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December 28, 2012

Walker leads UK Hoops in rout of Alcorn State

Alcorn State's shots never fell on Friday night. Kentucky did manage to down a few school records, though.

The UK women (11-1) found little resistance in their return home to Memorial Coliseum. They flattened Alcorn State (0-9) 90-23 in their first home game in two-and-a-half weeks. UK never trailed, using a 17-0 run early in the first half to take a 25-5 lead.

Things only got worse for Alcorn State from there. The 23 points allowed by the Wildcats is a school record. Alcorn State finished with one assist against 36 turnovers and shot just 13.3 percent from the field.

"I thought the players hung in there and hustled all night and that's why the margin was what it ended up being," UK coach Matthew Mitchell said. "Those are not easy things to do. It's not easy to win a game like that. You just have to keep hustling and trying really hard."

The Braves went more than 19 minutes of game time without a field goal. After making a layup to pull within a point with 15:55 left in the first half, Alcorn State didn't have another made field goal until 16:28 left in the second half.

Junior forward Samarie Walker was unstoppable for the Wildcats. For much of the game, she outscored and outrebounded Alcorn State by herself. She finished with a career-high 21 points along with 14 points and five steals.

"They were pretty undersized in the post," Walker said. "It wasn't that hard for me to score or get rebounds."

All five UK starters finished in double figures. Senior guard A'dia Mathies had 14 points to move into a tie for 5th place on the school's all-time scoring list. Sophomore guard Bria Goss had 18 points, while junior center DeNesha Stallworth had 10 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists.

UK emptied its bench early, playing all 12 players available in the first half. The Wildcats didn't have any of the shooting issues the Braves had. Kentucky finished the game shooting 50.8 percent from the field, surging after shooting 19-31 in the second half.

"We had a lot of bright spots tonight, obviously," Mitchell said. "It was a good night for us."

Injury update

Junior guard Maegan Conwright missed the game with a torn ACL in her left knee. She spent the game on the bench with a brace on her left leg.

"That's a real unfortunate thing for her and it's tough for our team," Mitchell said. "Maegan is a veteran player who has played tough in the SEC, plays tough defense and we were hoping we'd have her to do that. But we won't, so we'll have to absorb that loss and have everybody chip in."

Conwright had played in 10 of the Wildcats' first 11 games, starting four of them. She was averaging 2.4 points per game while shooting 42.3 percent from the field.

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