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Jan. 30, 2009

South Carolina at Kentucky | 3 p.m.
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South Carolina at Kentucky

Date: Saturday, January 31, 2009
Tipoff: 3 p.m. ET
Location: Lexington, Ky.
Arena: Rupp Arena (23,000)
Series: Kentucky leads, 41-7
Series Trend: Kentucky has won four straight
Television: Raycom Sports
Tom Hammond (play-by-play), Larry Conley (analyst)
Radio: Gamecock Radio Network
Mike Morgan (play-by-play), Casey Manning (analyst)

Game Preview
South Carolina (15-4, 4-2 SEC) travels to face No. 24 Kentucky (16-5, 5-1 SEC) in a Southeastern Conference Eastern Division matchup on Saturday at Rupp Arena. The game marks the first of two consecutive SEC East road games for South Carolina Star watch falls on South Carolina guard Devan Downey as he nears 1,000 points as a Gamecock. Downey needs just 39 more points to reach the career benchmark. The meeting marks the first for South Carolina head coach Darrrin Horn against the Wildcats.

Series Information
Kentucky leads the all-time series between the two schools, 41-7, including a 21-1 advantage in Lexington. The Wildcats have won four straight in the series.

Television Information
The contest will be televised on Raycom Sports with Tom Hammond calling play-by-play and Larry Conley handling color analyst duties. The contest at Kentucky marks the 16th of 22 televised regular-season games for South Carolina this season.

Radio Broadcast Information
The game will be broadcast on the ISP Gamecock Radio Network with Mike Morgan on the call with play-by-play and Casey Manning handling color analyst duties. The Gamecock Radio Network reaches throughout the state of South Carolina.

Scouting Kentucky
Kentucky enters Saturday’s game against South Carolina tied with Florida atop the SEC Eastern Division standings with a 5-1 record in league play. UK most recently dropped a league road contest at Ole Miss, snapping a five-game win streak.

Junior forward Jodie Meeks leads just two Wildcats who average double figures entering the weekend matchup. Meeks – who stole the show in UK’s win over archrival Tennesse, scoring a school-record 54 points – leads the way providing 25.8 points per game. Meeks owns four of the top five single-game point performances in the SEC this season.

Sophomore Patrick Patterson also averages double digits at 18.0 points per outing. Patterson collects a team-high 9.3 rebounds per game, while adding 2.1 assists and 2.0 blocks per game. Patterson knocked down a game-best 24 points in UK’s loss to Ole Miss on Tuesday.

Junior big man Perry Stevenson has been a constant in the Wildcat starting lineup this season. He adds 8.0 points and 6.5 rebounds per game, while he leads the squad with 2.2 blocks per outing. Freshman guard DeAundre Liggins has started just one game this season for UK, but he leads the squad with 3.3 assists per outing.

Scouting South Carolina
South Carolina rides a three-game win streak into Lexington, holding a 15-4 overall record, including a 4-2 mark in SEC play.

Junior point guard Devan Downey – who needs just 39 points to reach 1,000 for his Gamecock career – leads four Gamecocks in double figures entering Saturday’s game at Kentucky. Downey provides 19.6 points, 2.6 rebounds, a team-best 4.3 assists and a league-best 3.0 steals per game. Downey has led, or matched a team high in scoring 16 times this season, including the last five games. He also leads a struggling Gamecock team from the free throw line, hitting 77.6 percent (66-85) of his attempts among the starting five.

Senior guard Zam Fredrick has struggled from the floor in his last two outings, hitting a combined 6-of-26 attempts (20 points) against Ole Miss (Jan. 24) and Vanderbilt (Jan. 28). Fredrick sits behind Downey with 15.6 points per game this season.

Junior forward Dominique Archie and sophomore forward Mike Holmes add 11.5 and 11.0 points per game, respectively, for Carolina. Archie adds 6.8 rebounds per contest, while Holmes collects a team-best 8.1 rebounds and blocks a squad-high 1.2 shots per game.

Junior foward Evka Baniulis (7.7 ppg) and junior guard Brandis Raley-Ross (6.8 ppg) have been key off the bench for South Carolina in its current three-game win streak, while sophomore big man Austin Steed has also been stellar off the bench. He pulled down seven rebounds while adding five points in 18 minutes against Vanderbilt on Wednesday.

Did You Know?
South Carolina has four players (Downey, 19.6; Fredrick, 15.6; Archie, 11.5; Holmes, 11.0) who average double figures entering Saturday’s game at Kentucky. Only two other SEC teams have at least four players who average double digits (in overall games), as Arkansas (Washington, 16.8; Fortson, 14.2; Welsh, 12.4; Clarke, 10.3) and Vanderbilt (Ogilvy, 14.4; Taylor, 12.7; Beal, 12.0; Tinsley, 10.3) also hit the mark.

SEC Streaks
South Carolina is currently on a three-game SEC win streak with the opportunity to move to a four-game streak with a victory over Kentucky on Saturday. South Carolina’s current streak is its first three-game regular-season win streak in league play since the 2006 campaign (Feb. 8 at Florida, 71-67; Feb. 11 vs. Mississippi State, 83-61; Feb. 14 vs. Alabama, 67-56).

South Carolina’s last four-game win streak over league opponents also came during the 2006 SEC campaign. The Gamecocks defeated Auburn (67-63) in their regular-season finale, and then went on to victories over Mississippi State (59-44), Tennessee (79-71) and Saturday’s opponent, Kentucky (65-61) in the SEC Tournament. A loss to the eventual National Champion Florida Gators halted the streak.

The last four-game regular-season win streak over league opponents came in a stretch of five games during the 2004 campaign. South Carolina defeated Georgia (Jan. 10, 84-63), and Auburn (Jan. 14, 53-51 (OT)) on the road, then returned home to stomp Tennessee (Jan. 17, 85-64) and LSU (Jan. 24, 61-55). The streak hit five with a 57-55 win at Vanderbilt on Jan. 28, before a 79-68 loss at Mississippi on Jan. 31 halted the streak.