No. 1 South Carolina routs Kentucky to complete regular-season sweep of Wildcats

No. 1 South Carolina defeated Kentucky 103-55 Sunday afternoon, completing a 2024 regular-season sweep of UK. The victory made USC the SEC’s outright regular-season champion. It marked the Gamecocks’ sixth 100-point game of the season and first since December.

USC started guards Te-Hina Paopao, Bree Hall and Raven Johnson as well as forwards Chloe Kitts and Ashlyn Watkins. Starting center Kamilla Cardoso did not play for the second game in a row after sitting out against Alabama Thursday to rest.

“However she’s feeling, if she’s not close to 80-90%, we’ll sit her down for another game,” coach Dawn Staley said after the Alabama game. “But I know she wants to play.”

Six Gamecocks finished with double-digit points: MiLaysia Fulwiley (17), Watkins (13), Paopao (11), Hall (18), Sania Feagin (career-high 16), and Kitts (10 along with 12 rebounds for her fourth double-double this season). Feagin also recorded a career-high five blocks.

The Gamecocks (27-0, 14-0) will travel to Fayetteville, Arkansas, Thursday and take on the Razorbacks for USC’s second-to-last regular season game at 9 p.m. on SEC Network.

Gamecocks shoot hot, share the basketball

South Carolina started Sunday’s game having made its first five shots. The Gamecocks ended the quarter having sunk 8-of-13 attempts for a field-goal percentage of 61.5%. USC shot 27.8% from the field in the opening period of Thursday’s home game versus Alabama.

Paopao facilitated a 9-0 run all by herself, sinking three 3-pointers in a row during the third quarter after a scoreless first two periods.

The Gamecocks did a good job of spreading the wealth, recording 22 assists in the first three quarters.

USC ended the game having shot 64.4% from the field and 90.5% from the free throw line (a season high by 3%) along with an SEC-high 30 assists (previously 24 assists at Texas A&M last month).

USC’s defense suffocates UK

The Gamecocks limited the Wildcats to just eight points in the opening quarter of Sunday’s game. USC hustled all over the statsheet to keep UK from capitalizing on many opportunities to score.

South Carolina snagged 18 defensive rebounds in the first half, limiting Kentucky to 2 second-chance points. Feagin achieved a career-high four blocks in the first two quarters. The team as a whole blocked seven shots during that time. While USC’s offense turned the ball over nine times, it allowed UK to convert those turnovers into four points.

By game’s end, the Gamecocks had 31 defensive rebounds, 10 blocks and 11 steals. Kentucky ended with 10 points off 15 South Carolina turnovers

South Carolina speeds past Kentucky

USC used its speed to its advantage Sunday, outpacing UK and playing with impressive efficiency to secure the win.

The Gamecocks had 13 fastbreak points after three quarters to the Wildcats’ four. South Carolina managed 33 scores on 57 possessions (57.9%), which translates to 1.3 points per possession.

USC ended the game with 17 fastbreak points (UK had four), a scoring percentage of 61.3% (UK had 33.3%) and an average of 1.37 points per possession.

Next three South Carolina women’s basketball games

  • Thursday: at Arkansas, 9 p.m. (SEC Network)

  • March 3: vs. Tennessee, noon (ESPN)

  • March 6-10: SEC Tournament