LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Ramel Bradley had 26 points and 10 rebounds for his second career double-double as Kentucky returned to .500 with a 78-70 victory over South Carolina Saturday.
Although the Gamecocks knocked down 12 3-pointers - tying a season high in the conference with Tennessee and Mississippi State - Bradley had the accuracy advantage. He was a perfect 5-for-5 from long-range, one shy of his career high.
Kentucky needed the production out of its spirited senior point guard, whose lone previous double-double came last year at Auburn. Freshman center Patrick Patterson nearly joined him, with 22 points
and 9 rebounds.
Kentucky, coming off Tuesday's upset of No. 3 Tennessee, has now won consecutive games for the first time since November.
The Wildcats (9-9, 3-2 Southeastern Conference) got all but five of their points from four scorers - Bradley, Patterson, Jodie Meeks and Perry Stevenson. Derrick Jasper got the rest, including a wide-open 3 with five minutes left that gave Kentucky the lead for good.
Until the end, the Gamecocks presented a major threat, particularly the way Devan Downey was shooting. He led South Carolina with 24 points.
South Carolina (9-10, 1-4) got a layup from Dwayne Day just before halftime to pull to within 39-34. That began a 14-0 run that included three consecutive 3s early in the second half - two from Zam Fredrick and one from Evaldas Baniulis that gave the Gamecocks their first lead.
Fredrick added another 3-pointer with 16 minutes to go, pushing the Wildcats' deficit to 46-39 - their largest of the game.
That's when Kentucky's slumping shooters reawakened.
The Wildcats got three dunks from Stevenson, another from Patrick Patterson and a critical 3 from Ramel Bradley during a key stretch to tie the score.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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