Men’s Basketball Postgame Notes
South Carolina at Kentucky, Rupp Arena, Lexington, Ky.
January 21, 2017 Attendance: 24,389
Final Score: No. 5/5 Kentucky 85, No. 24/24 South Carolina 69
Team Records and Series Notes
Kentucky is 17-2 overall, 7-0 in the Southeastern Conference. South Carolina is 15-4 overall, 5-1 in league action.
This is the third time in Coach John Calipari’s eight seasons at UK that the Wildcats have been spotless through their first seven league games.
Kentucky leads the series 51-11, including 27-2 in Lexington.
Next for Kentucky: the Wildcats play at Tennessee on Tuesday at 9 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPN.
In the First Half
Kentucky started the lineup of Isaiah Briscoe, De’Aaron Fox, Malik Monk, Wenyen Gabriel and Bam Adebayo for the 13th time this season. UK is 11-2 with this lineup.
Kentucky scored the first seven points of the game, including a 3-pointer by Gabriel, extending Kentucky’s streak of 3-pointers to 994 consecutive games.
Monk and Gabriel followed with 3-pointers, giving UK a 13-3 lead.
At that point, Fox took control with three driving layups to make it 19-6.
With a dunk and layup, the score went to 23-6, prompting a South Carolina timeout at 11:26. It was UK’s largest lead of the half.
When Derek Willis swished a baseline jumper with 9:48 remaining, it was UK’s first basket that wasn’t a 3-pointer or dunk/layup.
Fox left the game with 8:50 on the clock because of a sprained right ankle and did not return.
Trailing 30-15, South Carolina went on a 12-0 run to get the game within 30-27. Ten of the points came after forcing UK turnovers.
After UK went scoreless for more than three minutes, Willis steadied the Wildcat ship with a three-pointer with 4:22 on the clock.
After UK built the lead back up to 47-33, SC’s Sindarius Thornwell scored five points in the final minute, capping his magnificent 20-point showing in the first half. (Thornwell finished with a game-high 34 points.)
In the Second Half
After South Carolina closed within 48-44 early in the second half, Monk and Willis supplied a 7-0 run to put the cushion back to 11 points.
South Carolina got no closer than eight points the rest of the way (62-54) as the Wildcats gradually pulled away in the final 10 minutes.
Kentucky led by as many as 23 points at 85-62.
Kentucky shot 58.3 percent from the field. It is the 14th time this season and seventh game in a row that the Wildcats have hit at least half their shots.
It is the longest streak for the Wildcats since the 1983-84 Wildcats had eight straight games of 50 percent or better.
Kentucky’s 85 points is the most scored this season against South Carolina. UK was just the third foe to reach 70 vs. the Gamecocks.
Calipari has a 679-189 (.782) on-court record, including a 234-49 (.827) mark at UK.
Kentucky has an all-time mark of 556-65 (.895) in Rupp Arena.
UK is 129-5 (.963) at Rupp Arena under John Calipari.
Freshman Malik Monk paced the Wildcats with 27 points, including 4 of 7 on 3-point shots.
This was his 11th 20-point game of the season. He continued his streak of double-figure scoring in every game this season. It is his eighth game this season that he has made at least four 3-pointers.
Freshman Bam Adebayo notched 18 points, making 5 of 6 from the field. Adebayo has now made 14 of 17 field goal attempts (.824) over the last four games
Playing a season-high 29 minutes, senior Derek Willis came off the bench to contribute 12 points and a game-high seven rebounds.
Freshman De’Aaron Fox made all three of his field goal attempts before leaving the game with only eight minutes played. He sustained a sprained right ankle.
Freshman Wenyen Gabriel tallied 11 points, making three 3-pointers for the second game in a row. He has averaged 10 points and 9.7 rebounds over the last three games.
Playing 10 minutes, sophomore Isaac Humphries contributed six points and four rebounds. He has scored at least four points in five of the last six games.
Senior Dominique Hawkins had five points and a game-high seven assists while playing 28 minutes. The assists and minutes were his second most of the season, only behind the nine assists in 32 minutes vs. UT Martin.
Senior Mychal Mulder missed the game because of illness.