Florida beats No. 23 Kentucky women for fourth straight win
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Kiki Smith scored 25 points, Alberte Rimdal continued her hot 3-point shooting in adding 15 and Florida won its fourth straight game with a 77-52 victory over short-handed No. 23 Kentucky on Thursday night.
Smith was 10-of-18 shooting with six assists. Freshman Rimdal, who made all five of her 3-point attempts and scored 17 points in a win over Alabama in the Gators’ previous game, made 5 of 6 from the arc. Zippy Broughton added 13 points and Jordyn Merritt 10.
Florida (14-5, 4-2), which has already won one more Southeastern Conference game than last season, snapped a two-game losing streak to the Wildcats.
Rhyne Howard led the Wildcats (8-6, 1-3), who lost their third straight, with 17 points and 10 rebounds for her 20th career double-double. Jada Walker added 12 points and Jazmine Massengill 10.
Florida broke the game open in the second quarter when it outscored Kentucky 24-10 to lead 44-26. Rimdal and Smith combined for 14 second-quarter points and finished the half with 12 each.
The lead reached a game-high 29 points midway through the third quarter after 3-pointers by Rimdal and Broughton. The Wildcats scored the final seven points of the period capped by a Howard 3-pointer to trail 59-37. The closest Kentucky got in the fourth quarter was 16.
Florida outshot Kentucky 52% to 27%, was plus-17 on the boards and outscored the Wildcats 40-16 in the paint. The teams combined for 36 turnovers, 22 by Florida.
The Wildcats lost double-figure scorer Robyn Benton to an apparent leg injury early in the second quarter, leaving Kentucky with seven available players.
Kentucky also played the game without their second-leading scorer and leading rebounder, Dre'una Edwards, who was given a team-imposed, one-game suspension for disciplinary reasons. It's the second time she has been suspended for a game this season, the other coming in December for not meeting program academic standards.
Florida continues its schedule with the second of five straight games against currently ranked opponents, playing host to No. 11 LSU on Sunday. Also Sunday, Kentucky is host to Mississippi.
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