UK Hoops upsets 2nd ranked South Carolina on Senior Day

# 13/15 Kentucky 67, # 2/2 South Carolina 56

Memorial Coliseum – Lexington, Ky.

March 1, 2015

Team Records and Series Notes

  • Kentucky improves to 21-8 overall, 10-6 in the SEC, while South Carolina falls to 27-2, 15-1 SEC.
    • USC now shares the SEC regular-season title with Tennessee.
    • USC’s two losses have come vs. Connecticut and Kentucky.

·         UK has won at least 10 SEC games in a school-record sixth-straight seasons.

  • Kentucky moves to 733-494 (59.9) all-time in 41 seasons of varsity women’s basketball.
  • Matthew Mitchell, UK’s all-time winningest coach, improves to 221-108 overall, 191-79 at UK.
    • Mitchell is now 81-43 in SEC play, including 47-15 at home.

·         UK now leads the all-time series with South Carolina 33-22, including 20-6 in Lexington.

·         The win snapped UK’s three-game losing streak to the Gamecocks in regular-season action.

·         UK is now 5-5 against ranked teams this season, 3-3 vs. the top 10 (vs. No. 8/9 Baylor and No. 7/7 Louisville).

·         Marks UK’s first win in school history over The Associated Press’ No. 2 team (1-16).

·         USC is the highest ranked team to fall to the Cats since No. 1 Tennessee on Jan. 26, 2006 in Rupp Arena.

    • The 11-point win marks UK’s largest margin of victory over a top-5 team in the AP Poll.
    • UK has 24 wins over top-10 teams in school history, 15 of those have come in eight seasons under Matthew Mitchell.

·         Kentucky finished the regular season 14-2 at home (13-2 in Memorial and 1-0 in Rupp Arena).

·         This was UK’s sixth-straight win on “Senior Night.”

·         Tonight’s attendance was 7,560, the second-highest attendance of the season and most in Memorial Coliseum.

  • Next up: UK will be the No. 6 seed in the 2015 SEC Tournament in Little Rock Ark., and will play at approximately 9:30 p.m. ET on Thursday night. The game will be shown live on the SEC Network. UK’s opponent will be the winner of Wednesday’s No. 11-seed Vanderbilt vs. No. 14-seed Alabama game.

First Half Notes

  • UK started with the lineup of Jelleah Sidney, Makayla Epps, Bria Goss, Jennifer O’Neill and Azia Bishop.
    • It was UK’s 11th different lineup this season.
    • All four seniors started the game.
  • Kentucky closed the half on a 6-0 run to take a five-point lead into the locker room.
  • Senior Azia Bishop led Kentucky with nine points and seven rebounds in the first half.
  • The Wildcat defense forced South Carolina to a 1-of-12 start from the field shooting.
  • USC has only trailed at the half five times this season and two were against Kentucky.
  • UK held USC to just 222 points, the second-lowest of the season (17 vs. Duke).
  • UK is now 14-4 when tied or leading at the half this season.

Second Half Notes

  • UK opened the second half with Alexis Jennings, Bria Goss, Jennifer O’Neill, Makayla Epps and Azia Bishop.
  • The Wildcats went ahead by 21 points, their largest of the game, at 50-29 with 11:22 to go in the game on a Makayla Epps free throw.
  • USC responded with a 12-2 run to cut UK’s lead, but the Wildcats never trailed in the second half.
  • Kentucky outscored South Carolina 40-34 in the second half.
  • UK held South Carolina to just 11-of-31 from the floor, including a 1-of-12 start in the half.
    • South Carolina did not score a second half field goal until the 12:26mark.
  • The Wildcats closed the game on an 8-5 run and went 19-of-23 from the free-throw line in the final 20 minutes.

Team/Game Notes.

  • Kentucky’s seniors (Azia Bishop, Bria Goss, Jelleah Sidney and Jennifer O’Neill) combined for 31 of Kentucky’s 67 points and 22 of 45 rebounds.
  • UK held reigning SEC Player of the Year, Tiffany Mitchell, to just eight points before fouling out.
    • Just the fifth time she has been held to under 10 points this season.
    • Her lowest point output since scoring seven vs. Auburn on Jan. 2 in the SEC opener.
  • The Wildcats’ defense held the Gamecocks to a season-low 32.3 percent shooting (20-of-62).
  • UK and a much taller South Carolina squad tied at 45-45 in the rebounding battle and 24-24 in points in the paint.
  • Kentucky forced 20 South Carolina turnovers and outscored the Gamecocks 19-7 in points off turnovers.
    • UK has now forced 20 or more turnovers in 22 of 29 games.
    • UK committed just 11 miscues which ties for a season low.
  • UK only trailed for only 5:29 of the 40-minute contest.

Individual Notes

  • Senior Jennifer O’Neill tallied a team-high 15 points and pulled down a career-high tying eight rebounds, all defensive.
    • Second-straight game with seven or more defensive rebounds.
    • Marked her 24th double-figure game of the season and 69th of her career.
    • Fifth-straight game in double digits.
    • Now has 1,372 career points to move up to No. 14 on UK’s all-time scoring list.
  • Senior Azia Bishop scored a team-high 11 points, her eighth double-figure scoring game this season and second straight.
    • Grabbed a team-high nine rebounds, and swatted two blocks for the second-straight game.
    • Moved up to No. 6 with Sarah Elliott on UK’s single-season blocks list (50).
    • Ranks fourth on UK’s career list with 149.
  • Sophomore Makayla Epps netted 14 points, including 10 in the decisive second half.
    • Marks her 10th double-digit scoring game in the last 12.
    • Since becoming the starting point guard vs. Florida on Jan. 15, Epps is averaging a team-high 16.5 ppg to go along with 4.7 rebounds.
  • Senior Bria Goss scored six points and hit 2-of-2 free throws. She has now hit 20 straight free throws which ties as the 10th-longest free-throw streak in school history with Amber Smith (20 over seven games).
  • Sophomore Kyvin Goodin-Rogers came off the bench for an SEC-high nine points and most since netting 19 vs. Northern Kentucky on Dec. 3, 2014.
    • Hit a career-high tying two 3-pointers.

·         Sophomore Linnae Harper, UK’s leading rebounder, grabbed eight rebounds and netted seven points. She now has at least eight rebounds in 12 games this season and two of the last three.

·         Freshman Alexis Jennings blocked a career-high three shots. Her previous high was two vs. LSU on Jan. 18, 2015

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