The 4th-seeded Kentucky Wildcats have won their first NCAA Tournament game since the 2018-19 season. It came Sunday in the form of a 71-63 victory over Idaho State to advance to the Round of 32, where the Cats will face 5th-seeded Iowa on Tuesday.
SEC Player of the Year and All-American Rhyne Howard had 14 points, nine boards, five assists and four steals, while senior guard Chasity Patterson added 14 points and three rebounds. Junior guard Blair Green came off the bench to score 10 points, while sophomore forward Dre’una Edwards chipped in nine points and seven boards.
The story of the game was the bench, as Cats’ bench accounted for 29 points compared to just eight for Idaho State.
The Wildcats took control for good late in the second quarter by going on a 7-0 run to take a 30-24 halftime lead. Kentucky would hold a 47-31 lead after three quarters and held on in the final frame to give Kyra Elzy her first NCAA Tournament win as a head coach.
This also marks the 12th-straight time the Cats have won their opening-round game.