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Stallworth, No. 7 Kentucky women beat Pepperdine

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CURTIS ZUPKE | December 19, 2012 12:26 AM EST | AP

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MALIBU, Calif. — DeNesha Stallworth scored 17 points and Bria Goss added 16 to lead No.7 Kentucky over Pepperdine 80-62 on Tuesday night.

Stallworth scored 13 points in the second half and the Wildcats (9-1) pulled away from the Waves (3-6) for their eighth consecutive victory.

Kentucky led by only four at halftime but opened the second half with a 16-4 run. Stallworth scored 11 during the stretch despite picking up her third foul in the opening minute. She scored on an end-to-end drive and a short jumper before converting inside to make it 55-39.

Stallworth got open for a layup and Samarie Walker scored back-to-back uncontested layups to give the Wildcats their biggest lead, 65-43.

A'Dia Mathies had 13 points and Walker finished with 10.

Shay Cooney-Williams led Pepperdine with 14 points and reserve Kelsey Patrick had a season-high 10 along with eight rebounds. Bria Richardson came off the bench and also scored 10 points for Pepperdine, which committed 22 turnovers and was outscored 27-0 on the fast break.

Pepperdine closed the first half on a 14-5 run to pull to 37-33 at the break.

Patrick completed the run with a pair of technical free throws after she was elbowed by Azia Bishop on a flagrant foul. Richardson led all scorers with 10 points in the first half, including a left-hand layup to bring Pepperdine to 17-14 and a pair of free throws in the final two minutes.

Jada McNorton also sank two free throws in the final two minutes and grabbed a rebound to set up Pepperdine's last possession.

Kentucky forced 13 turnovers in the first half but couldn't connect from outside, shooting 3 for 14 from beyond the 3-point line and 35 percent from the field. Mathies and O'Neill made 3-pointers and Stallworth scored on a floater to give Kentucky a 32-19 lead before the Waves began to rally.

Pepperdine leading scorer Robie Mayberry scored two points on 1-for-8 shooting in 14 minutes after she picked up two fouls in the first half.

Kentucky took an 11-0 lead on O'Neill's layup and forced Pepperdine into nine turnovers in the first 11 minutes.

It was the first meeting between the teams since 1991.