No. 21 UK women fall at No. 1 South Carolina
Gamecocks taken advantage of height advantage
COLUMBIA, S.C. (UK Athletics) – Robyn Benton scored 11 points and grabbed four rebounds Sunday but the 21st-ranked Kentucky women’s basketball team lost at top-ranked South Carolina 74-54.
Kentucky (8-4, 1-1 SEC) got 10 points and seven rebounds from Jazmine Massengill. Dre’una Edwards and Treasure Hunt also scored 10 points apiece, while Rhyne Howard had nine points, eight rebounds, six assists, two blocks and two steals.
The taller Gamecocks held a 54-22 advantage on points in the paint and 55-37 in rebounding. Kentucky made 21 of 71 (29.6 percent) from the floor, while South Carolina made 31 of 69 (44.9 percent).
Kentucky scored first on a Howard basket before the Gamecocks scored four in a row. UK took the lead back on a three by Hunt. After South Carolina scored four more in a row, Kentucky got a three from Edwards, a driving layup from Robyn Benton and a three from Jazmine Massengill to lead 13-8.
South Carolina would score the next eight points to lead 16-13. The Cats would answer with a layup from Olivia Owens and a three from Benton to re-take the lead, 18-16. South Carolina’s Aliyah Boston would make the period’s final basket and the teams were tied 18-18 after one period.
In the second period, South Carolina would extend the lead early. The Gamecocks would go on an 11-2 run to lead 29-20 with 5:01 left in the half. Edwards would hit a three to cut the deficit to 29-23 but the Gamecocks would answer with 10 in a row to take a 39-23 lead. South Carolina would lead 41-27 at the halftime break.
South Carolina would score the first four points of the third period before another three by Hunt cut the lead to 45-30. The teams would go back and forth until South Carolina went on a 13-4 run to open a 62-37 advantage. Kentucky would score four in a row but South Carolina led 64-41 after three periods.
In the fourth quarter, South Carolina scored first to lead by 25 but UK scored nine in a row, six by Howard, to cut the deficit to 66-50. However, the Cats would get no closer.
Kentucky returns to action on Thursday, hosting Mississippi State inside Memorial Coliseum. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. ET and the game can be seen on SEC Network Plus.