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***2020-21 #5/4 South Carolina (7-1) @ #10/8 Kentucky (9-2) Game Thread***

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#5/4 SOUTH CAROLINA GAMECOCKS AT #10/8 KENTUCKY WILDCATS

 

#5/4 SOUTH CAROLINA (7-1, 2-0 SEC) AT #10/8 KENTUCKY (9-2, 2-1 SEC)
5 P.M.  |  LEXINGTON, KY.  |  MEMORIAL COLISEUM

South Carolina Game Notes (PDF) | WATCH: ESPN | LISTEN: 107.5 The Game | Live Stats | Media Availability

 

ABOUT THIS GAME

  • The Wildcats lead the overall series 34-33, but the Gamecocks have won 11 of the last 12 meetings, including a series sweep in 2019-20.
  • South Carolina is looking to open the SEC season 3-0 for the third time in as many seasons and the seventh time in the last eight seasons.
  • The Gamecocks are looking for their 19th straight SEC regular-season victory tonight. Their longest SEC win streak is 24 games – Jan. 3, 2016, through Jan. 26, 2017.

 

https://gamecocksonline.com/news/2021/1/9/womens-basketball-gamecocks-in-top-10-road-test-sunday.aspx

 

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South Carolina takes the lead at the end of the 3rd Period 57-56, behind a dominant 3rd from Aliyah Boston who returned to the game after only playing 5 minutes in the 1st half saddled with 2 fouls. Boston scored 10 pts in the 3rd including her only 3-pt. try of the game, and now has 14 pts and 7 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 blocks. Destanni Henderson also has 14 pts. Zia Cooke is still struggling, but she has broken the ice with 5 pts in the 3rd period. The Gamecocks out-rebounded Kentucky 15 to 3 in the 3rd Qtr. with Boston back in the game.....

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Gamecocks hold onto a slim 73-70 lead with 24 seconds left in the game, and UK has the ball. They call a timeout. I imagine they will attempt to shoot a three, but they are 3-18 behind the arc tonight thus far......

They do attempt the three from Howard, but it misses. They get the rebound, but the jumper also misses. Boston gets the rebound, gives to Cooke who is fouled. We may have gotten this game sewn up. 10 seconds to play.....

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Gamecocks win a tough road game on very little practice time 75-70 over #10/8 Kentucky. Aliyah Boston is the unquestioned player of the game for the Gamecocks, after sitting in the 1st half in foul trouble with only 4 pts and 1 rebound, she comes back in the 2nd half to score 16 pts and pull down 11 rebounds in 20 minutes - she finishes with 20 pts, 12 rebounds, 7 blocks and 3 steals.

Henderson also had a strong game, with 22 pts, 8 rebounds, and 3 assists. She did have too many turnovers with 6, but the other production cancels those out. Laeticia Amihere added 10 pts and 4 rebounds - most of that production when she came in for Boston, so those were important contributions.

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Laetitia had her best game - she made three straight layups in the First Half to keep us in striking distance. But Boston's Second Half was one of the most dominant halves I have seen. She even blocked a couple of Rhyne Howard's shots.

But love me some Destanni! She pushed it all game long.

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Couple of thoughts after getting to watch the game late last night:

Maybe the most impressive win of the young season so far, not from game play -- way too many turnovers, but from a mental toughness point of view.  Having shut down the program because of a false positive virus test for 3+ days meant no practices prior to playing a top 10 team that has played a lot of really good teams in the last 10 days.  Yet, they didn't make any excuses, just went to work.  It wasn't really pretty, but they showed up.   Give Coach Staley a lot of credit for that mindset.

I think KY is a legitimate top 10 team.  Howard may be the best player in the league.

I don't think there is anyone in the league that can stay in front of Henderson when she drives full speed.  She reminds me speed-wise of Cuevas, but with a little more control. She needs to be a little more selective about shooting when she drives to the hoop and is surrounded by players 8-12" taller than her, but is really fun to watch her with the ball in her hands.

Boston continues to improve all aspects of her game.  She is already the best Big in the league, if she continues to improve at the same rate over the next couple of years, she will be one of the all time greats.  

Just a dominating 3rd period by the Gamecocks, one of their best of the season.  If they can string that type of effort and execution across an entire game, they can beat anyone this year.

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