UK MEN’S BASKETBALL POSTGAME NOTES
KENTUCKY AT SOUTH CAROLINA
COLONIAL LIFE ARENA | COLUMBIA, S.C.
JAN. 16, 2018
Final Score: South Carolina 76, #18/16 Kentucky 68
Team Records and Series Notes
- Kentucky fell to 14-4 overall and 4-2 in the Southeastern Conference. South Carolina improved to 12-6 overall, 4-4 in league play.
- UK still leads the series 51-12 and 20-8 in Columbia, South Carolina.
- The Wildcats dropped to 2-2 on the road this season.
- After playing four on the road over its last five games, Kentucky will return home Saturday to host Florida. That game will be at 8:15 p.m. on ESPN. ESPN College GameDay will make its season debut from Rupp Arena at 11 a.m. on Saturday.
In the First Half
- Kentucky’s starting lineup featured Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Hamidou Diallo, PJ Washington, Kevin Knox and Nick Richards for the fifth time this season and third game in a row. UK lost its first game with that lineup.
- South Carolina opened the game on a 7-0 run. Richards settled the Wildcat down with a jumper at the 17:45 mark. He scored UK’s first four points as South Carolina staked to an early 11-4 lead.
- After falling behind 21-12, the Wildcats locked down on defense. Kentucky held South Carolina without a point for 2:31 of game time to climb back to 22-20.
- Kentucky took its first lead at 26-24 on a Richards’ layup with 6:40 left in the half. Richards scored four straight points to give the Wildcats the lead.
- The Wildcats held South Carolina without a field goal from the 13:22 mark until 2:53 left in half. Kentucky turned a 19-12 deficit into a 30-30 tie.
- Knox led the Wildcats with 10 points and four rebounds in the first half. Richards pitched in with eight points.
o Knox’s 10 points marked the fifth time he’s reached double-figure scoring by halftime but the first since Jan. 3 at LSU.
- Kentucky made (17) and shot (22) a first-half season high at the free-throw line.
- UK’s 15 first-half fouls were its most in any half this season and the most it’s committed in a half since 15 personal fouls in the second half vs. Missouri on Feb. 21, 2017.
- Kentucky fell to 10-2 this season when leading at halftime.
In the Second Half
- Kentucky opened the half on a 7-0 run to take 44-34 lead. Stretched back to the first-half-ending 5-0 run, the run was 12-0 overall.
- When UK took a 44-34 lead with 16:34 left in the game, it marked the Wildcats’ first double-figure lead in any game since the 29-point win vs. Louisville on Dec. 29.
- Kentucky extended its streak of 1,031 consecutive games with a 3-pointer when Knox hit a long ball with 7:00 left in the game. It was the Wildcats’ only trey of the game.
o The Wildcats hit one 3-pointer for just the seventh time in the John Calipari era and first since only knocking down one at Vanderbilt on Jan. 10, 2017.
- UK took its largest lead of the game at 57-43 with 11:43 left, but that’s where the game turned. South Carolina answered with a 7-0 run to get it to 57-50. Gilgeous-Alexander ended the run with a pull-up jumper, but South Carolina would continue its comeback.
- Kentucky seemed to have an answer and took a 65-58 lead with 6:12 left, but South Carolina promptly answered with another 11-0 spurt to take a 69-65 lead with 2:47 to go, an advantage it would never relinquish. Overall, the Gamecocks closed the game on an 18-3 run.
- After Vanderbilt made a jumper with 6:12 left in the game, UK failed to make a field goal the rest of the way.
o The Wildcats also went 3 for 8 from the free-throw line during that stretch and 6 for 14 for the half.
- Kentucky’s 32 personal fouls are the second most of the Calipari era. UK committed 33 at Kansas on Jan. 30, 2016.
- The game featured 59 fouls overall. UK went 23 of 36 from the free-throw line while South Carolina shot 25 of 38 from the charity stripe.
o South Carolina’s 25 makes are the most a Kentucky opponent has made since Tennessee sunk 30 on Feb. 2, 2016, and the 38 attempts are the most by a UK opponent since Kansas attempted 47 the game before, on Jan. 30, 2016. Usually a recipe for disaster, both of those games were losses as well.
o The Wildcats have shot 34 or more free throws and made 22 or more in three straight games.
o Three players fouled out. It’s the first time three players have fouled out since Jan. 30, 2016, at Kansas, which was also a loss.
- Three other Wildcats were also in foul trouble with four fouls.
- UK shot 44.9 percent from the field, making 22 of 49 shots.
- The Wildcats made just one of their 11 3-point field-goal attempts. Kentucky was outrebounded 40-35, falling to 1-3 when the opponent wins the battle of the glass.
- UK limited South Carolina to just 37.7 (23 of 61) percent shooting from the floor. It was the lowest field-goal percentage for an SEC opponent this season against the Cats. It was the lowest percentage by a UK opponent since Louisville shot 34.8 percent.
- Kevin Knox led the Wildcats with 21 points and eight rebounds.
- He scored in double figures in both halves.
- It’s the fifth time he’s scored 20 or more points, a team high, but the first time since Dec. 16 vs. Virginia Tech.
- Nick Richards added 12 points in 23 minutes before fouling out.
- His 12 points are his most since his career-high 25 vs. Fort Wayne on Nov. 22.
- He made his first five field-goal attempts.
- PJ Washington chipped in with 10 points for his fifth straight game in double figures.
- Jarred Vanderbilt made his Kentucky debut after missing the first 17 games of the season with a left foot injury.
- He was active early. After checking in at the at the 13:08 mark, he took his first field-goal attempt with 12:42 to go in the half and grabbed his first rebound at the 12:32 mark. He scored his first career points from the free-throw line with 2:26 remaining in the opening half.
- Vanderbilt displayed his versatility late in the first half. Listed as a 6-foot-9 forward, Vanderbilt took over the “point guard” duties when Gilgeous-Alexander and Diallo picked up two fouls apiece. He promptly found Sacha Killeya-Jones on a nifty pass underneath for a traditional 3-point play. It was his first career assist.
- Vanderbilt finished with six points, five rebounds, three assists and a block in 14 minutes of play.
- Quade Green (back), Tai Wynyard (back) missed the game with back injuries. .
Coach John Calipari
- Calipari has a 708-197 all-time on-court record.
- Calipari is now 263-57 at Kentucky and remains tied with Tubby Smith for the third-most wins at Kentucky, behind only Adolph Rupp (876) and Joe B. Hall (297).
- Calipari dropped to 13-3 vs. South Carolina.