Kentucky continues skid, loses 59-50 to South Carolina


Kentucky Wildcats guard Rhyne Howard (10) passes the ball during the UK vs. South Carolina womens basketball on Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022, at Memorial Coliseum in Lexington, Kentucky. UK lost 59-50. Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff

Kennedy Whitby

Kentucky womens basketball fell to No. 1 South Carolina 59-50 on Thursday night at Memorial Coliseum.  

From tip-off, the Wildcats came in hot on the very first possession of the game, as SC guard Zia Cooke drove to the basket where she was met by senior Jazmine Massengill, who blocked her shot. 

Early in the first quarter, senior Robyn Benton would make her return back to the court. Benton has been out since Jan. 20, due to an ankle injury she suffered during UK’s matchup against Florida.

Throughout the first quarter, the Wildcats struggled to put points on the board. Junior Dre’una Edwards scored UK’s first basket nearly five minutes into the quarter. Kentucky went 4-14 from the field, compared to the Gamecocks who went 8-21. 

During the first quarter, the Gamecocks scored all 16 of their points in the paint. Eight of which came from second-chance points. All-American forward Aliyah Boston, who leads the Gamecocks in scoring, rebounds and blocks, tied with forward Victoria Saxton with three offensive rebounds a piece.

She makes big plays. She doesn’t make very many mistakes. She rebounds the basketball. And she does it without complaint, “ said Gamecocks head coach Dawn Staley on Saxton’s performance. Saxton would end the game with 11 rebounds. 

Heading into the second quarter, the Wildcats were trailing by eight, as things became slow for both teams. At the end of the half, the Cats trailed 26-17. 

Guard Rhyne Howard led Kentucky in scoring, going into the half with five points. This is the fewest points in a half Kentucky has had at home since January 2019.  

In the third quarter, UK center Olivia Owens would play a big role for the Cats. Owens scored five of the nine points for UK in the period. She managed to draw fouls resulting in her getting to the line twice.

Heading into the fourth quarter down by a score of 42-26, Howard would attempt to keep the Wildcats in the game.

Late in the quarter, with a little over two minutes remaining on a fast break, Howard connected on a 3-pointer assisted by Walker. The very next possession, Howard would do the same again. Within the span of just over one minute, Howard put nine Kentucky points on the board. 

UK managed to force six Gamecock turnovers in the fourth quarter, out-scoring SC 24-17. Unfortunately, the Cats’ efforts weren’t enough as the Gamecocks defeated Kentucky 59-50, continuing Kentucky’s now four-game losing streak. 

Despite the loss, Kentucky managed to keep the Gamecocks under 60 points. Yesterday’s score is the second fewest points SC have put up all season. Howard, who had 21 points and 9 rebounds, called it “ Kinda like a confidence boost, because that’s the number one team in the country.” 

The Wildcats will face off against the University of Alabama this Sunday February 13, 2022 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.