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Highlights, box score & MVP from Kentucky destroying South Carolina

The Cats’ defense continues to play at an elite level.

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Drew Brown - Sea of Blue

The Kentucky Wildcats destroyed the South Carolina Gamecocks Tuesday night 76-48.

The score was close for most of the first half, but the Cats went on a big run and never looked back.

After falling behind 24-22 with about six minutes to go in the half, UK closed it out on a 17-4 run to go into the break up 39-28.

The story was once again the defense. South Carolina was hot to begin the game, but UK dug their heels in and shut it down. It was an excellent effort against a team that likes to run.

PJ Washington was excellent once again. I love watching him play right now. He’s fully accepted his role on this team, and he fits perfectly. He had another 20-point performance tonight.

Tyler Herro played good defense and continued to score in a variety of ways. He’s become very streaky, though, which has limited his overall efficiency on the offensive end.

Keldon Johnson’s struggles continued tonight. He just can’t get anything going right now. Ashton Hagans turned the ball over entirely too much tonight. He continues to run the offense well, but the turnovers are concerning. Regardless, he’s taking the ball back at an incredible rate.

Reid Travis clogged the paint and grabbed rebound after rebound. Nick Richards, Jemarl Baker, and Immanuel Quickley all gave extremely valuable minutes off the bench. They all contributed in different ways, but they all looked like they belonged on the court when they were out there.

Kentucky shut down the Gamecocks’ best players and dominated the boards. Despite the offense looking sloppy and sluggish at times, UK was still able to dominate South Carolina.

The Gamecocks weren’t good at all in non-conference play, but they have wins over Mississippi State and Auburn. They’ve shown the ability to beat good teams. And the Cats didn’t let that thought cross their minds.

Next up, the Cats will travel to Starkville Saturday afternoon to take on the Mississippi State Bulldogs.

Box Score

Game MVP

This is now back-to-back games that EJ Montgomery has played extremely well. PJ played great, but EJ was a true difference-maker. That’s why he’s taking home the MVP.

His defense is very good, and he’s becoming a great rebounder. And he might be the rim protector Calipari has missed over the last few years.

His progression throughout the season has been nothing short of impressive, despite it being slow and steady. His potential is through the roof, and we’re finally seeing why he was the highest ranked recruit in this year’s freshman class.

Montgomery posted his first career double-double, finishing with 11 points and 13 rebounds. It was really awesome to see him just dominate the boards, especially on the offensive end (five offensive rebounds).

He also shot 5-7 from the field, including 1-1 from three-point land.

As John Calipari said after the game, EJ takes this team to a whole new level. Let’s hope he keeps it up.

Highlights

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