Kentucky cruised to a 76-48 victory at Rupp Arena over South Carolina behind dominant post play to win its ninth-straight game.
The Cats struggled with the Cocks’ physicality at the start of the game. Kentucky could not finish easy buckets at the rim, while South Carolina uncharacteristically knocked down shots from long range.
Even without Chris Silva in the lineup, who was sidelined for most of the first half with foul trouble, the Gamecocks hung around for a while. That all changed with seven minutes to play. Trailing 24-22, Kentucky closed the half on a 17-4 run to take control of the game for good.
Kentucky made its money on the offensive glass. The Cats turned 21 offensive rebounds into 18 second chance points. Just like Carolina, Kentucky struggled with foul trouble in the frontcourt. It was never a problem, thanks to E.J. Montgomery. The freshman grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds and scored 11 points in only 19 minutes of action.
P.J. Washington’s transformation into one of the best players in the country is almost complete. He finished with 20 points, his fourth 20+ point performance in five games, to lead all scorers. Tyler Herro added 11 points, while Reid Travis recorded 11 points, nine boards and three steals.
Kentucky is still not quite clicking on all cylinders, yet they easily handled the fourth-ranked team in the conference. The fun has just begun.