Final: No. 5 South Carolina 75, No. 10 Kentucky 70
Facing No. 10 Kentucky on the road and finding itself trailing by as many as nine points, No. 5 South Carolina played a heroic second half to pull ahead by as many as nine points, then the Gamecocks survived a late rally from the Wildcats to win 75-70 in Lexington. Turnovers plagued South Carolina in the first half – six in each of the first two quarters – but the Gamecocks committed just six after halftime, while making half of its shots in the third and fourth quarters.
Kentucky's Rhyne Howard had an incredible individual performance, scoring 32 points on 13-of-25 shooting, but it was South Carolina's scoring tandem of Destanni Henderson (22 points) and Aliyah Boston (20 points) that carried the Gamecocks to the victory.
South Carolina pulls ahead in fourth quarter
End of 3Q: No. 5 South Carolina 57, No. 10 Kentucky 56
While it appeared like No. 10 Kentucky may have been on the verge of pulling off a nearly wire-to-wire win, as the Wildcats have led for 24:53 and at the end of the first and second, the Gamecocks had other plans. South Carolina roared ahead in the third quarter, outscoring Kentucky 25-15 in third quarter, pulling ahead 57-56 on Laeticia Amihere's layup with 18 seconds left in the quarter.
The Wildcats have been led by Rhyne Howard's game-high 26 points on 11-of-18 shooting, while three South Carolina players have scored in double figures.
Kentucky leads South Carolina by seven at third-quarter timeout
Halftime: No. 10 Kentucky 41, No. 5 South Carolina 32
No. 10 Kentucky built upon its four-point edge through the first quarter, taking a 41-32 advantage into halftime behind 44.4-percent field goal shooting and 83.3 percent free throw shooting in the second quarter. The Gamecocks' last lead was 8-7 and their largest lead was only by three points, while Kentucky has benefited from 12 South Carolina turnovers.
Kentucky guard Rhyne Howard leads all scorers with 19 points, as well as four rebounds. Dre'Una Edwards has added eight points.
South Carolina's Destanni Henderson and Laeticia Amihere share the team lead with eight points.
Destanni Henderson sinks off-balance layup
End of 1Q: No. 10 Kentucky 19, No. 5 South Carolina 15
Led by a tenacious, flying defensive effort, No. 10 Kentucky leads No. 5 South Carolina 19-15 after the first quarter. The Wildcats turned four steals and six total South Carolina turnovers into 10 points, as Kentucky has found ways to score easy in transition and off of turnovers.
In the half-court, Kentucky has found success in the mid-range and in the post, working downhill off of pick-and-rolls.
Rhyne Howard leads Kentucky with 11 points, while five South Carolina players have scored between two and four points in a balanced scoring attack.
Robyn Benton goes coast to coast after steal
South Carolina leads 8-7 at the first media timeout
Robyn Benton's steal turns into a Chasity Patterson layup
It's almost time for tipoff in this top-10 clash
At 5 p.m. ET, a huge clash between No. 5 South Carolina and No. 10 Kentucky will tip off in Lexington. Both teams are also ranked in the top 10 of the NET, through Jan. 9, with the Gamecocks at No. 3 and Wildcats at No. 10.
South Carolina entered the day tied for first in the SEC with a 2-0 conference record, while Kentucky started Sunday tied for fourth with a 2-1 mark in SEC play.
How to watch No. 5 South Carolina vs. No. 10 Kentucky
WHEN: You can watch No. 5 South Carolina and Destanni Henderson (above) take on No. 10 Kentucky at 5 p.m. ET on Sunday, Jan. 10.
TV: The game will be on ESPN. Stream it here.
South Carolina vs. Kentucky Preview
The Gamecocks have won four games in a row since a Dec. 3 upset against NC State dropped them from the top spot on the AP poll. Their most recent win was 77-60 over Alabama on Monday.
South Carolina will have to find a way to stop Rhyne Howard. She led the Wildcats’ charge with a double-double in victories against then-No. 10 Arkansas and No. 12 Mississippi State. These efforts earned Howard the National Player of the Week and SEC Player of the Week honors.
Howard is coming off of a 22-point performance against No. 8 Texas A&M in her team's 77-60 loss. Kentucky struggled on 3-pointers, making only four of its 17 attempts.
The Gamecocks defeated Kentucky both times these two teams met in the 2019-20 season.
The focus will be on the paint in this matchup. South Carolina grabs 52.2 rebounds per game compared to Kentucky's 39.4 rebounds. We should see a battle in inside with Aliyah Boston matching up against sophomore forward Dre'una Edwards, who leads the Wildcats in rebounding at eight rebounds per game.
Four Gamecocks averaged double-digits in points. Sophomore Zia Cooke leads South Carolina in scoring with 18.8 points per game. She's coming off of an 18 point performance against Alabama.
Overall, the Gamecocks have picked up wins against Top 25 opponents Gonzaga and Iowa State. Can South Carolina pull out a win this time around facing another top-10 foe?
South Carolina vs. Kentucky: Stats breakdown
|7-1 (2-0 SEC)||Record (conference games)||9-2 (2-1 SEC)|
|No. 5||AP Rank||No. 10|
|82.9||Points Per Game||78.4|
|44.5||Field Goal %||46.5|
|52.2||Rebounds Per Game||39.4|
|15.6||Assists Per Game||15.3|
|12.5||Turnovers Per Game||13.6|
|7.0||Steals Per Game||10.5|