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Feb. 13, 2015

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina travels to Kentucky on Saturday for an afternoon matinee vs. the Wildcats. It is the second meeting between the two schools this season, as UK posted a 58-43 win in Columbia on Jan. 24. Saturday’s contest marks Carolina’s first at Rupp Arena since the 2013 campaign. Adam Amin (pxp), Dick Vitale (analyst) and Kaylee Hartung (sideline) will have the call for ESPN.

Game Date: Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015
Game Time: 2 p.m. ET
Arena: Rupp Arena (23,500)
Broadcast: ESPN/ESPN3/WatchESPN
Talent: Adam Amin (pxp), Dick Vitale (analyst), Kaylee Hartung (sideline)
Radio: Gamecock Radio Network
Talent: Andy Demetra (pxp), Casey Manning (analyst)
Sirius: N/A; XM: N/A
Series: Kentucky leads 48-11
Last Meeting: 58-43 Kentucky win on Jan. 24, 2015, in Columbia, S.C.

| Tickets | Game Notes | @GamecockMBB

– South Carolina is in its 107th season of varsity basketball in 2014-15.
– The Gamecocks are led by third-year head coach Frank Martin. His associate head coach is Matt Figger, his assistant coaches are Perry Clark and Lamont Evans, and his director of operations is Andy Assaley.
– South Carolina posted a 65-60 victory over visiting Missouri on Tuesday at Colonial Life Arena. The Gamecocks scored 28 points in the paint and 16 points off of 15 Tiger turnovers in the win. Sophomore guard Sindarius Thornwell and senior guard Tyrone Johnson each dished six assists for Carolina. Thornwell posted a team high 14 points in the win.
– South Carolina is averaging just shy of 60 points per game in road games this season, and sophomore guard Duane Notice paces the team in away contests with 13.2 points per game.
– Thornwell led the Gamecocks with 14 points in the first meeting with Kentucky this season. He played 37 minutes, and was 6-of-8 from the charity stripe in the matchup.
– Over the course of the last five games, Thornwell is averaging 12.6 points per game, and junior forward Michael Carrera is averaging a team best 7.2 rebounds per outing, including 2.6 offensive boards per game.
– The Gamecocks are 1-11 all-time against opponents ranked No. 1 in the AP poll. Their lone victory came in a 68-62 home win over Kentucky on Jan. 26, 2010.
– An 18-0 run in the second half allowed Vanderbilt to post a 65-50 home win at Memorial Gymnasium on Feb. 7 over the visiting Gamecocks. Thornwell led Carolina with 12 points, and Notice added 10. The Commodores out-rebounded the Gamecocks 33-20, holding Carolina to a season low four offensive boards.
– Sophomore forward Demetrius Henry returned to the lineup at Vandy after missing the previous three games due to a concussion.
– Sophomore guard Justin McKie missed his fifth-straight game vs. Missouri due to a concussion.
– Freshman guard/forward Shamiek Sheppard did not play at Arkansas or Vandy due to a sore right knee. He returned vs. Missouri, scoring two points, with three rebounds and two steals in seven minutes vs. the Tigers.
– The Gamecocks are in their 24th season of competition in the Southeastern Conference in 2015. Carolina owns a 141-242 (.368) all-time record in SEC play.
– Frank Martin owns a 62-67 (.480) all-time record in conference games. – South Carolina has victories this season over three teams in the top 25 of the RPI (Feb. 12) in Iowa State (18), Georgia (22) and Oklahoma State (20).
– Undermanned due to injuries, the Gamecocks suffered a 75-55 setback on the road at Arkansas on Feb. 3. Sophomore guard Sindarius Thornwell posted a team high 16 points in the game, including a pair of 3s in the first half. The Gamecocks struggled offensively, hitting just 27.9 percent from the field.

The Wildcats enter weekend action ranked atop both the AP and Coaches Poll with a 24-0 record, which includes an 11-0 mark in league games after posting a 71-69 win at LSU on Tuesday. The Wildcats nearly fell in Baton Rouge, but a lay-in and big rebound from freshman forward Karl-Anthony Towns sealed the Kentucky win. Just two Wildcats average double figures with sophomore guard Aaron Harrison leading the squad with 11.1 points per game, and freshman guard Devin Booker adding 10.8 per outing. Those numbers grow to 12.1 and 11.8, respectively, in league play. Towns and junior forward Willie Cauley-Stein pace the team with 6.5 and 6.3 rebounds per game, respectively. The Wildcats lead the country in scoring margin (+21.3) and in field goal percentage defense (34.2%), and are second in blocked shots per game (7.1). UK averages 76.3 points per game in home games this season. The squad is led by head coach John Calipari in his sixth season.

Kentucky holds a 48-11 all-time lead in the series with South Carolina, including a 25-2 advantage in games played in Lexington. UK posted a 58-43 win over Carolina in late January in the first 2015 meeting between the schools. The Gamecocks won three-straight over the Wildcats in 2009 and 2010, with that 2010 win over UK when the `Cats were ranked No. 1.

South Carolina is 1-11 all-time vs. the AP No. 1. Below is a breakdown of those 12 contests.

1 vs. 8 – Saturday’s matchup vs. the Wildcats will feature two of the top 10 defensive teams in the country in terms of opponent field goal percentage, as Carolina ranks eigth in the category with opponents hitting just 37.4 percent, and the Wildcats lead the country allowing opponents to hit just 34.2 percent from the floor this season.
14 – Sophomore guard Sindarius Thornwell led the Gamecocks with 14 points on 6-of-12 shooting from the field in Tuesday’s matchup vs. Missouri. Thornwell has led the Gamecocks in scoring, or tied for the team lead, eight times this season. In SEC games, he has led the team in scoring five times, including the last three games.
3.6 – Among freshmen in the SEC, Marcus Stroman ranks fourth in overall games with 3.6 assists per outing. In strictly league games, he ranks third with 2.7 per outing.
10-7 – The Gamecocks are 10-7 this season when out-rebounding their opponent.
4-10 – Over the course of the last two games, junior guard Brian Steele has hit 4-of-10 attempts from 3-point range, while adding two at the free throw line. He is averaging 7.0 points per game over the last two. 4th – South Carolina ranks fourth in the SEC in average home attendance, as an average of 11,372 fans attend Carolina home games this season.
3rd – South Carolina ranks third in scoring defense in the SEC (overall games), as opponents average just 61.3 points per game.
73.3% – The Gamecocks rank second in the SEC (overall games) in free throw percent, hitting 73.3 percent at the charity stripe this season.
85.1% – Senior guard Tyrone Johnson ranks third in the SEC (overall games) in free throw percent, as he has hit 63-of-74 attempts this season for a mark of 85.1%

South Carolina travels to Georgia on Tuesday for the second meeting between the two schools this season. The Gamecocks posted a 67-50 victory over the Bulldogs in Columbia on Jan. 31. Georgia owns a 54-49 upperhand in the all-time series with the Gamecocks.