By: Tyrus York – Sometimes sugar coating it doesn’t help. #4 South Carolina came in to Memorial Coliseum on Thursday night to face a #15 UK Hoops team that was feeling real good about their first win in program history at Thompson Bowling Arena less than a week ago.
That good feeling would wear off quickly for the Wildcats as the Gamecocks absolutely dominated by a convincing margin of 81-58.
It was by far the most lopsided loss I’ve seen in Memorial Coliseum in a long time. But what was worse was that it came at a time when the Cats were on a high coming into the game.
Just how dominant was South Carolina? They won the rebound battle 44-19. The Gamecocks outscored the Wildcats 38-26 in the paint, and made 52.6% of their shots compared to Kentucky’s 37.7%. They would also shoot 50% from three while the Cats dipped below 30% to 28.6%.
The list could go on.
Makyala Epps was the leading scorer for the Cats with 16 points while Jenn O’Neill was close behind with 12. No other Cats would score in double figures.
The Kentucky post players (Stallworth, Walker, and Sidney) had to have a good game for Kentucky to have a chance. They did not, combining for only 12 points (6 each for Walker and Stallworth) and collecting only a combined 8 rebounds.
Aleighsa Welch for South Carolina was a star for the Gamecocks, scoring 21 points and gathering 10 rebounds. Kentucky had no answer for the junior forward, who asserted her will throughout the game.
The bottom line is that South Carolina is good. Real good. As in no question the best team in the SEC right now.
Kentucky now has the fortune of going on the road Sunday to play the only team that has beaten South Carolina in conference play, the #13/16Texas A&M Aggies. The Cats will face Mississippi State next Thursday on the road before returning home for Senior Night on March 2 to face Vanderbilt.