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Feb. 4, 2012

Final Stats | Quotes

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February 4, 2012
Team 1st 2nd Total
#1/1 Kentucky 52 34 86
South Carolina 25 27 52
Coach Horn D. Leonard, M. Cooke

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina was unable to overcome a hot-shooting night by No. 1/1 Kentucky as the Gamecocks dropped an 86-52 decision on Saturday at Colonial Life Arena.

With the loss, Carolina falls to 9-13 overall and 1-7 in SEC play. The Wildcats move to 23-1 on the season and 9-0 in the conference with their 15th straight victory.

On the night, Kentucky shot 51.6 percent from the floor, including 6-of-14 from 3-point range. The Wildcats also sank 16-of-21 attempts from the free-throw line. South Carolina couldn’t find an answer against Kentucky’s defensive pressure, shooting just 30.5 percent for the game.

Freshman guard Damien Leonard tossed in a career-high 19 points, including four 3-pointers, to lead the Gamecocks, while freshman forward Anthony Gill chipped in 10 points. Sophomore forward Damontre Harris added five points, six rebounds and four blocks.

Freshman forward Anthony Davis scored a game-high 22 points, pulled down eight rebounds and blocked eight shots to pace Kentucky. As a team, the Wildcats finished the contest with 10 blocks. Doron Lamb and Terrence Jones added 18 and 16 points, respectively, while Kyle Wiltjer finished with 12.

The Wildcats were in a rhythm early as they built a 23-10 lead by making eight of their first nine shots, including both attempts from beyond the arc. South Carolina answered with an 8-2 run capped by a Leonard 3-pointer that trimmed Kentucky’s lead to 25-18 with 10:55 left in the half. However, Kentucky closed the half on a 27-7 run to take a 52-25 lead into the locker room.

The Wildcats opened the second half on a 19-5 run to pull away for the win.

South Carolina returns to action on Wednesday in a SEC matchup at Tennessee. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. in Knoxville, Tenn. The contest will be broadcast on the SEC Network.