Cats crush Gamecocks in final regular season game, 92-64

Davion Mintz and Brandon Boston Jr. both set career bests with six 3-pointers apiece and Kentucky beat South Carolina 92-64 on Saturday in a regular-season finale.

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Courtesy: UK Athletics

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) – Davion Mintz and Brandon Boston Jr. both set career bests with six 3-pointers apiece and Kentucky beat South Carolina 92-64 on Saturday in a regular-season finale.

Mintz finished with 20 points and seven assists with five of his 3s coming in the opening five minutes of the second half, including three straight to boost the Wildcats (9-15, 8-9 Southeastern Conference) to a 19-point lead, 55-36. Boston scored 21 points. Olivier Sarr added 15 points and Isaiah Jackson 13 points with 10 rebounds for his second career double-double.

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Kentucky, which finished with its first losing record in the SEC since 1989, will open conference tournament play on Thursday. It’s the first time Kentucky hasn’t had a double bye since the tournament expanded in 2013. The Wildcats would need an amazing run in the conference and NCAA tournaments to avoid their first overall losing record since going 3-13 in 1926-27.

Kentucky outscored the Gamecocks 16-6 over the final nine minutes of the first half with Sarr scoring six points during the run. Boston had a trio of 3-pointers and 12 points in the half and Sarr 11. Kentucky scored nine points off turnovers and didn’t give up any itself on its way to a 36-28 halftime lead.

The 28-point win was the largest margin of victory for the Wildcats since a 36-point triumph over Morehead State in their season opener.

Keyshawn Bryant scored 16 points and Jayyn McCreary 14 points for the Gamecocks (6-14, 4-12), who haven’t won at Rupp Arena since 2009. Leading scorer AJ Lawson (18.1 ppg), scored six points on 2-of-10 shooting. Third-leading scorer Jermaine Cousinard missed the game with a rib injury suffered in practice.

This game was previously scheduled to be the SEC opener for both teams on Dec. 29 but was postponed because of COVID-19 issues at South Carolina.

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Austin Miller joins ABC 36 Sports Team as a Sports Reporter and Weekend Anchor. Austin is from the Louisville area and graduated from St. Xavier High School in 2008. Austin graduated from Indiana University with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and a second concentration in German. While at IU, Austin was a blogger at Kentsterling.com and co-host, producer and engineer for WIUX, the school’s student radio station. Before coming to ABC 36, Austin was a news videographer at WLFI in West Lafayette from 2012-2015. While working with WLFI, Austin had the chance to cover the Purdue Boilermakers. He then accepted a Sports/New Reporter position at Local 4 KSNB-TV in Hastings Nebraska and was eventually promoted to sports full-time as the Weekend Sports Anchor/Reporter. While at KSNB-TV, Austin covered the University of Nebraska, the University of Nebraska-Kearney and Hastings College. After spending nearly six years away from home, Austin is excited to return to the Bluegrass State to cover the teams he grew up watching. In his spare time, Austin enjoys playing basketball, working out and cooking. If you have any story ideas or would like to say “Hello,” you can reach Austin by email at amiller@wtvq.com or direct message him on Twitter @AustinMillerTV.