Howard scores 30, No. 21 Kentucky women edge No. 15 Georgia

NCAA

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP)Rhyne Howard scored 17 of her 30 points in the fourth quarter and No. 21 Kentucky controlled the fourth quarter to defeat No. 15 Georgia 84-76 on Thursday night.

Leading 58-57 after three quarters, Howard took over. She scored Kentucky’s first five points in the fourth, added a 3-pointer in the middle of the quarter and scored the Wildcats’ last nine points, closing the game on a personal seven-point run, including her third three-point play.

Howard now has 1,872 points, passing Victoria Dunlap for third on the UK career list. A small crowd saw Kentucky win its 100th game in history over a ranked opponent as fans were encouraged not to attend because of hazardous road conditions due to inclement weather.

The Wildcats (8-3, 2-0 Southeastern Conference), who hadn’t played since Dec. 19 with their first two conference games postponed because of COVID, was 10 of 17 in the fourth quarter with a pair of 3s.

Dre’una Edwards had 17 points despite not scoring the the fourth quarter, and she had her string of five double-doubles snapped for Kentucky. Jada Walker added 15 points.

Jenna Staiti, who missed the last two games because of COVID, scored a season-high 26 points for Georgia (12-3, 1-2). Que Morrison added 14 points and Mikayla Coombs 11.

Georgia’s biggest lead was six points and Kentucky’s was eight as there 12 ties and nine lead changes through three quarters.

The Wildcats shot 52.2% and cashed in by scoring 20 points off 19 Georgia turnovers. Georgia was 18 of 20 from the foul line for a nine-point advantage and had a 38-24 rebounding edge but only went 2 of 10 from 3-point range.

Kentucky plays top-ranked South Carolina on Sunday while Georgia faces Alabama, a day before the schools play for the football championship.

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More AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25

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