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Edwards leads No. 20 Kentucky past LaSalle 74-52

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UK Athletics
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Dre'una Edwards scored 22 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as the 20th-ranked Kentucky women's basketball team downed LaSalle 74-52 on Saturday at Memorial Coliseum.

Robyn Benton added 17 points and seven rebounds for the Cats, while Rhyne Howard had 16 points, six rebounds and three assists.

Kentucky (4-1) also got 12 points and four assist from freshman Jada Walker.

The Cats hit 26 of 59 (44.1 percent) from the floor in the game, including eight of 19 (42.1 percent) from behind the arc. UK forced 17 LaSalle turnovers and turned those into 14 points. Kentucky also held the advantage in points in the paint (28-18) and fast-break points (9-0).

LaSalle scored the game's first points on a three by Kayla Spruill. Kentucky would get a Howard basket to cut the lead to one but the Explorers got a basket from Jaye Haynes to make it 5-2.

That's when Kentucky kicked it into gear. The Cats scored three straight baskets to grab an 8-5 lead with 6:13 left in the first. After a pair of LaSalle free throws, the Cats would score eight in a row to lead 16-7 with 2:35 left in the first.

LaSalle would get back within six, 20-14, before Kentucky scored the final seven points of the period, including a Walker three just before the buzzer, to lead 27-14 after one quarter.

Howard would start the second quarter in fine fashion, hitting a free throw then a three to extend the UK lead to 31-14. LaSalle would score four of the next six points but Kentucky got a pair of Edwards free throws and another from Howard to lead 36-18 with 5:18 left in the half.

LaSalle would respond with 10 points in a row to get within eight, 36-28, just before the half. Kentucky missed eight shots in a row but got a big three-pointer from Benton just before the half to take a 39-28 lead into the break. Howard led all scorers with 12 points in the first half.

In the third period, LaSalle would try to hang in the game. The Explorers would get within nine on two occasions but could not get any closer. Kentucky got five points from Benton and five from Edwards to extend the lead to 51-37 with 5:15 left in the period.

LaSalle would continue to stay in the game thanks to Spruill and Amy Jacobs, who hit a three to cut the UK lead to nine, 54-45, with 1:45 left in the third. Kentucky would lead 56-47 after three periods.

In the fourth quarter, Kentucky would score 13 in a row, including five by Benton, to lead 71-49 with 1:57 to go.

Kentucky returns to action on Wednesday, hosting West Virginia in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. ET and the game can be seen on SEC Network Plus.

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