SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — A'dia Mathies scored 19 points and No. 7 Kentucky extended its winning streak to nine games Friday with a 66-38 victory over UC Santa Barbara.
The Wildcats (10-1) went 2-0 on their Pacific Coast road trip that began with an 80-62 win over Pepperdine in Malibu on Tuesday.
DeNesha Stallworth and Samarie Walker each scored 12 for the Wildcats. Stallworth, a 6-foot-3 junior from Richmond, Calif., stood tall in her home state. She had 17 points against Pepperdine.
Mathies, a senior guard from Louisville, hit four three-pointers, three of them in the second half, as Kentucky broke the game open after leading 28-20 at halftime.
It was 30-23 early in the second half when Kentucky went on a 10-0 run to open a double-digit lead for good. Another 10-point spurt, featuring a pair of 3s by Mathies, pushed the cushion to 53-27.
The Wildcats improved on their average scoring margin of 25.4 points, which ranks seventh in the nation.
Kentucky took its biggest first-half lead at 17-6 when Stallworth hit a baby hook in the lane.
Melissa Zornig made a three-pointer to spark a 10-2 run that pulled the Gauchos to 19-16.
But Mathies scored the next five points as the Wildcats opened their eight-point halftime lead. Stallworth had 10 points in the first half.
The Gauchos (4-7) committed 17 of their 28 turnovers in the first half against Kentucky's pressure defense.
Sweets Underwood and Zornig were UCSB's leading scorers with nine points each.
Despite having no player taller than 6-1, UCSB outrebounded the Wildcats 31-30. Underwood, a 6-foot senior, had a game-high 12 rebounds for the Gauchos, and Kirsten Tilleman grabbed 10.
Walker pulled down 10 rebounds for Kentucky.
■ UK held Santa Barbara to a season-low 38 points.
■ The 38 points allowed marks the third time the Wildcats have held their opponent to 40 points or less this season.
■ The Wildcats tied a season high with 19 assists.
■ UK held UCSB to 20 points in the first half, the fifth time the Cats have held their opponent to 20 points or less in the opening half.
■ The Wildcats hit six three-pointers and extended their streak of consecutive games with a three to 303.
■ Mathies ranks No. 6 on UK's all-time leading scoring list with 1,584 points.
She needs just 14 points to tie Pam Browning (1974-78) at No. 5.