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John Calipari and Wildcats recap win vs. South Carolina, plus postgame notes

Another 20-win season for Coach Cal and his Cats.

NCAA Basketball: Kentucky at South Carolina Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

The Kentucky Wildcats have achieved 20 wins for a 13th time in the past 14 seasons.

During that time, even some of Kentucky’s best teams have had trouble winning at South Carolina.

But on this Tuesday, the Wildcats went into Colonial Life Arena and came away with an 86-76 victory over the Gamecocks.

After the game, John Calipari was joined by Keion Brooks and Oscar Tshiebwe to discuss the game. Here is a video recap of what they had to say via UK Athletics.

And here are the postgame notes and milestones via UK Athletics.

Team Records, Series Notes, Etc.

  • Kentucky is now 20-4 on the season and has won five in a row. UK is 9-2 in the SEC.
  • South Carolina is 13-10 overall, 4-7 in the SEC.
  • Kentucky leads the series, 54-13, and has won two in a row.
  • UK leads 21-9 in games played in Columbia.
  • Next for UK: the Wildcats play host to Florida on Saturday at 4 p.m. ESPN will televise the game.

Team Notes

  • Kentucky has won five of the last six road games.
  • South Carolina shot 37.8% from the field (31 of 82). UK is 220-24 (.902) under John Calipari when the opponent shoots 40 percent or less, including 11-0 this season.
  • Kentucky shot 56.7 percent from the field (34 of 60). UK is 11-1 this season when making at least 50 percent from the field.
  • Kentucky had six players score in double figures for the second time this season, also vs. Robert Morris on Nov. 12.
  • Kentucky led by as many as 14 points. UK is 305-13 (95.9%) under Calipari when leading by at least 10 points at any time in the contest.
  • Tonight’s game was a credit to Kentucky’s perseverance.
  • UK was outrebounded 41-40 and gave up 22 offensive rebounds to USC. It is the third game in a row that UK has been outrebounded, but the Wildcats have won all three.
  • Kentucky also managed to win despite losing the turnover battle, 16-11, and points off turnovers, 23-13.

Player Notes

  • After a relatively quiet first half (six points, two rebounds), Oscar Tshiebwe had a huge second half and totaled 18 points and 14 rebounds.
  • It is his sixth-straight double-double, first Wildcat to do that since Julius Randle in 2014.
  • It is his 18th double-double of the season, ranking second in the nation in that category.
  • The nation’s leading rebounder has grabbed double-figure boards in all but two games this season.
  • He has 11 straight games with double-figure rebounds, first Wildcat to do so since Dan Issel had 12 in a row in the 1969-70 season.
  • He added two assists, three blocked shots and two steals tonight. He has had at least two steals in eight straight games.
  • Coach Calipari said that Keion Brooks has become “Steady Eddie” recently.
  • He had 15 points tonight on 6 of 9 shooting and added nine rebounds.
  • He is averaging 16.8 points and 6.4 rebounds per game during UK’s current five-game win streak.
  • TyTy Washington had 14 points, three rebounds and three assists.
  • He has averaged 14.4 points in the 19 wins in which he has played this season, vs. 6.0 points per game in UK’s four losses.
  • Again leading UK in minutes played with 38, Kellan Grady had 12 points.
  • Over the last 15 games he is averaging 13.7 points per game while shooting 48.6 percent from the field (70 of 144), including 46.4 percent (51 of 110) from 3-point range.
  • Has made a 3-pointer in 17 straight games, most since Jamal Murray made a three in all 36 games of the 2015-16 season.
  • Grady has made at least two 3-pointers in six straight games.
  • He has led the team in minutes played for the last seven games.
  • Davion Mintz made three 3-pointers, leading to 10 points. Over the last three games, he has made 8 of 15 from long range.
  • Jacob Toppin sparked the Cats with 10 points in the first half, but did not return after suffering an ankle injury.
  • Sahvir Wheeler, the SEC leader in assists, had 11 tonight to go along with four points.
  • It is his fourth double-figure assist game of the season, first since Nov. 26 vs. North Florida.

Coach John Calipari

  • Tonight’s win marked John Calipari’s 27th on-court 20-win season, his 12th at Kentucky.
  • Calipari is now 359-97 at UK.
  • UK is 293-56 against unranked competition under Calipari.
  • Calipari has an 804-237 all-time on-court record.
  • Calipari has tallied a 376-118 all-time record within conference play as a head coach and owns a 168-52 record since joining the SEC.
  • Calipari is 16-4 against South Carolina.

In the First Half

  • The starting lineup was Sahvir Wheeler, TyTy Washington Jr., Kellan Grady, Keion Brooks Jr. and Oscar Tshiebwe for the 20th time this season. That lineup now has a 16-4 record.
  • Lance Ware and Jacob Toppin were the first Kentucky substitutions at the 13:19 mark, second time this season that Ware has been first off the bench and it is the 13th time for Toppin.
  • A Washington layup gave UK a 5-4 lead and the Wildcats eventually built an 18-8 advantage.
  • Six straight points from Toppin gave UK its largest lead at 39-28 but South Carolina closed the half with a 6-0 run and the halftime count was 39-34.
  • Toppin led Kentucky in the first half with 10 points but left the floor with an apparent injury with 1:42 remaining and did not return.
  • UK is 19-2 this season when leading at intermission.

In the Second Half

  • Kentucky began the second half with the starting lineup.
  • South Carolina steadily ate into the UK advantage and tied the game at 43 with 16 minutes left – all totaled a 15-4 run spanning both halves.
  • Kentucky steadied with a 5-0 run, forcing a Gamecock timeout with 14:45 on the clock. Out of the timeout, a Grady steal and stuff made the spurt 7-0 and put UK back ahead 50-43.
  • UK eventually stretched the lead to its largest of the game, 70-56, with 7:52 remaining.
  • The pesky Gamecocks kept battling and pulled within 74-67 but got no closer.
  • Tshiebwe was dominant in the second half with a dozen points and rebounds.