No. 6 Kentucky beats Grambling State 109-46

Kentucky got back on track Sunday.

Bria Goss scored a career-high 23 points and had eight rebounds

to lead the sixth-ranked Wildcats to a 109-46 rout of Grambling

State.

The Wildcats (12-1), coming off a 69-61 loss to No. 2 Duke, led

from start and were never threatened. Grambling State was without

coach Pat Bibbs, who was recovering from an undisclosed surgery,

and dressed seven players.

”I told the team during warmups that we were coming off a loss

and it was an important game,” Goss said. ”We came out (early)

and set the tone.”

Kentucky coach Matthew Mitchell was pleased with his team’s

performances during the non-conference schedule, a run which

included a 69-64 win over No. 7 Louisville and a 133-130 shootout

victory over No. 9 Baylor.

”It was a good win for us,” Mitchell said. ”Our players

played hard and made some good things happen out there today. I’m

just really happy that the players came back from Christmas break

and got some things going that we’ve worked on in practice. It was

a great job by the team handling the non-conference schedule to go

12-1.”

Joanna Miller led Grambling State (3-8) with 14 points and

Jasmine Godbolt scored 10.

Grambling State assistant Lou Hamilton has coached the team in

the first 11 games of the season.

”We’re just trying to hold things together as she recovers from

her surgery,” Hamilton said.

Kentucky set a season high for most points scored in the first

half in taking a 60-19 lead. Grambling State managed seven field

goals in the first half and shot 23.3 percent from the field.

Kentucky scored 100 points for the fifth time this season, with

four of those lopsided victories coming at home.

Linnae Harper had 15 points for Kentucky and Janee Thompson

scored 13, Samarie Walker and Kastine Evans added 11 each and

Makayla Epps had 10.

Goss wasn’t surprised by Kentucky’s ability to spread the wealth

on offense.

”I had a game-high today, but tomorrow it might be somebody

else,” she said. ”That’s what’s so special about our team. We all

have a tendency to score at will on offense.”

They did well on defense, too.

The Wildcats forced 34 turnovers and scored 47 points off those

miscues, with 26 of those coming in the first half.

The Wildcats led 8-6 during the first 5 minutes but pushed the

margin to double figures with a 22-2 run for a 30-8 lead with 11

minutes remaining. Bernisha Pinkett made two 3-pointers during the

spurt.

The Wildcats shift their attention to Thursday’s Southeastern

Conference opener at Alabama.

”It’s a great conference to be a member of,” Mitchell said.

”Having the chance to compete for a conference championship is

really exciting.”