Women’s basketball freshmen Howard and Green shine in blowout win


Freshman guard Blair Green (5) dribbles past LMU’s defense. University of Kentucky women’s basketball team defeated Lincoln Memorial University 101-64 in an exhibition game at Memorial Coliseum on Friday, November 2, in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff

Jake Maynard

Freshmen Rhyne Howard and Blair Green combined for 28 points in UK’s 87-35 win against Alabama State Wednesday night, starting their rookie campaigns off strong.

Howard’s 15 points is the fifth most ever scored in a UK freshman’s debut game; Green’s 13 points is the seventh. It is the first time in the program’s history that two freshmen scored in the all-time top 10 for a debut game.

Howard didn’t just score the ball; she blew up the entire stat sheet. She finished the game with 16 points, six rebounds, three assists, three blocks and two steals.

The freshmen didn’t completely steal the show, however. Taylor Murray also took charge as UK’s senior leader. The Cats scored the first seven points of the game, but then the momentum shifted. The Hornets were challenging Kentucky, but Murray stepped up. Her hounding defense and infectious energy set the pace for UK early in the game.

Blair Green’s first play for the Wildcats will likely go on her highlight reel. She subbed in four minutes into the game and her presence was immediately felt by both sides. Green ran from the scorer’s table across half court and stole the ball within five seconds of subbing in. She passed the ball to Maci Morris, who tossed the ball back to Green in the middle of her layup for an assist.

With 1:52 left in the first quarter, UK called a timeout as the Hornets took the lead 15-13. Kentucky answered with a nine-point run, six of which were scored by Murray. Morris came alive shortly after, making two consecutive three-pointers.

At halftime, the score was 39-22.

UK started the second half slow but was quickly energized by its defense. The Cats recorded three steals and a block within one minute. From there, UK controlled the game entirely.

Kentucky dominated in the fourth quarter. The Cats went on a 19-0 run that lasted for eight of the quarter’s 10 minutes. The full court press defense got to the Hornets and they turned the ball over eight times. UK only allowed five points in the fourth.

The Cats ran a full court press for roughly 38 minutes before giving the Hornets some breathing room. UK forced 43 turnovers on Alabama State. That’s eight more turnovers forced than points allowed.

UK’s next game will be at home against Southern University on Sunday.