Tag Archives: kentucky

MBB Post-Game: Team Effort Takes Down No. 1

Key Moment

Look at the final stat sheet and you might think it was another episode of the Devan Downey Show. But a closer look will show that it took a full team effort on Tuesday night to secure South Carolina’s first win over a No. 1 ranked team.

“This was the first time everyone did what they could do,” said Head Coach Darrin Horn.

Brandis Raley-Ross complementing Devan’s 30-point effort with 17 of his own.

“I knew they were going to key on Devan, so I knew I needed to pick my spots,” said Raley-Ross. “I wanted to attack and do something out there.”

Jhondre Jefferson’s solid defense and eight rebounds in just 17 minutes of play.

“I thought Jhondre was big tonight,” said Horn. “That’s what we’re talking about – everybody doing what they can do.”

Austin Steed’s crucial block with under a minute to play.

“How about the huge block by Austin Steed?” said Horn. “That was a monster play at a huge time.”

A home crowd that was determined to will their Gamecocks to a monumental win.

“We’ve got tremendous fans here,” said Horn. “They deserved a win like this. They’ve been so supportive of us.”

“The crowd helped us and we knew that they were behind us the entire time,” said Downey. “It was a hostile environment out there.”

Key Box Score

Total FG-FGA 3 pt FG-FGA FT-FTA Rebs Pts Assts TO Blk Stl Min
G Devan Downey 9-29 2-5 10-11 5 30 3 2 0 2 38

“I’ve thought all year long, if we can keep it close, we’ve got No. 2 and we’ve got a shot,” said Horn. “His greatest quality is his heart. The kid’s got tremendous heart.”

“We wanted him to take tough shots. He’ll make some of those,” said Kentucky head coach John Calipari. “What he started doing in the end is our big guys stood straight up and and down and he went by them.”

“I knew that my team needed me to score, so I couldn’t be gun shy,” said Downey.

Key Stats

  • Kentucky head Coach John Calipari had won 65 consecutive conference games before losing on Tuesday night to the Gamecocks.
  • South Carolina won the rebounding battle 44-40. It was just the 4th time in 20 games that Kentucky had been out-rebounded.
  • The Gamecocks held Kentucky to their lowest offensive output of the season (62 points).
  • The Gamecocks improve to 3-0 in the Darrin Horn Era against the Wildcats.
  • Downey has averaged 21.4 points against Kentucky in five career games.
  • South Carolina had only 2 turnovers in the second half after committing nine in the first.

Key Quote

“I wish we had practice tomorrow so we can get in there and work a little harder. A win like this really does something to the team.” – Devan Downey


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Top of the Key: MBB vs. No. 1 Kentucky

South Carolina looks to knock off No. 1 Kentucky, the nation’s only undefeated team (19-0), at 9 p.m. in the Colonial Life Arena. The game will broadcast live on ESPN, and will be called by Brad Nessler and Jimmy Dykes. You can also listen live on the Gamecock Radio Network where Andy Demetra and Casey Manning will have the call.

South Carolina (11-8, 2-3) Notes

  • South Carolina swept the Kentucky series last season. Devan Downey clinched the first win with 3 seconds left in the game at Rupp Arena for a 78-77 victory.
  • Colonial Life Arena hosts a No. 1 team for the first time. South Carolina has hosted a No.1 team just one other time (vs. Michigan in 1977).
  • Senior guard Devan Downey has posted at least 20 points in all five SEC games. In Saturday’s game versus Florida, Downey scored 36 of the Gamecocks 56 points.
  • Downey enters Tuesday’s game vs. Kentucky leading the SEC in scoring in overall games (21.9) and league games (31.6).
  • Carolina’s 7.1 blocked shots per game rank third in the Southeastern Conference, behind Mississippi State’s 8.4 and Kentucky’s 7.3 per contest, and eighth in the nation (as of Jan. 25 NCAA stats). Junior forward Sam Muldrow paces the Gamecocks with 3.3 blocks per game, second in the SEC and eighth in the nation.
  • Tuesday night’s game marks the fifth of 10 for the Gamecocks on the ESPN family of networks during 1009-10 regular season. South Carolina holds a 10-13 record in games played on the family of networks since the 2005-06 season.

No. 1/1 Kentucky (19-0, 4-0) Notes

  • Kentucky leads the series 41-9. The Wildcats have won six of the last 10 meetings, including three of the last five in Columbia.
  • Freshman forward DeMarcus Cousins recorded his 10th double-double of the season with 16 points and 14 rebounds in only 17 minutes of work against Arkansas.
  • Sophomore guard Darius Miller led the Wildcats against Arkansas on Saturday with a career best 18 points, five rebounds, four assists, and two steals.
  • John Wall and Eric Bledsoe joined Miller and Cousins in double-figures with 16 and 10 points respectively. Wall also tallied a game-high seven assists, three steals, and two blocks against Arkansas.


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WBB Post-Game: Sharing the Spoils

Key Factor

A scoring attack featuring five players in double figures was again the key for the Gamecocks as they picked up their second straight SEC win on Thursday night, defeating Kentucky 79-71 at home.

Freshman center Kelsey Bone led the way with a 23-point effort, but a number of other players were effective in the effort. Valerie Nainima scored 14 points, Charenee Stephens finished with 11 and Ieasia Walker and Samone Kennedy added ten points apiece.

Bone believes the balance will make it more difficult for teams to stop the Gamecocks offensively.

“It’s forcing teams to have to pick their poison. Either they have to stop what’s going on inside with Charenee and myself or try to contain our guards outside,” she said. “What is it going to do is open a lot up for Charenee and I. You have to respect Val’s shot. You have to respect Samone and Keisha driving inside.”

Head Coach Dawn Staley agreed that spreading the points out will bode well for South Carolina.

“It helps when everyone is a threat out there on the floor. It’s hard for anyone to guard us,” she said. “We do set up Kelsey and Val with a lot of shots, but at the same time, other people have to be a threat out there.”

Sophomore forward Charnee Stephens provided a threat tonight, finishing in double figures for the second consecutive game after scoring 10 against Alabama on Sunday.

“She’s been trying to get herself back into playing shape and she looked pretty good,” said Staley. “She did her job and a little bit more tonight.”

Staley said the game plan for the Gamecocks was to emphasize points in the paint.

“We felt like their strength was putting the ball on the floor and attacking and that our strength was closer to the basket with Kelsey’s back to the basket. Whatever team was able to play out to their strength was going to win the game,” she said.

South Carolina finished with 52 points in the paint and scored 10 off fast breaks against Kentucky.

“I think our team executed our game plan to the T,” said Staley.

Key Box Score

Total FG-FGA 3 pt FG-FGA FT-FTA Rebs Pts Assts TO Blk Stl Min
C Kelsey Bone 11-14 0-0 1-2 9 23 0 4 1 1 36

The freshman turned in her third-best scoring effort of the season tonight and was just a rebound shy of her sixth double-double. Bone’s presence and size inside proved to be too much for the Kentucky defense.

“It’s been stressed to me for the last couple of games that it’s time for me to dominate and get back to the Kelsey of old,” Bone said. “It all finally started to click today.”

“We really do depend on Kelsey because she is our height,” said Stephens. “It’s just time for her to dominate.”

“Val made her life easy tonight because she just had to catch and put the ball in the whole. Some stuff she’s going to have to be Kelsey – she’s got great footwork and she has to put the ball in the hole,” said Staley. “She’s certainly going to have to assert herself a lot more.”

Key Stats

  • The Gamecocks improved to 2-2 in league play. South Carolina only won two games in the entire SEC schedule last season.
  • South Carolina turned the ball over 18 times, snapping Kentucky’s 12-game streak of forcing 23 turnovers in a game.
  • The Gamecocks shot over 50% from the field for the second consecutive game, hitting 55% of their shots tonight.
  • Carolina shot above their average from behind the arc, making 3-of-6 (50%).
  • After dishing out 14 assists against Alabama, the Gamecocks had double digits assists against tonight, finishing with 14.

Key Quote

“That’s why we’re winning. That’s why we’re putting together a two-game winning streak – because we’re really concentrating on the little things.” – Head Coach Dawn Staley.

“We’ve just got to bring the magic every night.” – Charenee Stephens.

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Top of the Key: WBB vs. Kentucky

The Gamecocks look to win their second straight SEC game when they host Kentucky Thursday night at Colonial Life Arena at 7 p.m. You can listen live on 1320 AM (in Columbia) or on GamecocksOnline.com. Brad Muller and Marcy Girton will have the call.

South Carolina (8-7, 1-2) Notes

  • Five Gamecocks scored in double figures on Sunday in South Carolina’s win over Alabama. It was the first time five players had reached double digits in an SEC game since Feb. 12, 2004.
  • In the win over the Crimson Tide, the Gamecocks shot a Dawn Staley era-best 59.6 percent from the field and tied a season high of 19 assists.
  • South Carolina ranks near the top of the league in shooting percentage in conference games. The Gamecocks are 45% from the field (third-best in SEC) and 46% from behind the arc (second-best).
  • Freshman Kelsey Bone leads the SEC in rebounding with 10 boards per game (26th in the nation). She posted her fifth double-double of the season on Sunday with 14 points and 13 rebounds.
  • Junior Valerie Nainima leads the team with 18.7 ppg – good for 3rd in the SEC and 28th in the nation.
  • The Gamecocks are 4-1 at home this season and 76-43 at Colonial Life Arena all-time.

Kentucky (13-2, 1-1) Notes

  • Kentucky leads the SEC in five different team categories: scoring offense (79.3 ppg), scoring margin (+24.7), three-point field goal defense (.257), steals (13.5), turnover margin (+10.5).
  • The Wildcats own a 26-16 margin in the all-time series between the teams, but trail 8-11 in games played in Columbia.
  • Kentucky ranks 10th nationally in scoring offense with 79.3 ppg. They are 12-0 when scoring over 60 points.
  • The Cats are No. 2 nationally in turnover margin (+10.5). Kentucky has forced at least 23 turnovers in their last 12 games.
  • Forward Victoria Dunlap leads the team in scoring with 18.1 ppg. She also averages 9.3 rebounds per game. Dunlap is first in the SEC and 2nd nationally with 4.1 steals per game.

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Coming-Out Party

If you didn’t know who Alshon Jeffery was before today, well…now you know.

The true freshman had his breakout performance Saturday afternoon, catching seven passes for 138 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Gamecocks to a 28-26 win against Kentucky. Jeffery is the first Gamecock to catch three or more touchdowns in a game since Sidney Rice had five touchdown receptions against Florida Atlantic in 2006.

A highly touted prospect from Calhoun County, S.C., Jeffery initially committed to Southern California before choosing to play for the Gamecocks.

“After his third touchdown, Coach [G.A.] Mangus said ‘Those Southern Cal guys don’t come all the way to South Carolina for an average receiver,'” said Coach Spurrier. “Alshon knows how to go get the ball.”

“It was a great feeling out there, just playing and catching touchdowns,” said Jeffery. “I’ve been telling them to just throw it up and I’ll go catch it.”

“Anytime you can just throw the ball up and the guy comes down with it, it makes my job easier,” said quarterback Stephen Garcia. “He went up three times today and just caught the ball over everybody.”

Jeffery opened his account for the day on a slant play for a 10 yard touchdown to put South Carolina ahead 7-3 in the first quarter. But it was his next two touchdowns that really showcased his abilities.

After Kentucky answered back with a touchdown of their own, Garcia found Jeffrey in the corner of the end zone from 28 yards away. With a Kentucky defender tight on him, Jeffery made a highlight-reel worthy catch with one arm while falling down.

“The defender had my left hand locked up and I just went up, ” Jeffery said. “I practice it all the time, trying to catch it with one hand.”

With South Carolina trailing again 17-14 in the third quarter and facing a 3rd down and 15 from the Kentucky 22-yard line, Jeffery came up with another big play to put the Gamecocks in front. As the Kentucky defense swarmed on him, Garcia hurled a pass into the left corner of the end zone. Jeffery made a quick move to get around his defender and catch it for the score.

“The coaches have been telling me since I’ve been here to just take my steps and throw the ball. That’s exactly what I did,” said Garcia. “Alshon just made the catch. He’s a tremendous playmaker and we needed that.”

Spurrier said it took a few games for Jeffery to adjust to playing at the college level.

“He wasn’t here this summer and he didn’t know the offense very well,” he said. “He’s learned how to play faster.”

Jeffery brushed away any talk about being labeled a star already.

“I’m just trying to take off my career and be a great player here,” he said. “When the ball is in the air coming my way, I’m just out to attack it.”

Both Jeffery and Garcia talked about the potential for a great partnership for the next few years.

“He’ll only get better,” said Garcia. “He’s a true freshman and I’m glad he’ll be around here for the next 3 years.”

“Stephen is a great quarterback,” said Jeffery. “At practice, we just say throw up the ball and I’ll go get it.”

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Kentucky Gameday Need to Know

Time: Saturday at 12:30 p.m. ET

Location: Williams-Brice Stadium, Columbia, SC

TV Coverage: Fox Sports Net
Broadcast Team:  Bob Rathburn, Dave Archer, Jenn Hildreth

TV Replay: SportsSouth, Oct. 11 at 8 p.m. ET
Broadcast Team: Bob Rathburn, Dave Archer, Jenn Hildreth

Radio Coverage: Gamecock Radio Network – Flagship 107.5 FM (Click here for an affiliate in your area)
Broadcast Team: Todd Ellis, Tommy Suggs and Terry Cousin
In-Stadium Radio Frequency: Tune to 107.5 if you’re at the game to hear the Gamecock Radio Network broadcast or E1 on your Live Sports Radio

Satellite Radio: XM 212/Sirius 200

Digital Coverage: Gamecocks Gameday Live

Weather: High 89/Low 67/40% Chance of Rain

Important Gameday Times:

7:00 a.m. – Stadium Parking Office Opens (located under northwest ramp)
8:00 a.m. – Parking Lots Open
8:30 a.m. – Stadium Box Office Opens (located under the northwest ramp)
10:15 a.m. – Gamecock Walk (southwest corner of Williams-Brice Stadium)
10:30 a.m. – Select Stadium Gates Open (Gates 4, 14, 16, 22, 25)
11:00 a.m. – Remaining Stadium Gates Open
12:30 p.m. – Kick-off

Note: Parking lots close 2 hours after the end of the game

What to do on Gameday:

Bojangles (Open from 9:30 to Noon)

  • Allstate mobile tour – free t-shirts, video games
  • Cocky Bounce House
  • The Carolina Girls
  • Donate Life – free t-shirts
  • Pontiac, Buick, GMC – free t-shirts, 2010 Buick LaCrosse
  • Food Lion – free prizes
  • Addam’s Bookstore
  • Arthur State Bank – free croakies
  • Cross Runner – Green Urban scooter

Texting for Assistance at the Game:

Report stadium issues, unruly behavior, or requests for help by texting “USC” <space> your issue and location to 41513. Assistance is available two hours before kickoff and one hour after the game. Standard SMS rates apply.

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The Closer: Kentucky Scene Setter

Tickets are still available for Saturday’s game vs. Kentucky at 12:30 p.m. Visit GamecocksOnline.com or call 800-4SC-FANS.  If you’re not going to make it to Columbia, the game will be televised on Fox Sports Net.

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