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No. 4 Alabama 78, Kentucky 62

January 23, 1997

CINCINNATI (AP) _ Dominique Canty scored 23 points as No. 4 Alabama opened a big early lead and held on to beat Kentucky 78-62 Thursday for its 14th consecutive win.

Alabama (16-2, 5-0 Southeastern Conference) extended its school-record winning streak by putting together runs at the start of each half. The 14 consecutive wins is a record for the women’s team and is six shy of the men’s record.

After falling behind 12-0 in the first five minutes, Kentucky (6-11, 0-5) cut the lead to two points but couldn’t contain Canty or keep up with Alabama’s bigger front line.

Canty opened the second half with a layup and a three-point play, pushing the lead to 43-32. Kentucky never got closer than five points the rest of the way. Alabama dominated the boards 52-25, getting 27 offensive rebounds.

Yolanda Watkins added 15 points and 10 rebounds for Alabama, while Shalonda Enis and Latrish Jones each added 10. Kim Denkins led Kentucky with 23 points and eight rebounds.

The game, matching the top and bottom teams in the SEC, was played at Riverfront Coliseum, where the women’s Final Four will be held March 28-30.

The first five minutes were a mismatch as Alabama pulled ahead 12-0. Canty, Yolanda Watkins and Shalonda Enis each scored four.

Kentucky became more aggressive on offense and put together its best run of the game. Tiffany Wait had eight points, including a 3-pointer, in an 18-8 spurt that cut the lead to 22-20.

The lead fluctuated between two and six points the rest of the half, which ended with Alabama up 38-32. Canty put the Crimson Tide in control by scoring nine of their opening 11 points in the second half.

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