No. 13 Cats roll past Stetson 67-48


UK sophomore Rhyne Howard lays the ball up during UK’s Big Blue Madness on Friday, Oct. 11, 2019, at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff

Eric Decker

After a pedestrian, at least by her standards, nine-point performance in the 67-52 win over Middle Tennessee, Rhyne Howard broke out to the tune of a season-high 24 points in the 67-48 drubbing of Stetson University.

A media All-SEC First Teamer this preseason, Howard was the focal point of the No. 13 Kentucky offense in the first quarter, shooting 5-of-7 to start as she had 12 of the 13 Wildcat points in the quarter. No other UK player recorded a field goal, while Sabrina Haines tallied the other point with a free throw.

However, the undefeated Wildcats (3-0) as a whole had a rather dreadful night shooting, going 35 percent from the field in total and registering 20 percent from behind the arc.

The game began with an 8-0 Kentucky run, creating a lead that was never to be relinquished. The Wildcats were dominating, but a few turnovers led to easy buckets for Stetson (1-1). 

It wasn’t until early in the second quarter where a Kentucky player named other than Rhyne Howard scored a field goal, which was KeKe McKinney. The junior McKinney had an overall impressive performance controlling the boards, ending up with a double-double with 10 points, 10 rebounds, and adding two blocks in the process. Coach Mitchell had praise for Mckinney’s progress as a player and individual.

“I think KeKe has really matured in every possible way..” Mitchell said. “She’s always had just a tremendous fire burning in her. I think all of her maturity and experience is kinda coming together now and she’s just doing an outstanding job, she’s really the glue that’s holding everything together on the defensive end.”

Holding down the middle of the defense with McKinney tonight was junior forward Tatyana Wyatt. Wyatt ended up with nine points and 10 boards on the night.

Despite the poor shooting from the team, other than Howard who ended up shooting a 52 percent clip on the night, Kentucky held the Hatters down by forcing 16 turnovers in the second half compared to the eight they caused in the first. 

Stetson was led in scoring by Day’Neshia Banks with eight points but also gave up five turnovers in the process.

The wire-to-wire win for Kentucky was its third straight to start the year, also the third straight game they’ve finished with 67 points.

The Cats next travel to Charlottesville to battle a non-conference foe in Virginia. The game, held at the John Paul Jones Arena, is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 16 with a 5:00 p.m. tipoff. ACC Network has the broadcast.