COLUMBIA, S.C. -
South Carolina travels to Rupp Arena on Tuesday to face former SEC East rival Kentucky in a 9 p.m. ET contest set to be televised on ESPNU with Dave Neal (play-by-play) and Dino Gaudio (analyst) on the call. The meeting marks the 57th all-time between the two schools, with the Gamecocks looking for their first victory over the Wildcats since the 2010 campaign. Fans can also listen on the Gamecock IMG Sports Network via GamecocksOnline.com and on 107.5 The Game in Columbia with Andy Demetra (play-by-play) and Casey Manning (analyst).
OPENING TIP Date: Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013 Tipoff: 9 p.m. ET Location: Lexington, Ky. Arena: Rupp Arena (23,500) Series: Kentucky leads 46-10 Last Meeting: Kentucky win, 86-52, on Feb. 4, 2012, in Columbia, S.C. Television: ESPNU Talent: Dave Neal (pxp), Dino Gaudio (analyst) Radio: Gamecock IMG Radio Network Sirius: None; XM: None Talent: Andy Demetra (pxp), Casey Manning (analyst) Tickets | @GamecockMBB | Live Stats | ESPN3 | Game Notes
Carolina Quick Hits
- South Carolina is in its 105th season of basketball.
- The Gamecocks are led by first-year head coach Frank Martin. His associate head coach is Brad Underwood and his assistant coaches are Matt Figger and Lamont Evans. Andy Assaley is the director of basketball operations.
- The Gamecocks are in their 22nd season of competition in the Southeastern Conference in 2013. Carolina owns a 131-213 (.380) all-time record in SEC play.
- The Gamecocks look to rebound after most recently suffering two losses last week, a 75-36 loss on the road at No. 4 Florida on Wednesday and a home loss, a 67-56 decision to Georgia. Only freshman forward Michael Carrera reached double-figures in the contest at UF, scoring a team high 13. South Carolina committed 17 turnovers in the game, with the Gators capitalizing for 22 points off of those giveaways.
- Three Gamecocks reached double figures vs. Georgia, but the Bulldogs hit 58.1 percent (25-43) from the field, compared to just 35.8 percent (19-53) from Carolina. Carrera once again led the Gamecocks with 16 points, while Bruce Ellington added 14 and Brian Richardson posted 12 off the bench.
- In two games last week, Carrera led the Gamecocks with 14.5 points and 8.0 rebounds per game. Among freshmen in the SEC in strictly league games, he ranks sixth in scoring (10.0) and third in rebounding (6.8).
- South Carolina's last win vs. Kentucky came in the historic 68-62 win over the top-ranked Wildcats at Colonial Life Arena on Jan. 26, 2010. Carolina's last win at Rupp occurred on Jan. 31, 2009, when then-senior Zam Frederick (24) and then-junior Devan Downey (23) combined to score 47 points in a 78-77 victory vs. the Wildcats, the game won on a jumper from Downey with just three seconds remaining.
- South Carolina shot a season high 57.7 percent (30-52) from the field, including a near season best of hitting 7-of-12 (58.3%) from beyond the arc, in a convicing 75-54 victory over Arkansas at Colonial Life Arena on Jan. 26. The win marked Carolina's first in league play at home this season. The 21-point margin of victory marked the largest in conference play since an 18-point win over Kentucky on Feb. 25, 2009. It was the first margin of at least 20 points in SEC play since an 83-61 win over Mississippi State on Feb. 11, 2006. Both of those wins occurred at Colonial Life Arena.
- After trailing 15-3, South Carolina ended the first half vs. Arkansas on a 40-11 run over the final 14:49 of the first half.
- Carolina's 75 points vs. Arkansas were the most in a regulation SEC game since posting a 79-73 win vs. Ole Miss on Feb. 22, 2011.
- South Carolina held an eight-point halftime lead on the road at No. 22 Missouri on Jan. 22, but the Gamecocks were unable to hold the lead down the stretch and the Tigers responded with 44 points in the second half to claim a 71-65 win. Mizzou struggled mightly from the field in the opening half, hitting just 6-of-30 attempts, but 28 points from the free throw line in the contest kept the Tigers within striking distance throughout.
- The contest at Mizzou on Jan. 22 marked a battle of the top two rebounding teams in the SEC this season. The Tigers held a 44-43 edge on the glass, with both teams collecting 16 offensive rebounds in the game. Missouri capitalized for 20 second-chance points, with the Gamecocks posting just 10 in the category.
- South Carolina recently suffered a 58-51 loss at home to Vanderbilt on Jan. 19. The Gamecocks hit just 14-of-59 (23.7%) attempts from the field, including just 5-of-29 (17.2%) during the opening half. Carolina's 19-of-25 (76.0%) effort from the free throw line kept the Gamecocks within at least 10 points of the Commodores throughout the contest, but Vandy finished the contest hitting 10-of-16 from the free throw line over the final five minutes of play to secure the seven-point win.
- South Carolina earned the first SEC win for head coach Frank Martin at LSU on Jan. 16 in an 82-73 overtime decision. Carolina was once again stellar in overtime, hitting 9-of-10 attempts in the extra session from the free throw line. Freshman forward Michael Carrera posted 23 points in 24 minutes off the bench to pace the Gamecocks in the contest.
- Carrera (23 points, 10 rebounds) and senior forward Lakeem Jackson (11 points, 11 rebounds) both collected double-doubles in the contest at LSU, marking the first time that two Gamecocks have had a double-double in the same game for the first time since the 2008 campaign.
- In three overtime wins this season, Carolina has hit an impressive 31-of-34 (91.1%) attempts from the free throw line during OT.
- Senior guard LaShay Page, a post-graduate student from Dillon, S.C., will not compete with the South Carolina men's basketball team for the remainder of the 2012-13 season due to an academic eligibility issue.
The Wildcats enter Tuesday's contest with a 15-6 overall record, including a 6-2 mark in SEC games. UK most recently earned a thrilling 72-68 overtime win at Texas A&M on Saturday night. Freshmen forward Nerlens Noel tallied a season high 19 points, while Julius Mays also added 19, to lead Kentucky in the win. Five Wildcats average double-figure points entering Tuesday's contest, with freshmen guard Archie Goodwin leading the pack with 14.8 points per outing, and 13.0 in league play. Sophomore forward Kyle Wiltjer ranks third in the SEC (overall games) in 3-point field goal percentage, hitting 40.9 of his attempts this season, while Noel paces the league with 4.6 blocks per contest, which leads the nation. The Wildcats own a 9-4 non-conference record this season, with losses against Duke, Notre Dame, Baylor and Louisville. UK's losses in league play have come against Texas A&M and at Alabama. The squad is led by head coach John Calipari in his fourth season.
Up Next For The Gamecocks
South Carolina returns to Colonial Life Arena to host Tennessee on Sunday in the first part of a doubleheader with the Gamecock women's hoops team, with the contest vs. UT set to begin at 1 p.m., televised on FSN.
Kentucky holds a dominating 46-10 upperhand in the all-time series with the Gamecocks and has won five straight contests in the series. Prior to the stretch however, the Gamecocks posted three-straight wins over the Wildcats, including the Jan. 26, 2010, victory over UK when the team was ranked No. 1 in the nation. South Carolina is 2-24 all-time at Rupp Arena, with wins during the 1997 campaign (72-66 OT) and in 2009 (78-77). Below is a breakdown of the last 10 meetings between the two schools.
Flashback - Historic Victory At Rupp
South Carolina won the first of two contests vs. Kentucky during the 2009 SEC campaign in late January in an historic victory at Rupp Arena. Devan Downey's turnaround jumper with 3 seconds left lifted South Carolina to a 78-77 victory over then-No. 24 Kentucky. Downey had been largely quiet throughout most of the game, failing to score until the final two minutes of the first half. But he awoke in a hurry when it counted and finished with 23 points, all but four in the second half. Prior to South Carolina's win at Rupp Arena on Jan. 31, 2009, the Gamecocks had won just ONCE at Rupp Arena in 22 tries. The previous Carolina win in Lexington came during the 1997 campaign.