) from the field, including four of 18 (22.2 percent) from beyond the arc.
The Gators held advantages in rebounding (48-31), second-chance points (12-8) and points in the paint (40-16).
Kentucky played without Dre’una Edwards, who leads the team in rebounding and is second on the squad in scoring. Edwards was not available for the game due to a disciplinary matter.
Florida scored first on a Zipporah Broughton basket but Kentucky answered 11 seconds later on an Olivia Owens shot in the lane. Florida would score the next four before UK got a Massengill jumper to cut the lead to 6-4. The Gators would score the next six points to take a 12-4 lead with 4:15 left in the first period.
Kentucky would answer with an 8-3 run to get within three, 15-12. But Florida got a three from Alberte Rimdal to lead 18-12. The Gators would lead 20-14 before Kentucky scored the final bucket of the period, a Treasure Hunt layup, to cut the lead to 20-16, which would be the score at the end of the period.
Florida scored the first six points of the second period to lead 26-16. Kentucky would get a Howard free throw and a Hunt layup to make it 26-19 but Florida answered with back-to-back threes from Rimdal to lead 32-19 with 6:19 left in the half.
The Gators would extend the lead to 36-19 before Kentucky got a runner from Howard to end the 10-0 run with 3:39 left in the half. The Cats would get within 38-26 before the Gators scored the final six points of the period to lead 44-26 at the break.
Florida continued to extend the lead in the third period. The Gators scored the first five points of the quarter, the start of a 13-2 run, that extended the lead to 57-28. Florida would lead 59-30 before Kentucky got seven straight points, four from Massengill and three from Howard, to cut the deficit to 59-37 after three quarters.
In the fourth period, Kentucky was able to run off nine points in a row, cutting the lead to 65-48, but the Cats would get no closer.
Kentucky returns to action on Sunday, hosting Ole Miss at Rupp Arena. Tipoff is set for noon ET and the game can be seen on the SEC Network.
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