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Stallworth helps No. 7 Kentucky women rout Wagner

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NEW YORK (AP)

Kentucky coach Matthew Mitchell considered it a very successful trip to New York.

The Wildcats came away with two victories, helped the sport grow and had some fun along the way.

''It was good,'' he said. ''I was excited to see a good crowd today. To walk into two gyms here in our time in New York - Marist had a packed house, Wagner had a packed house. It's terrific for us that people wanted to watch a good women's college basketball game on a Sunday afternoon.''

DeNesha Stallworth had 18 points and 13 rebounds while Bria Goss added 17 for the Wildcats in the 96-57 victory over Wagner.

The Wildcats were in New York last spring for the NCAA tournament when they played their first two rounds at St. John's. They didn't get much of a chance to enjoy the city on that trip with the focus on basketball.

This time around they were able to visit the Sept. 11 Memorial and have a nice Italian dinner before walking around Times Square.

''I hope it's something they'll be able to remember for a long time,'' Mitchell said.

The game also served as a homecoming for Wildcats Jennifer O'Neill and Jelleah Sidney, who are from New York. O'Neill finished with 11 points. Sidney had six points and seven rebounds.

Kentucky (2-0) trailed 7-3 early before scoring 27 of the next 30 points to take control of the game. They hit five 3-pointers during the game-changing spurt. Goss had eight points in the run, including a 3-pointer that made it 30-10 with 8:26 left in the half.

Kentucky led 50-27 at halftime and poured it on in the second half. Goss scored nine quick points to extend the lead over 30 before the first media timeout of the second half.

Wagner (0-1), which was hosting its first-ever Top 25 team, couldn't get any closer the rest of the way.

There was a buzz around campus all week with the Wildcats coming. It showed with a nearly sold out gym. A new experience for Wagner, which was coming off a three-win season.

Second-year coach Lisa Cermignano has the team headed in the right direction. Despite being oversized and outmatched, her team competed until the end against Kentucky.

''This was definitely just a start,'' said freshman Jasmine Nwajei, who scored 19 points to lead the Seahawks. ''It was a fun experience because a team ranked that high had never been at Wagner before. We never saw the gym this packed.''

Cermignano didn't hesitate when Kentucky called last spring looking for the game.

''I'd rather play the best to raise the bar and get them to the place and the level I'm used to,'' she said.

Cermignano played at George Washington in the late `90s and was an assistant there when the Colonials were a constant Top 25 team.

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