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Feb. 12, 2016

Game Information

Date: Sat., Feb. 13, 2016

Tipoff: 12 p.m.

Location: Columbia, S.C.

Arena: Colonial Life Arena (18,000)

Tickets: Sold Out

Broadcast: ESPN

Radio: 107.5 (in Columbia)/Listen!

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina looks to remain atop the SEC standings on Saturday when Kentucky visits Colonial Life Arena for a Noon matchup. Both the Gamecocks and Wildcats hold 8-3 records in league play and both squads have won two-straight games entering Saturday’s game. The contest vs. UK marks the second sellout at Colonial Life Arena this season for a men’s basketball game.


– South Carolina is in its 108th season of varsity basketball in 2015-16.
– Carolina is led by fourth-year head coach Frank Martin. Alongside him are associate head coach Matt Figger, assistant coaches Perry Clark and Lamont Evans and director of men’s hoops operations, Andy Assaley.
– South Carolina is receiving votes in the Associated Press’ Top 25 Poll this week, while Carolina is No. 20 in the USA Today/Coaches Top 25 Poll. The Gamecocks have been receiving votes or have been ranked for the past 11 weeks in the Coaches Poll, rising to as high as 15th, and also for 11 straight weeks in the AP poll, rising to as high as 19th.
– South Carolina held off Ben Simmons and the LSU Tigers on Wednesday to jump to the top of the SEC standings with a 94-83 victory over the visitors. Junior guard Sindarius Thornwell led Carolina for the second straight game, hitting six shots, and adding 11 points from the charity stripe for a game high 24. Once again the Gamecocks shot well in the game, hitting 48.4 percent from the field, and 75.0 percent from the free throw line.
– Senior forward Mindaugas Kacinas was named CoSIDA Academic All-District on Thursday, as he holds above a 3.3 cumulative GPA. The honor is the first of his career, and Kacinas now moves onto the national ballot for Academic All-America honors.
– Over the course of the past two games, the Gamecocks have hit 50.4 percent from the field and 47.5 percent from 3.
– The Gamecocks notched their first road win over a top-10 opponent in 10 years on Feb. 6, winning a thriller at Reed Arena vs. No. 8/8 Texas A&M, 81-78. Junior guard Sindarius Thornwell had his top game of the season, posting 25 points – just one shy of matching his career high – while also dishing an impressive nine assists to lead the Gamecocks in the win. Senior forward Michael Carrera continued his hot streak as well, scoring 20 points en route to the 1,000th of his career. Carrera also dished two assists in the win.
– South Carolina’s win at No. 8/8 Texas A&M marked its first road win over a top-10 opponent since defeating No. 6/7 Florida in Gainesville on Feb. 8, 2006.
– The win at A&M was the Gamecocks’ second top-10 win in the last two seasons, as the Gamecocks defeated then No. 9/9 Iowa State in a neutral site meeting in New York City on Jan. 3, 2015.


South Carolina is receiving votes in the Associated Press’ Top 25 Poll this week, while Carolina is No. 20 in the USA Today/Coaches Top 25 Poll. The Gamecocks have been receiving votes or have been ranked for the past 11 weeks in the Coaches Poll, rising to as high as 15th, and also for 11 straight weeks in the AP poll, rising to as high as 19th.


The Wildcats enter Saturday’s contest with an 18-6 overall record, which includes an 8-3 mark in SEC games, after UK most recently posted an 82-48 win vs. Georgia on Tuesday in Lexington. Three average double-figure points for the Wildcats, let by freshman guard Jamal Murray’s 18.5 per game. Sophomore guard Tyler Ulis (16.2) and senior forward Alex Poythress (10.0) also average over 10 points per game. Poythress’ 6.6 rebounds per outing also mark a team high. Murray averages slightly better in league games at 20.9 per outing, which ranks third in the league. The Wildcats pace the conference in overall games with 5.8 blocks per game, which is 11th nationally, and UK is also one of the top rebounding teams in the league with a +6.2 rebound margin, second only to South Carolina’s +8.6 per game. Kentucky is led by head coach John Calipari in his seventh season.


The Gamecocks travel to Missouri for a matchup vs. the Tigers next Tuesday (Feb. 16), before returning home to host Florida on Saturday, Feb. 20. The game at Mizzou marks the second meeting between the two schools this season, as the Gamecocks posted an 81-72 win vs. the Tigers in Columbia, S.C., on Jan. 16. Carolina’s game vs. the Gators marks the lone meeting between the two schools this season. Game time at Mizzou is set for 7 p.m. ET, while the Florida game will tip at Noon ET.


5 – Rookie forward Raymond Doby saw seven minutes of action in the victory vs. LSU, scoring five points to help the Gamecocks in a critical stretch in the second half. Doby scored three of those points at the foul line, while also dishing an assist and grabbing a steal.
25/24 – Junior guard Sindarius Thornwell tallied 25 points in the win at Texas A&M last Saturday and 24 in the Wednesday matchup vs. LSU. It marked the first back-to-back 20-point performances for Thornwell since his rookie season of 2013-14.
4 – Junior guard Duane Notice hit four 3s in the win vs. LSU, marking his first game with more than two threes since the Jan. 19 Ole Miss contest. Notice finished with 15 points and two steals vs. LSU.
8+ – In its 25 seasons in the SEC the Gamecocks have won eight or more SEC games just six times, including this season.
31 – The Gamecocks bench accounted for 31 points in the win vs. LSU, the most bench points scored for Carolina during the SEC campaign.
13 – South Carolina’s 13 home wins this season are the most since the 2008-09 Gamecocks went 16-3 at Colonial Life Arena.
2 – Senior forward Mindaugas Kacinas hit a pair of 3s in the Gamecock upset win at Texas A&M on Feb. 6. He had only made one three in the previous nine SEC games to start the league campaign in 2016.
22 – The Gamecocks dished 22 assists on 30 made baskets in the win at Texas A&M. The second-most assists in a game this season for Carolina (24 vs. Lipscomb).
9 – Junior guard Sindarius Thornwell matched a career high with nine assists in the win at Texas A&M. For the year, Thornwell leads the Gamecocks with 3.7 assists per game.
6-6/5-5 – In the win at A&M, senior forward Michael Carrera reached his 1,000th career point, hitting 6-of-6 from the field, and 5-of-5 from the 3-point line. His five made 3s marked a new career high.
68 – Junior guard Duane Notice is just 68 points away from reaching 1,000 for his career.


Kentucky holds a 49-11 upperhand in the all-time series with South Carolina, including a 21-7 advantage in games played in Columbia. South Carolina most recently defeated the Wildcats 72-67 during the 2014 SEC regular season.