No. 9 S. Carolina 74, Kentucky 73
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) _ Jocelyn Penn scored 21 points, and Shaunzinski Gortman had 15 points and 10 rebounds as No. 9 South Carolina held off Kentucky 74-73 Sunday.
Cristina Ciocan added 13 points and Tatyana Troina had 10 for the Gamecocks (20-3, 8-2 Southeastern Conference), who beat the Wildcats 78-49 in Columbia last month.
SeSe Helm scored 24 points and Sara Potts had a career-high 21 to lead Kentucky (8-15, 1-10), which dropped its ninth straight game.
South Carolina trailed 55-50 with 11:42 remaining. Ciocan scored four points to key a 14-6 run to put the Gamecocks back on top 64-61 with 5:33 to play.
Helm hit two free throws to give Kentucky a 67-66 lead with 3:32 to play. But Ciocan’s runner in traffic and Penn’s basket inside gave South Carolina the lead for good, 70-68, with 2:30 remaining.
Down 74-70 in the closing moments, Kentucky nearly stole the game. Potts drained a 3 _ her third of the game _ with 4.2 seconds to play to cut the lead to one.
Gortman missed a free throw with 3.8 seconds left, but Kentucky could not get the ball back downcourt to take a final desperation shot before the buzzer.
Kentucky shot 55 percent to South Carolina’s 49 percent but lost the rebounding battle 34-28, including a 16-8 margin at the offensive end.
Down 14-13, Kentucky went on a 10-0 to go up 23-14 midway through the first half. The Wildcats led 33-29 with 4:27 to play, but a 17-3 run to end the half gave the Gamecocks a 46-36 halftime lead.
Turnovers gave South Carolina the opportunity to get back in the game. The Gamecocks scored 18 points off 13 Kentucky turnovers, most of which came during the final eight minutes of the half.