In what might as well have been a home game for the Wildcats, No. 1 UK was victorious over USC 86-52 at the Colonial Life Arena tonight. The Gamecocks were outmatched, outplayed, and outcoached, a theme that keeps popping up this season.
Kentucky led 52-25 at the half, and I partially expected them to hang a hundred on the Cocks. That didn’t happen, obviously, but I really wouldn’t have been surprised if it had. The Wildcats led by as much as 41 points and they were out of USC’s reach for almost the entire game. Anthony Davis led the Cats with 22 points, eight rebounds, and eight blocks. Damien Leonard was Carolina’s top-scorer, with 19 points (a career high). Damontre Harris had the most rebounds with six.
The Colonial Life Arena was filled with fans in blue, and they apparently even invaded the Garnet Army’s designated area. That probably wasn’t hard, though, considering the Garnet Army is hardly the size it was at its inception. The Gamecocks fans in attendance had perhaps hoped for the magic that propelled their team to a shocking 68-62 victory over UK in 2010, when UK was also ranked No. 1, to return to the CLA tonight, but no such luck.
As much fun as it isn’t to watch USC men’s basketball these days, I really do feel for the players. For whatever reason(s), things just aren’t going well for them at all, and it has to be hard to know that a) there are usually more fans of the other school in your building than of your team, b) everyone is heckling you and you’re the conference laughingstock, and c) there is a very real chance that you might not win another game this season.
South Carolina is now 9-13 overall and 1-7 in SEC play. They’ll take on Tennessee in Knoxville on Wednesday night. Tip off is set for 8 ET.