OXFORD, Miss. – National Player of the Year candidate Rhyne Howard was one of five players in double figures as the 14th-ranked Kentucky women's basketball team cruised past Ole Miss 94-52 on Thursday night at the Pavilion at Ole Miss.
Howard led all scorers with 21 points, hitting eight of 11 from the floor, including one of two from behind the arc, and making all four of her free throw attempts.
Kentucky (20-5, 9-4 SEC) got 15 points from both Sabrina Haines and Chasity Patterson and 10 apiece from Blair Green and Jaida Roper.
The Cats forced 21 Ole Miss turnovers in the game and converted those into 31 points on the offensive end. UK also dominated second-chance points (13-1) and bench points (41-7) in the win.
Ole Miss made its first three shots of the game, while the Cats missed their first four, resulting in a 7-0 Rebels' lead early. UK got on the board when Roper hit a pair of free throws to cut the lead to 7-2. Kentucky would get even closer when BGreen nailed a right-side three to make it 7-5 with 6:22 left in the first.
The Rebels would lead 10-5 before Patterson scored five straight to tie the game at 10 apiece. Patterson's points sparked a 13-0 Kentucky run that gave the Cats an 18-10 lead with 1:20 left in the first quarter. That would be the score after one period of play.
Haines got the scoring started in the second period with a jumper that concluded a 20-3 run and gave the Cats a 20-12 lead. Howard got things going in the second, scoring seven straight points and helping the Cats build a 27-16 advantage with 6:19 left in the half.
The Cats would stretch the lead and would hold a 36-18 advantage at the break. Kentucky held Ole Miss without a field goal over the last 6:45 of the half. UK also forced 14 Ole Miss turnovers and turned those into 16 points in the half. Howard led all scorers with 11 points in the first half.
Kentucky would blow the game open in the third period. UK scored the first eight points of the second half, on a pair of threes from Haines and a basket by Howard, to take a 44-18 advantage. After Ole Miss got a pair of free throws from Mimi Reid, UK scored seven consecutive points, on jumpers by Haines and Jaida Roper and a three from Amanda Paschal, resulting in a 51-20 Kentucky lead.
The Cats would outscore Ole Miss 31-17 in the third period to take a 67-37 lead into the fourth period. Haines had 10 points for UK in the third quarter, which saw the Cats hit 10 of 16 from the floor, including four of seven from behind the arc.
In the final period, Kentucky would extend the lead to 80-42, on a three by Tatyana Wyatt with 6:22 to play. Later in the period, the Cats ran off 12 straight points to build the biggest lead of the game, 92-47, with 1:54 to go.
Kentucky returns to action on Sunday, hosting South Carolina at Memorial Coliseum. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. ET and the game can be seen on ESPN2.