Goss scores 18, No. 7 Kentucky women rout Lipscomb

KEITH TAYLOR (Associated Press)
The Associated PressNovember 22, 2013
Goss scores 18, No. 7 Kentucky women rout Lipscomb
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Kentucky's Azia Bishop, right, and Lipscomb's Kelli Smith chase a loose ball during the first half of an NCAA college basketball, Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013, in Lexington, Ky. (AP Photo/James Crisp)

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) -- With eight players in double digits, Kentucky had no trouble scoring against Lipscomb.

Bria Goss scored 18 points and Janee Thompson had 16 as the seventh-ranked Wildcats used a balanced offense to rout the Lady Bisons 116-49 on Thursday night.

Bernisha Puckett scored 15 points, DeNesha Stallworth had 14, Linnae Harper and Kastine Evans 12 each, Jennifer O'Neal 11 and Samarie Walker added 10 points and 14 rebounds for the Wildcats (5-0).

''We wanted to hit triple digits,'' Walker said. ''That was a point of emphasis, but we didn't know what the record was.''

Kentucky finished five points shy of the school-record 121 points in a win over Kentucky State on Nov. 24, 1989.

Stallworth had 12 points in the first half as Kentucky had a season-high 57 points over the first 20 minutes.and then added 59 in the second half en route to reaching triple digits for the second time this season.

Kentucky coach Matthew Mitchell credited his team's defense, which forced 32 turnovers, for setting the pace on offense.

''The goal is to put 40 minutes of pressure on you, not just 40 minutes of defensive pressure, but get an offensive push,'' said Mitchell, whose team scored 40 points off turnovers. ''The offensive push and the push it makes is hard to deal with. You don't see a lot of teams do that. We practice it so hard, we practice it every day. We have a team that's built for it and we have a bunch of young women who come in every single day and run up and down the floor really hard and train to do it. I think it puts a tremendous amount of pressure on people.''

The Wildcats also got their 41st straight home win against a non-conference opponent.

Chandler Cooper had 15 points to lead Lipscomb (0-4), which had season lows in points, field goals (16), rebounds (30), assists (5) and field-goal percentage (28.6 percent). The Lady Bisons' turnovers were a season high.

''The best thing is, I have their attention now,'' Lipscomb coach Greg Brown said. ''The little things that you ignore in practice because they got away with it is magnified when you compete against good athletes. The best thing for us is to take this back and prepare for Tennessee State and Murray State as we go along.''

Walker sat out most of the second half as Kentucky coach Matthew Mitchell cleared his bench and got 46 points from his reserves.

''We played together, played with a lot of hustle, played with a lot of effort,'' Mitchell said. ''We're proud of the victory. You can't just show up and have a night like tonight. You have to work really, really hard. Lipscomb has our respect. They played extremely hard and are very well coached. I think they will win a bunch of ball games this year. They were very, very in tune with each other tonight, played very, very hard. Did a great job. I'm really happy for our team.''

The Wildcats outscored the Lady Bisons 66-14 in the paint and outrebounded them 57-30.

Stallworth, a senior, scored nine of Kentucky's first 11 points and made her first four shots from the field. She had seven points during a 12-0 run, turning a 3-2 deficit into a 14-3 lead with 15:37 remaining in the first half.

The Lady Bisons ended a 3-minute scoring drought with a basket by Faith LeGate at 15:16, trimming the margin to 14-5, but the Wildcats outscored Lipscomb 43-24 the remainder of the half for a 57-29 lead at the break.

Led by Stallworth, Kentucky had a commanding 34-8 edge in scoring in the paint in the first half.

Kentucky had 22 assists, reaching at least 20 for the third straight game.

''That's almost unheard of,'' Goss said. ''I haven't heard of anything like that before. It shows you where we are as a team right now.''