LEXINGTON, Ky (AP) — No. 9 Kentucky put away Marshall early after having to dig out of a big hole over the weekend.
Blair Green scored a career-high 17 points to help Kentucky beat Marshall 79-45 on Wednesday night. On Sunday, the Wildcats overcame a double-digit deficit to beat No. 16 Indiana 72-69.
“We can’t take any game for granted,” Green said. “Everyone that we play is tough. We wanted to make a statement that we’re where we are supposed to be and not back down from anyone.”
The guard was 8 of 13 from the field and had two steals.
“’I’m happy for her, just to see her hard work pay off,” Kentucky interim coach Kyra Elzy said about Green.. “She has really bought into her role … It was a great night for Blair and we hope to see more of that from her.”
The Wildcats (5-0) have won 15 of 17 meetings between the two teams, going 10-0 in Lexington. Kentucky achieved its goal of limiting Marshall to 55 points or less.
“That was a focus of our (team) and try to stay intense defensively,” Elzy said. “We have goals we want to try to achieve and you have to get better every day.”
Rhyne Howard and Dre’Una Edwards each added 13 points, and Olivia Owens had 10.
The Wildcats hit their first four shots from the field, including a pair of 3-pointers by Howard, to take a 13-0 lead. Marshall (1-1) missed its first four field goals and didn’t score until the 4:40 mark of the opening quarter.
“We got off to a great start offensively,” Elzy said. “I thought we shared the ball and shot the ball extremely well. … it’s always great to get off to a good start and shoot the ball (and) that gives you a lot of confidence. We were coming off a big win against Indiana, I was so proud of our fight, heart and resilience. … we stayed intense and we stayed focused to get a win tonight.”
Kentucky put it away with a 17-3 run to end the third quarter for a 63-36 lead. Overall, the Wildcats scored 13 of the last 14 points of the quarter. Marshall scored just 19 points in the second half.
Alexis Johnson led Marshall with 16 points.
Elzy returned after missing Sunday’s 72-68 win over No. 16 Indiana because of health reasons not related to COVID-19. Elzy improved to 3-0.
Sophomore Emma King missed the contest because of COVID-19 protocols and senior Keke McKinney sat out nursing a shoulder injury and is listed as day-to-day.
Marshall: The Thundering Herd have two more nonconference encounters left — at St. Bonaventure and Morehead State — before opening the Conference USA schedule. Instead of a traditional league schedule, Marshall will play four opponents and travel to four locations and play a two-game series in back-to-back fashion.
Kentucky: The Wildcats have three more nonconference games remaining — two at home — before beginning Southeastern Conference play against No. 13 Arkansas on Dec. 31. Kentucky will play three of the next four games at home, before opening January with road games at Tennessee and No. 10 Texas A&M.
Marshall: At St. Bonaventure on Sunday.
Kentucky: Hosts Samford on Sunday