It's never easy for Dawn Staley and her Gamecocks against these cats, but South Carolina was able to overcome the latest challenge at Kentucky Thursday night en route to an eleven point 73-62 victory in Lexington.
With only one loss and a top ten national ranking to it's name, Kentucky came out of the gates in attack mode on their home court and immediately put the Gamecocks on their heels. A 3-16 shooting start from the field for South Carolina put them down early as the Wildcats found success in transition and took a 16-8 lead after the first quarter.
South Carolina continued to fight and cut Kentucky's lead to four at halftime, but were dominated 22-8 in the paint and plagued by terrible shooting from the field.
Coach Staley stirred the pot at half. The Gamecocks refused to give up and got more aggressive in the paint with some big plays coming from the reliable Khadijah Sessions and Tiffany Mitchell, each earning their own three point play. Oh yea, and don't forget about A'ja Wilson. Wilson led all scorers with 17 points to end the third and the Gamecocks took a one-point lead into the fourth and never looked back.
Wilson exploded in the final stanza to lead the Gamecocks on a 17-2 run to pull away from the Wildcats. A'ja led all scorers with 26 points and tallied 13 rebounds and 8 blocks. While the Gamecocks certainly faced their own trials and adversity on the road against a prepared and hungry Kentucky team, South Carolina answered the questions and were able to improve to 16-0 to remain undefeated on the year.
The Gamecocks take the floor Sunday against their third straight ranked opponent, Texas A&M.