LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Devan Downey's turnaround jumper with 3
seconds left lifted South Carolina to a 78-77 victory over No. 24
Kentucky on Saturday, just the Gamecocks' second victory in 23
games in Lexington.
The junior guard had been largely quiet throughout most of the
game, failing to score until the final 2 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.
Kentucky's Jodie Meeks, two weeks removed from setting a
Kentucky record with 54 points against Tennessee, got one last shot
- a desperation heave from just in front of the halfcourt line, but
it bounced off the rim as time expired.
The other victory for South Carolina (16-4, 5-2 Southeastern
Conference) on Kentucky's home court came in 1997. After starting
conference play with five straight wins and sneaking into the Top
25 for the first time, the Wildcats (16-6, 5-2) have lost two
straight, including Tuesday's loss at Ole Miss.
Based on the crowd noise, it would have seemed Kentucky was
pulling away down the stretch as the Wildcats scored on four
straight possessions with dunks. But, Downey answered two of those
baskets with 3-pointers, never allowing Kentucky to pad its lead.
Trailing 77-76 with 30 seconds left, South Carolina fouled Perry
Stevenson to stop the clock. It proved to be the perfect move as
Stevenson missed both foul shots to set up Downey's late heroics.
Before that, it appeared the focus of the game was going to be
Meeks' highlight-reel one-handed dunk above two defenders off a
perfect lane pass from Patrick Patterson, who also had one of the
late Kentucky dunks.
Patterson finished with 28 points and Meeks had 20 for the
Zam Fredrick led South Carolina with 24 points, half of them
during a thunderous scoring streak in the first half.
The last two points of his streak were free throws after a
technical foul was called on Kentucky's bench for complaining at
officials when Stevenson was called for fouling Mike Holmes. Holmes
would hit one of the ensuing shots, stretching the Gamecocks' lead
The technical foul seemed to awaken Kentucky, at least
temporarily. Ramon Harris scored on a fastbreak dunk, followed by
two layups from Patterson.
Freshman DeAndre Liggins finished the half by beating the buzzer
with a closely guarded 3 that put the Wildcats up 37-36. Kentucky
stretched the lead to 10 in the second half before Downey caught
fire to pull the Gamecocks back in it.
Turnovers continued to plague the Wildcats as they committed 21,
compared to 10 for South Carolina.
Kentucky did shoot far better than the Gamecocks, making 52
percent of its shots. But the Wildcats weren't as strong from long
range, connecting on three of eight attempts, two of them by Meeks.
Fredrick and Downey combined on seven 3s for South Carolina.
SOUTH CAROLINA 78, No. 24 KENTUCKY 77
SOUTH CAROLINA (16-4)
Archie 3-9 1-2 7, Holmes 6-8 3-5 15, Muldrow 3-9 0-2 6, Downey
10-21 0-1 23, Fredrick 9-20 2-3 24, Raley-Ross 0-6 1-2 1, Wilder
0-0 0-0 0, Steed 1-2 0-0 2, Baniulis 0-1 0-0 0, Carter 0-0 0-0 0.
Totals 32-76 7-15 78.
Harris 1-2 0-0 2, Porter 0-2 0-0 0, Stevenson 4-5 0-2 8, Meeks
5-11 8-8 20, Patterson 10-16 8-8 28, Miller 2-4 0-0 4, Galloway 1-1
0-0 2, Stewart 0-0 0-0 0, Liggins 2-7 3-5 8, Harrellson 0-0 5-6 5.
Totals 25-48 24-29 77.
Halftime-Kentucky 37-36. 3-Point Goals-South Carolina 7-20
(Fredrick 4-8, Downey 3-5, Baniulis 0-1, Raley-Ross 0-3, Archie
0-3), Kentucky 3-8 (Meeks 2-5, Liggins 1-2, Miller 0-1). Fouled
Out-None. Rebounds-South Carolina 35 (Muldrow 12), Kentucky 40
(Stevenson 11). Assists-South Carolina 7 (Downey 4), Kentucky 16
(Porter, Stevenson 4). Total Fouls-South Carolina 21, Kentucky 15.
Technical-Kentucky Bench. A-24,322. old Caleb J