Gamecocks struggle on boards, fall at No. 5 Kentucky

Gamecocks struggle on boards, fall at No. 5 Kentucky

From staff reports/File photo by Jenny Dilworth

PJ Washington scored 20 points to lead No. 5 Kentucky to a rout of South Carolina, 76-48, on Tuesday night for the Wildcats’ ninth consecutive victory.

The Wildcats (19-3, 8-1 SEC) shot just 41 percent but held the Gamecocks to just 28 percent in the second half and 36 percent overall. It was the seventh time in eight games they’ve held an opponent below 40 percent. Kentucky outscored SC 17-4 over the final 5:14 to lead 39-28 at the break and stretched its advantage to as many as 28 with just under five minutes remaining. 

Kentucky dominated South Carolina 50-27 on the glass and forced 19 turnovers leading to 26 points. The Wildcats stayed within a game of the conference lead in the process and improved to 28-2 at home against the Gamecocks (11-11, 6-3 SEC).

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A.J. Lawson and Tre Campbell each had 12 points for South Carolina. Campbell went 3-for-4 from behind the arc and is 9-for-13 (69 percent) from deep the past three games.

Kentucky outrebounded the Gamecocks 50-27, with 21 boards on the offensive end of the floor. The Wildcats also scored 26 points off 19 South Carolina turnovers.

Carolina shot 36 percent (19-for-53), marking its first time shooting below 40 percent in SEC play.