The South Carolina Gamecocks clinched a share of the SEC regular season title today for the fourth straight season with a 95-87 win over the Kentucky Wildcats. The win moves the Gamecocks to 24-4 (14-2) on the season. It also wraps up the one seed for the SEC Tournament with the Gamecocks holding the tiebreaker over Mississippi State.
The Gamecocks started strong offensively, scoring 48 first half points. Kaela Davis and A’ja Wilson led the way for Carolina in the opening 20 minutes. Davis scored 13 on 5-7 shooting from the floor while Wilson scored 12 and gathered five rebounds. Kentucky was up to the challenge though, scoring 40 first half points. Taylor Murray led the Wildcats with 13 first half points.
Carolina never trailed and held a double-digit lead for most of the game. The lead moved from 8 to 12 points for most of the game as Kentucky never went away but Carolina always answered.
In the fourth period, Alaina Coates left after aggravating the ankle injury that kept her from playing against Texas A&M last week. She left with 13 points and nine rebounds. Kentucky cut the lead to six following her exit. Gray and Wilson kept providing answers to the Wildcats baskets. Wilson scored 13 in the second half while Gray added 11. The Gamecocks wrapped up the eight point win at the foul-line in the final minutes.
Carolina shot a season-high 62 percent from the floor. Wilson finished with a double-double, scoring 25 while gathering 10 rebounds. Four more Gamecocks were in double figures as Davis finished with 20 points, Allisha Gray had 17, Coates and Tyasha Harris finished with 13. As a whole the team shot 25-34 from the foul line.
Kentucky was led by Murray who finished with 29, shooting 9-9 from the charity stripe. Makenzie Cann (15), Evelyn Akhator (14) and Maci Morris (14) were also in double figures. Kentucky hit nine shots from beyond the arc, led by Cann who made three.
Next up for the Gamecocks is the SEC Tournament in Greenville. Their first game at Bon Secours Wellness Arena will be on Friday.