TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Kentucky wasn’t about to let Alabama beat them two straight years in Tuscaloosa.
DeNesha Stallworth had 19 points and 10 rebounds to help the sixth-ranked Wildcats beat the Crimson Tide 87-70 on Sunday for their 13th straight victory.
Samarie Walker added 15 points and 13 rebounds for the Wildcats (14-1, 2-0 SEC), who were shocked by Alabama last season, falling by two points.
The Wildcats led early on and the Crimson Tide (10-5, 0-2) were no match. Kentucky used a 16-4 run midway through the first half to go up 25-13. Alabama closed to four, but the Wildcats scored the final three points of the half to lead 35-28 at the break.
Alabama cut its deficit to 47-43 early in the second half, but Kentucky put the game away with an 11-3 run.
“It was great to see us finally assert ourselves in the area of hustle and effort,” Kentucky head coach Matthew Mitchell said.
A’dia Mathies scored all 17 of her points in the second half after getting into foul trouble in the first half. She hit a career-high five 3-pointers.
“We were struggling behind the three point line in the first half. Just being able to go out there and make threes after sitting out the whole first half,” she said. “I was very happy about that effort.”
Kentucky’s rare use of a zone defense prevented Alabama from getting easy shots in the paint, forcing them to rely on their shots behind the 3-point line.
“This was a tough game against one of the top teams in the country,” said Alabama head coach Wendell Hudson. “I thought we gave good effort, but we didn’t shoot the ball very well. When you’re playing a good team you have to make everything happen. Everything has to count. You cannot take a break.”