San Antonio – After two ties and eight lead changes in the first 17 minutes of the game, Kentucky finally found its rhythm by outscoring Memphis 41-17 in the second half on its way to an 86-51 win in Wells Fargo New Year's Classic in San Antonio, Texas. Junior Sarah Elliott (McKee) led all scorers with 18 points while senior Jennifer Humphrey (Memphis, Tenn.) added 10 points and a game-high 12 rebounds for her 10th career and second double-double this season. Sophomore Jenn'e Jackson (Radcliff) followed with a career-high 14 points as UK shot a season-high 53.0 percent from the floor.
The Wildcats, who won their sixth consecutive game by 26 points or more, trailed most of the first half as the Tigers, who entered the game shooting just 36.1 percent from the floor, blistered the nets at 50.0 percent. UK went on a 9-2 run in the final three minutes of the opening stanza to give the Cats a 13-point halftime lead. Elliott scored 14 of her game-high 18 points in the opening stanza while Jackson and sophomore guard Carly Ormerod (Louisville) added six apiece.
"This is the best I've seen Memphis play," UK Coach Mickie DeMoss said. "In the first half they were on fire. They were knocking shots down and we really weren't doing anything wrong defensively. In the second half we stepped up our defense and allowed just four field goals which was huge."
UK (10-3) opened the second half on a 6-0 run with back-to-back buckets by Humphrey and a layup by Elliott. The Wildcats' stifling defense in the final 20 minutes held Memphis (3-11) to just four field goals on 16.7 percent shooting (4-of-24). UK also held the Tigers without a field goal for over nine minutes to end the game and forced 25 total turnovers.
A majority of the Wildcats' scoring came from the post players as the Wildcats scored 56 of their 86 points in the paint. UK went 1-of-9 from beyond the arc but managed to shoot a season-high 53.0 percent (35-of-66) from the floor in the game, including 54.3 percent in the first half.
"Last night the three-point shot was falling for us and tonight we couldn't buy a three," DeMoss said. "We were able to go inside and they didn't have an answer for Sarah (Elliott). I'm very proud of the way we played in the second half and I'm also very happy with Jenn'e Jackson. We've been trying to plug her in that four-spot since Eleia (Roddy) got hurt. This is the best all-around game she's played since she's been at Kentucky. She is getting better at reading the defense and that comes with experience. She really provided a spark off the bench tonight for us."
Three players, Ormoerd, Samantha Mahoney (Detroit) and Jenny Pfeiffer (North Vernon, Ind.) finished with eight points while Chante' Bowman (Detroit) and Lydia Watkins (Hopkinsville) added six each. All 11 players scored at least two points in the winning effort.UK won the rebounding battle 39-32 and has won the battle of the boards in all but two games this season.
Alysse Davis and Aroha Jennings each scored 10 points to lead Memphis in scoring.
Kentucky returns to Memorial Coliseum Tuesday, Jan. 2 to welcome in 2007 vs. first-time opponent Texas Pan-American. The game will be televised live on the Big Blue Sports Network and FSN South. The Lady Broncs are one of 13 Division I Independent teams.
Single-game general admission tickets are available for $5 adults/$2 senior citizens and children 6-18. Ages five and under are admitted free. UK students, faculty and staff also are admitted free with valid identification based on availability. For ticket information, log on to ukathletics.com or call the UK ticket office at 859-257-1818 or 1-800-928-CATS (2287).
Big second half lifts Kentucky over Memphis
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