The Kentucky Wildcats try to extend their win streak to nine games when they take on the visiting South Carolina Gamecocks on Tuesday night. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. on the SEC Network.
We will be covering the game at Rupp Arena with live updates and analysis. Follow us on Twitter at @johnclayiv, @jerrytipton, @benrobertshl, @markcstory, @alexslitzphoto and @kentuckysports. Scroll down for a dedicated Twitter list.
Officials for Kentucky-South Carolina are Joe Lindsay, Pat Driscoll and Byron Jarrett. . . . UK is 18-3 overall and 7-1 in the SEC. The Cats have won eight straight, including a 65-54 win at Florida last Saturday. South Carolina is 11-10 overall and 6-2 in the conference. The Gamecocks defeated Georgia 86-80 in Columbia last Saturday. . . . Keldon Johnson is UK’s leading scorer at 14.2 points per game. But PJ Washington has recorded three straight double-doubles. Washington had 15 points and 12 rebounds at Florida. . . . Chris Silva leads USC in scoring at 14.1 points per game and rebounding at 7.0 per game.
South Carolina won the only meeting between the two teams last season. The Gamecocks beat UK 76-68 in Columbia. The Cats won four straight over the Gamecocks before last year. UK won 85-69 on Jan. 21, 2017, South Carolina’s last visit to Rupp.
Starters for Kentucky: Ashton Hagans, Keldon Johnson, Tyler Herro, Reid Travis, PJ Washington. Starters for South Carolina: A.J. Lawson, Tre Campbell, Maik Kotsar, Keyshawn Bryant, Chris Silva.
Kentucky 8, South Carolina 5 (15:55) - UK is 3-of-8 from the floor here early. South Carolina is 2-of-5. Reid Travis has four points on a pair of free throws and a rebound basket. Carolina’s Chris Silva, the Gamecocks’ leading scorer on the season, has not scored but did get fouled right before the TV timeout. He’ll go to the line. South Carolina with three early turnovers. UK has yet to turn the ball over.
Kentucky 17, South Carolina 13 (11:45) - The visitors from Columbia are playing well. Carolina is 6-of-10 from the floor, including 3-of-4 from three-point range. Keyshawn Bryant, a 6-foot-6 freshman from Winter Haven, Fla., just nailed a three from the left wing to put South Carolina up by four with 12:03 left. Kentucky has been a little sluggish to this point. John Calipari just made his first subs after going with the starters for the first eight minutes. UK has made five of 11 shots. Chris Silva did pick up his second foul at the 15:43 mark.
Kentucky 22, South Carolina 22 (7:32) - Jemarl Baker has come off the bench and hit a three from the left wing and a two-pointer from the right wing. Reid Travis leads the Cats in scoring with six points. South Carolina’s Tre Campbell leads all scorers with 11 points. The graduate transfer guard is 4-of-4 from the floor, including 3-of-3 from beyond the arc. USC is 8-of-15 from the field. UK is 8-of-18.
Kentucky 29, South Carolina 24 (4:13) - UK on a 7-0 run so South Carolina coach Frank Martin asks for some time to consult with his team. UK has 8 offensive rebounds. Carolina has 7 defensive rebounds. Probably something Frank wants to talk to his team about.
Kentucky 37, South Carolina 28 (053.8) - PJ Washington now with 11 points for Kentucky. He nailed a three-pointer from the left corner with 2:04 left in the half.
Halftime: Kentucky 39, South Carolina 28 - Down 24-22, UK outscored the Gamecocks 17-4 over the final 5:11 of the first half. PJ Washington leads the Cats with 11 points. Tyler Herro has 9 points. Kentucky shot 45.2 percent the first half. South Carolina shot 45.8 percent. The Gamecocks made 4 of 7 threes. UK was 3-of-9 from 3. Big difference on the boards. The Wildcats doubled the visitors on the glass 24-12. EJ Montgomery had 7 rebounds in the first half.
Chris Silva scored 2 points after missing most of the first half with two fouls. Tre Campbell led USC with 11 points. Ashton Hagans had 6 turnovers in the first half for UK.
Kentucky 46, South Carolina 32 (15:30) - Silva scored his first field goal of the game. That’s the way the second half opened. But then Kentucky pushed the lead out to 14 points. Keldon Johnson hit four straight free throws. Meanwhile, during the TV timeout, Joe Crawfrod and Ramel Bradley were the Y in the K-e-n-t-u-c-k-y cheer. They shared the honors.
Kentucky 51, South Carolina 35 (11:55) - UK has made 2 of 10 shots this half. South Carolina has made 3 of 13 shots this half. Not a thing of beauty. Cats are shooting 39.0 percent for the game. Carolina is shooting 37.8 percent. UK has a 35-19 advantage on the boards. Montgomery has 8 rebounds. Travis has 7. Not long before the TV timeout, Kentucky did execute a pretty fast break with Quickley coming up with a steal and feeding Hagans for the transition basket.
Kentucky 62, South Carolina 38 (6:42) - PJ Washington has now 20 points and five rebounds. He needs five more rebounds to keep his double-doubles streak alive. It stands at three. South Carolina has made 4 of 18 shots this half for 22.2 percent. That has much to do with the Cats’ 24-point lead. South Carolina’s Chris Silva has all of four points and three rebounds.
Kentucky 67, South Carolina 40 (3:52) - Cats cruising it on home in what should be their ninth straight win. This would make UK 8-1 in the SEC before Saturday’s trip to beautiful Starkville to face Mississippi State. In this game, EJ Montgomery has 11 rebounds, a blocked shot and a steal in 16 minutes. After making some key plays at Florida, Montgomery is starting to come on. Nice time for that.
Final: Kentucky 76, South Carolina 48 - EJ Montgomery hit a three-pointer to finish with 11 points and 13 rebounds. Cats improve to 8-1 in the SEC. South Carolina falls to 6-3.