Zia Cooke scored 21 issues and No. 2 South Carolina were given again on the right track after its first Southeastern Convention loss in two seasons with a 76-55 victory over No. 17 Kentucky on Sunday.
The Gamecocks (18-Three, 13-1 SEC) had received 31 instantly over league warring parties sooner than blowing a double-digit, second-half lead at No. 21 Tennessee this previous Thursday night time.
Cooke and South Carolina’s stingy protection ensured it would not be two instantly defeats. The Gamecocks held Rhyne Howard to 12 issues on 2-of-11 capturing as senior LeLe Grissett shadowed the Kentucky famous person a lot of the sport.
Level guard Destanni Henderson added 14 issues because the Gamecocks’ backcourt took keep watch over in a recreation the place standout heart Aliyah Boston completed with a season-low 4 issues, 9 fewer than her moderate coming in.
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South Carolina broke out temporarily in the second one half of as Grissett and Henderson had baskets to open a 38-30 lead.
A day trip by means of Kentucky (15-6, Eight-Five) lower than a minute in did not prevent the Gamecocks’ rate and when Cooke drove to the ring for a layup, were given fouled and hit the unfastened throw, they have been up 43-32 and cruising to their fourth instantly over the Wildcats.
Cooke stated dropping at Tennessee after lead 37-21 was once a “bummer” on account of how exhausting they labored. “However we got here in combination, we practiced exhausting and knew we would pop out victorious if we caught with the sport plan.”
Kentucky entered pointing to this one. In spite of everything, the Wildcats held a nine-point lead at house on South Carolina ultimate month sooner than falling 75-70.
However they could not get previous South Carolina’s relentless defensive drive. The Wildcats had simply 8 box objectives and Howard was once scoreless over the primary 17 mins as they fell in the back of 31-21.
Howard, on the other hand, broke unfastened with a couple of Three-pointers to guide a Nine-2 Kentucky burst down the stretch and trailed simply 34-30 on the half of.
South Carolina blunted any hopes of Kentucky rally with their rapid begin to the 3rd quarter. The Gamecocks held Howard to simply six foul photographs within the ultimate 20 mins as she ignored all six of her box purpose tries after halftime.
Grissett stated Howard was once a very powerful particular person at the court docket for Kentucky and the Gamecocks made positive to make it tough on her. “Simply lock in and center of attention what is in entrance folks,” she stated.
Grissett, the crew’s lone senior venerated sooner than tipoff, had 13 issues and Laeticia Amihere had 12 issues and 12 rebounds for her 3rd double-double this season.
Kentucky trainer Kyra Elzy did not suppose Howard was once off her recreation, as an alternative crediting South Carolina with defensing her aspect of the ground to remove open photographs. Elzy stated the loss was once as a lot her crew’s struggles to rebound.
“We didn’t have the toughness we had to rebound,” she stated.
THE BIG PICTURE
Kentucky: The Wildcats have had their issues of South Carolina the previous few seasons, dropping 13 of the ultimate 14. When Howard struggles as she did towards the Gamecocks, it makes issues that a lot more difficult for Kentucky.
South Carolina: The Gamecocks performed extra thru Boston and, whilst she did not rating a lot, the ball flowed extra easily to Cooke and Henderson at the out of doors for open appears. Boston nonetheless had an have an effect on with 10 rebounds, 3 assists, two blocks and two steals.
South Carolina will lose positions within the nationwide scores for a moment instantly week on account of its loss to Tennessee. The Gamecocks have been No. 1 within the scores two weeks in the past sooner than falling to No. 2 UConn on Feb. Eight and dropped into moment. Gamecocks trainer Crack of dawn Staley stated the crew has to stick the route and no longer purchase into those that suppose any loss manner issues. “We will be able to’t imagine as a result of we lose a recreation, the ground falls out,” she stated.
Kentucky had hassle attending to the foul line and in preserving out of foul hassle. The Wildcats fell in the back of early as they have been referred to as for 12 fouls the primary two quarters. South Carolina had 18 unfastened throw makes an attempt in that extend. Kentucky completed 10 of 11 on foul photographs whilst the Gamecocks have been 16 of 24 from the road.
Kentucky performs at No. 22 Georgia on Thursday night time.
South Carolina finishes its house season with Mississippi on Thursday night time.