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South Carolina 18, Kentucky 43: Second Half Live Thread

Kentucky was hitting on all cylinders in the first half. That needs to continue in the second.

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

This is what I expected to see from the Kentucky Wildcats today. Kentucky has had a couple of close calls at Florida and at LSU, and they were due for a return to form. In the first half, Kentucky has played excellent basketball both offensively and defensively, holding the Gamecocks under 20 points.

First half stats

What I love is the good ballhandling and good, if not great, defensive rebounding. USC got some early rebounds against Kentucky, but later in the half, the Wildcats simply dominated the defensive glass in the way you would expect.

Another good thing is that the Wildcats are making a decent percentage from three and making their free throws. They shot 8 free throws in the first half and made seven, and that’s not bad. They need to get to the line even more in the second.

Points in the paint are 24-4. That’s gobsmacking, a dominant performance that is hard to recover from. So what we need to see now is Kentucky to come out and deliver and finish the Gamecocks early, leaving no doubt. Calipari has been lamenting a lack of killer instinct, and this is exactly where the Wildcats need to show that they have grown from that criticism. No quarter is expected, so respect your opponent and beat them as soundly as possible. No fancy plays, no highlight-reel passes, just good, fundamental basketball.

Go, ‘Cats!