Kentucky-South Carolina Postgame Notes
Kentucky Women’s Basketball Postgame Notes
FINAL: #3/2 South Carolina 93, #13/13 Kentucky 63
Veterans Memorial Arena – Jacksonville, Fla.
March 5, 2016
Team Records and Series Notes
Kentucky saw its eight-game winning streak come to an end against No. 3/2 South Carolina, falling 93-63 to the Gamecocks in the semifinals of the Southeastern Conference Tournament.
The Wildcats made their seventh consecutive semifinal appearance in the tournament.
The meeting was the 58th all-time between the two teams, with Kentucky retaining the advantage in the series 33-25. South Carolina has won all three matchups this year, and has won six of the last eight wins in the series.
The loss to the Gamecocks is a first for UK within the SEC Tournament, with UK now holding a 2-1 record against South Carolina in tournament games.
With the loss, UK moves to 23-7 on the season, including 10-6 in SEC play. South Carolina picked up its 30th win with a record of 30-1, and has not lost to an SEC opponent this year.
Kentucky has reached the 20-win plateau for seven consecutive seasons.
Matthew Mitchell is in his ninth season with Kentucky and the setback moves him to 247-117 overall, including a 217-88 record while at Kentucky.
Kentucky will await the announcement of its seeding and opponent for the NCAA Tournament. The NCAA Women’s Basketball Selection Show will be held on Monday, March 14 and will be broadcast live on ESPN at 7 p.m. ET.
Kentucky started with Batouly Camara, Janee Thompson, Maci Morris, Evelyn Akhator and Makayla Epps for the 10th straight game. UK is 8-2 with this lineup.
South Carolina shot 52.9% from the field on 37-of-70 shooting, marking just the third time this season that an opponent has shot above a .500 clip. The Gamecocks also hit 12-of-22 from 3-point range, which is a season high in 3-point makes for a UK opponent.
The loss was the worst of the season for the Wildcats, whose previous season-high margin of defeat was 11 points in the 73-62 setback to South Carolina on Jan. 14.
Kentucky committed 19 turnovers, 10 of which were from steals. UK has had an opponent swipe the ball 10 or more times in two consecutive games (10 by Florida on March 4).
South Carolina assisted on 23 of its shots, a season high for a Kentucky opponent.
Kentucky was outrebounded 38-29 and was outscored in the paint, 38-34.
The Wildcats shot 44.6% from the floor on 25-of-56 shooting, which is the highest percentage against the Gamecocks in the season’s three meetings.
Kentucky trailed by as many as 11 points in the first quarter (21-10, 3:09) and the second quarter (30-19, 7:22).
The Gamecocks held the advantage at the end of the first quarter, 23-16.
Kentucky was held scoreless for the final 4:09 of the second quarter, trailing 42-31 at the half. It marked the largest halftime deficit against an SEC opponent, and was the first time this season that the Wildcats had trailed by 10 or more points since being down by 12 at Arizona State on Nov. 15.
South Carolina extended its lead to 30 points at 0:08 mark of the fourth quarter, marking the largest deficit of the season for the Wildcats. The previous was also against the Gamecocks, at 15 points.
Combined with a 7-0 run to end the second quarter, South Carolina went on an 18-2 run over 7:50. Within that run were 11 consecutive points for the Gamecocks, marking just the sixth time that the Wildcats have given up a run of 10 points or more.
Makayla Epps led the team in scoring with 16 points along with seven rebounds and five assists.
Alexis Jennings recorded 10 points to go with six rebounds.
Evelyn Akhator and Batouly Camara were just outside double-digit scoring, with eight points each.
o Akhator, the team leader in rebounds, was held to just two boards in the contest.