No team in the country has looked as in control as the No. 1 South Carolina Gamecocks, who have just one loss all season and have won all but two of their SEC games by large margins. The No. 14 Kentucky Wildcats have won their last two games with ease after getting blown out by the No. 22 Arkansas Razorbacks 105-83.
The Gamecocks are a tough team to defend, with four of five starters averaging double-figure scoring, led by true freshman Aliyah Boston with 13.2 points per contest. In addition to a strong starting five, the team boasts players like freshman Brea Beal, a starter and defensive menace, plus sophomore Destanni Henderson, who plays more than 20 minutes per game off the bench for 8.3 points and lots of defensive hustle per game.
South Carolina boasts one of the best defenses in the country, leading the nation in blocks with 8.5 per game. Additionally, the Gamecocks allow their opponents to shoot just 33.1 percent from the floor, which is good for fifth in the country.
The Wildcats are led by the No. 2 scorer in the nation, Rhyne Howard, who averages 23.1 points per contest. Offense is not the strongest suit for Kentucky, however, who has eclipsed 70 points just 13 times this season.
In the first meeting between the two teams, the Gamecocks won 99-72. Howard scored 28 points in the defeat while no other Wildcat scored in double figures. South Carolina’s dynamic offensive attack saw six different players get into double-digit scoring and they shot over 60 percent from the floor. Kentucky is 13-2 at home but that might not matter much today. South Carolina looks to finish the regular season unbeaten in the conference for just the second time in program history. A win today would make Dawn Staley’s 300th.
No. 18 Kentucky Wildcats (20-5, 9-4) vs. No. 1 South Carolina Gamecocks (26-1, 13-0)
When: Sunday, Feb. 23, at 2 p.m. ET
Where: Memorial Coliseum, Lexington, KY
How to watch/listen: ESPN2, Gamecocks All-Access