Queens, NY – DeNesha Stallworth posted a double-double as the second-seed Kentucky Wildcats recovered from a slow start to drop 15th- seed Navy, 61-41, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Carnesecca Arena.
Stallworth had 18 points and 11 rebounds, Samarie Walker added 14 points and six rebounds and Jennifer O'Neill tallied 12 points and four assists for Kentucky (28-5). Two-time SEC Player of the Year A'dia Mathies had just five points and did not record a field goal for the first time in her career. Kentucky will battle Dayton in the next round.
Jade Geif had nine points and six rebounds and Alix Membreno added nine points but had seven turnovers to pace Navy (21-12).
It was Navy that clung to a 26-25 lead at halftime after hitting five shots from beyond the arc while shooting 38.5 percent from the field. The Wildcats shot at just a 31.3 percent clip and made good on 2-of-6 from 3-point range.
After the break the Wildcats got into a bit of a rhythm on offense, shooting 46.4 percent from the floor, but it was their effort on defense that allowed them to pull away. Navy was held to just five field goals on 23.8 percent shooting in the final 20 minutes.
Kentucky dominated the interior and had a 34-10 edge on points in the paint and a 43-30 advantage on the boards. Navy was guilt of a game-high 25 turnovers.