Fast Break: How South Carolina beat Kentucky

March 1, 2014 

Talking points

A Kentucky meltdown. It was a team — and maybe a season — unraveling. Only a late rush after Coach John Calipari was tossed made this one as close as it was. A six-point possession in five seconds put UK within one at :22, but it could not pull out a win it did not deserve. At one point, UK's only basket in almost 16 minutes of play was a goaltend against South Carolina. UK's offensive board work led to a 16-11 lead but the offense looked disjointed (17 percent shooting the first half). The Cats more than eight minutes without a field goal to close the first half. Calipari rode the officials until finally getting his first technical and South Carolina led 31-28 at the half. It only got worse.

Telling numbers

■ The only Julius Randle basket came with 22 seconds left.

■ At the point South Carolina led 55-48, UK had seven field goals.

■ UK's bench scored four points in 62 minutes of play.

■ Kentucky made 33 free throws and outrebounded South Carolina by 18.

■ UK was leading 25-21 when Carolina went on a 29-9 run.

■ Dakari Johnson (2-3) and Willie Cauley-Stein (1-2) were the only UK players to make more than one-third of their shots.

■ Kentucky had 16 offensive rebounds in the first half; South Carolina had 15 total rebounds.

■ South Carolina turned it over once in the first half.

■ Kentucky missed 24 of its 29 shots in the first half.

■ The game was barely two minutes old when Andrew Harrison took a seat next to John Calipari on the bench.

■ Of UK's first 13 missed shots, it rebounded 10.

Thumbs up

■ If not for offensive rebounds, Kentucky would have been blown out early.

Thumbs down

■ With two games left in the regular season last year, UK was 20-9 and 11-5 in the SEC. With two games left this year, UK is 21-8 and 11-5 in the SEC.

■ The offense was terrible; the ball movement non-existent.

■ Calipari constantly preaches a "no excuses" motto to his players. So why spend so much time riding officials when your team is struggling?

■ Remember when everyone said "wait until March." It's here.

Herald-Leader Staff Report

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