POSTGAME NOTES: South Carolina Stuns Kentucky 81-78

Tyrese Maxey in action against South Carolina (UK Athletics Photo)

Compiled by UK Athletics

Kentucky at South Carolina

Colonial Life Arena, Columbia, S.C.

January 15, 2020

Attendance: 18,000

Final Score: South Carolina 81, No. 10/12 Kentucky 78

Team Records and Series Notes

Kentucky fell to 12-4 and is 3-1 in Southeastern Conference play. The loss snapped the Wildcats’ four-game winning streak.South Carolina improved to 9-7 and 1-2 in the SEC. UK still leads the series 52-13 but the Gamecocks have won two straight and three of the last five over the Wildcats in Columbia, South Carolina. UK leads 20-9 in games played in Columbia.

Next up: After a couple days back in Lexington for classes, Kentucky is back on the road for a Saturday matchup with Arkansas. The Wildcats will play the Razorbacks on Saturday at 4 p.m. on ESPN.

Player Notes

Immanuel Quickley continued to make a strong case for the conference’s Sixth Man of the Year award. He came off the bench for a team-high 20 points, igniting key rallies in both halves with his scoring, defense and distribution. He’s averaging a team-best 19.0 points with 16 3-pointers over the last five games. With two more 3-pointers Wednesday, Quickley has made 10 of his last 13 over the last three games and 16 of 27 over the last five games. He scored the Wildcats’ final seven points, including a game-tying jumper with seconds left, to rally Kentucky form a late-six-point hole.

With 15 points, Nick Richards scored in double figures for the 12th time this season. UK suffered its first loss this season when he reaches double figures. He recorded nine points, four rebounds and a block in the opening eight minutes before sitting the rest of the half with two fouls.

Ashton Hagans extended his five-or-more-assists streak to 13 straight games (seven total Wednesday), the best streak since Tyler Ulis did it 24 straight games in 2015-16. He also scored 13 points.

Tyrese Maxey was the fourth Wildcat in double figures with 13 points. He made 5 of 7 from the floor and 2 of 2 from 3-point range. He’s scored in double figures in six of the last seven games.

Johnny Juzang made his first appearance after missing the last three games (two due to illness, one to a coach’s decision). He made a key basket – his first since the Ohio State game on Dec. 21 – when South Carolina had closed its second-half deficit to 54-50.

Team Notes

Despite a red-shot second half from South Carolina (20 of 36 field goals), Kentucky still held the the Gamecocks to 39.7% shooting. UK fell 195-18 in the John Calipari era and 8-2 this season when keeping the opponent to less than 40%. UK shot 43.6% from the field and dropped to 11-1 this season when outshooting the opponent. Kentucky led by as many as 14 points but lost for the first time this season when leading by double digits. UK is now 272-7 under Calipari when leading by at least 10 points at any time in the contest.

Offensive rebounds loomed large in this one. The Wildcats gave up 20 offensive boards to South Carolina. Coupled with 15 turnovers, the Gamecocks took 18 more shots than UK. It’s the second straight game Kentucky has given up 15 or more offensive rebounds and the third time in the last five games (vs. Louisville). UK hadn’t given up more than 14 offensive rebounds in any game prior to this recent five-game stretch. The offensive rebound woes have resulted in four of the last five opponents taking at least 10 or more field-goal attempts than the Wildcats in four of the last five games.South Carolina’s offensive boards led to 16 second-chance points for the Gamecocks. South Carolina also outscored UK 19-9 in points off turnovers.

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