LEXINGTON, Ky. - Jada Walker scored 19 points and Robyn Benton added 17 as the Kentucky women's basketball team opened its season with an 82-78 win over Radford on Monday night at Memorial Coliseum.
The Cats struggled shooting the ball, hitting 33 of 73 (45.2 percent) from the floor, including just two of 18 (11.1 percent) from behind the arc.
However, UK turned defense into offense, forcing 16 Radford turnovers and turning those into 18 points
Benton got the Cats on the board first, but the first quarter was tight throughout. Radford took its first lead, 7-6, on a three by Rachel Lalonde. But Benton scored four in a row to lead 10-7. The Highlanders would score the next six to lead by three and Radford would lead 18-16 after 10 minutes of action.
The second period was tight early before Kentucky grabbed the advantage on a 6-0 run sparked by four points from Adebola Adeyeye. Radford would battle back to tie the game at 33 apiece before a 9-1 UK run, sparked by five points from Walker, gave the Cats a 42-34 lead. Kentucky would lead 42-36 at the break.
Kentucky opened the third period on a 6-2 run, on layups by Walker, Benton and Blair Green, to lead by 10, 48-38. It was part of a 21-10 run that extended the UK lead to 17 points, 63-46, with 1:23 left in the third. UK would lead 63-52 through three quarters.
Radford would rally in the fourth quarter, getting within three points with seven seconds to play. However, the comeback came up short in the end.
Kentucky returns to action on Friday, hosting Morehead State at Memorial Coliseum. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. and the game can be seen on SEC Network Plus.