Kentucky basketball plays at South Carolina at 9 p.m. ET on Tuesday, January 16, 2018. Follow along below for the score, live updates and stats from the game.
Kentucky-South Carolina score, live updates, stats
FINAL: South Carolina 76, No. 18 Kentucky 68
The Wildcats could not buy a bucket over the final six minutes and hit just 3 of 8 free throws over the last 3:46 as Kentucky blew a 14-point lead by getting outscored 33-11 to close the game, spoiling a fairly impressive debut by 5-star freshman Jarred Vanderbilt. Here’s your box score:
South Carolina 71, Kentucky 68, 1:11 2H: First it was foul trouble killing the Cats and now it’s free-throw shooting. They’re 3 of 8 from the line in the last 2:35. And it’s Gamecocks ball. And UK is still in almost universal foul trouble.
Kentucky 65, South Carolina 65, 4:02 2H: The Gamecocks have completely erased a 14-point lead in 7 minutes and 30 seconds. Kentucky led by seven with 7:00 to go after Kevin Knox hit the team’s first 3-pointer of the game — extending the streak to 1,031 straight games with at least one make — and by five with 4:47 remaining when Richards grabbed a big offensive rebound but bricked the putback dunk. USC converted a three-point play on the other end, then raced in for a tying layup on the Cats’ next miss.
Kentucky 60, South Carolina 55, 7:21 2H: The Cats led 57-43 with 11:34 to go in Jarred Vanderbilt’s welcome party — and now the wheels are falling off. Gabriel just fouled out and Diallo, Gilgeous-Alexander and Killeya-Jones all have four fouls as the Gamecocks are making their move. They have two free throws coming to get within three in the span of barely four minutes. The Cats have missed three of their last four shots.
Kentucky 54, South Carolina 40, 12:21 2H: Vanderbilt made his second-half debut with 15:44 to go after Wenyen Gabriel and Hamidou Diallo joined Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Nick Richards with three fouls. Vanderbilt promptly blocked a shot, grabbed a defensive rebound and fed Gilgeous-Alexander for a layup as Kentucky built its lead to 48-36.
Another flurry came soon after: swished mid-range jumper, contest in the paint, rugged defensive rebound, assist to Nick Richards. That, and Kevin Knox’s continued heater — now 17 points, 7 rebounds — have the Wildcats rolling here in what had been a muddied-up SEC road game. Here’s your latest box score:
Kentucky 44, South Carolina 36, 15:58 2H: Knox has rediscovered himself by listening to the coaches and working inside first. Back-to-back close-range buckets briefly gave the Cats a 10-point lead. He has 15 points and 6 rebounds and is 5 of 9 from the field and 7 of 8 at the free-throw line. Still no Vando this half, but he hasn’t been needed (yet). Both Richards and Diallo have picked up third fouls early in the second (and SGA already has three).
Kentucky 42, South Carolina 34, 17:23 2H: Kevin Knox is up to 13 points and we’ve not seen Jarred Vanderbilt yet this half. So far, he is not needed. I bet he didn’t expect to play as long as he did before the break (if at all). The Gamecocks are already almost up to their season average for 3-points attempts (21) with 17 tries (and just 3 makes) so far. Kentucky has only attempted five from deep — but it has not made any, putting the 1,030-game streak of at least one made three on the line.
HALFTIME: Kentucky 37, South Carolina 34
Well that was weird. The Wildcats finished the half with six of eight scholarship players in foul trouble and both Brad Calipari and Jarred Vanderbilt playing critical minutes. All things considered, John Calipari has to be thrilled with a halftime lead of any kind tonight.
Vanderbilt made his debut and stunk in the first go-round — before settling down and totally stabilizing the Wildcats. He’s shown off terrific ball handling, passing and rebounding (all that stuff the staff kept saying he could do) to close out the half. Kevin Knox’s 10 points and 4 rebounds and Nick Richards’ 8 points were also huge for the Cats. Here’s your full halftime box from a wildly eventful first half:
South Carolina 34, Kentucky 32, 1:48 1H: The Cats would be toast without Vanderbilt tonight, as there are now six UK players with two fouls — and he’s starting to settle in. Playing a long stretch of point forward, he’s begun to show off the skill set we’ve heard so much about. Slick handles into a beautiful bounce feed to Killeya-Jones in the post (but he got tied up), then a terrific offensive rebound, drew the foul and hit both free throws.
Kentucky 28, South Carolina 26, 3:46 1H: Who expected to see Jarred Vanderbilt and Brad Calipari on the floor together tonight? Well, it’s happening, and Vanderbilt is the point forward (as both John Calipari and Kenny Payne said he could be all along) in that lineup. Diallo, Gilgeous-Alexander, Gabriel and Richards all have two fouls. Vanderbilt drove and kicked to Calipari for a 3-pointer that would’ve made BBN’s head explode. He missed, but Knox got a huge offensive rebound and SKJ finished with a bucket and foul, with a free throw coming. Cats are battling here after a horrendous start.
Welcome back, Nick Richards: The freshman 7-footer who averaged just 13 minutes and fewer than 4 points and 4 rebounds in his first five SEC games is having a major comeback game tonight: 8 points, 3-3 FG, 2-2 FT, 2 rebounds. He scored the Cats’ first four points when no one else could score and then hit the tying free throws and go-ahead putback on a how’d-he-get-there offensive rebound.
South Carolina 24, Kentucky 22, 7:50 1H: After Gabriel’s second foul at the 8:53 mark — Diallo already had two — Vanderbilt checked back in for the second time and it has so far gone much better. Leading the break, the 6-9 forward zipped a nice pass ahead to Washington, who was fouled and hit two free throws. Then Vanderbilt did a nice job contesting a 3-poiter the Gamecocks missed (and they’ve missed their last nine shots and gone 5:32 without a made basket). Box score so far:
South Carolina 22, Kentucky 19, 9:40 1H: The Cats trailed by eight with 11:28 to go in the half, then Kevin Knox and Wenyen Gabriel went to work. A Knox layup, then a Knox miss and Gabriel tip-in for a three-point play — followed by a big Gabriel block — got Kentucky steadied again. Knox has 8 points, 2 rebounds, a steal and assists already (and is 4 of 4 at the line, attacking the basket as commanded).
South Carolina 19, Kentucky 12, 11:58 1H: The Gamecocks are still outplaying the Cats, but the big news by far is that 5-star freshman Jarred Vanderbilt has made his college debut.
NOT A DRILL: Jarred Vanderbilt to the scorer’s table to check in.
South Carolina 11, Kentucky 4, 15:47 1H: Nick Richards, who has been in a brutal slump to start SEC play, already surpassed his scoring average in league play with a short jump shot and hook shot for all of the Cats’ points so far. The defense has been a mess, though, as the Gamecocks are driving at will — including a posterizing dunk over Wenyen Gabriel. Foul Watch for shorthanded Kentucky: one each for Gabriel and Hamidou Diallo. Box score so far:
South Carolina 7, Kentucky 0, 18:05 1H: John Calipari has already taken a timeout after the Gamecocks ignited this crowd with a steal and slam, deep 3-pointer to beat the shot clock and post-up bucket over PJ Washington. Shorthanded Cats facing immediate adversity.
STARTING FIVE: It’s Gilgeous-Alexander, Diallo, Knox, Washington and Richards for the Cats. Same as the last two games without Green. Jarred Vanderbilt is wearing the full team gear on the bench, by the way, including the warm-up top (he just wore a T-shirt last game) and appeared to be stretching his legs during the national anthem, whatever that is worth.
#VandoWatch: Kid worked himself into a pretty good lather, staying out with the team throughout pregame work. Spent a lot of time at the free-throw line, then worked his way around the floor. Dunked at least once. Cats headed back to the locker room with 11 minutes til tip.
— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_SEC) January 17, 2018
Three Cats stay home: Kentucky announced that starting point guard Quade Green (back), reserve forward Tai Wynyard (back) and freshman guard Jemarl Baker (knee) did not make the trip to Columbia, S.C., because they are not healthy enough yet to play. Green will miss his third straight game, meaning Kentucky will likely play with just seven scholarship players for the third straight game. (The Cats beat Texas A&M and Vanderbilt, barely, while shorthanded.) However …
Jarred Vanderbilt Watch: He’s in game shorts again (with a T-shirt on like the rest of the team) and fully participating in the team stretching and warm-up drills for the second straight game. He is attempting to come back from a preseason foot injury and I was told today that he’s been increasing his workload daily, inching toward a debut, and that questions about whether he wants to play this season are unfounded: “He just wants to feel good before he plays,” a source close to the program told me, meaning he wants to trust that foot, injured three times since high school, a bit more before he tests it. Stay tuned …
— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_SEC) January 17, 2018
Kentucky-South Carolina game time, details
- Time: 9 p.m. ET
- Date: Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018
- Location: Colonial Life Arena (18,000), Columbia, S.C.
- Records: Kentucky 14-3, 4-1 SEC, South Carolina 11-6, 2-3
- Favorite: Kentucky by 2 1/2
What TV channel is Kentucky-South Carolina on?
You can watch Kentucky vs. South Carolina on ESPN. Joe Tessitore, Sean Farnham and Laura Rutledge will be on the call.
How can I watch Kentucky-South Carolina online?
Stream Kentucky vs. South Carolina on ESPN3.com and the WatchESPN app.
How can I listen to Kentucky-South Carolina on the radio?
Kentucky and South Carolina will be broadcast on the UK Sports Network. That’s 630-AM on Lexington radio and can be streamed at iHeart Radio. You can also listen on XM channel 191 and Sirius channel 138.
Kentucky-South Carolina preview
- He hasn’t started a game this season. He’s seventh on the team in points and sixth in minutes. But sophomore Wenyen Gabriel has become the guts and glue of this young team, making hustle play after hustle play (and sinking timely 3-pointer after timely 3-pointer) just when the freshmen need him. “His energy, his effort and what he’s giving us on the floor, just the fight of it, is an example of what we need every player to do.”
- What’s wrong with 5-star freshman 7-footer Nick Richards? He’s averaging just 13 minutes, 3.4 points and 3.2 rebounds in SEC play. Assistant coach and big-man specialist Kenny Payne, who also addressed the buzz about him as a potential head coaching candidate at his alma mater Louisville, swears the staff has not lost faith in Richards. That he is well-trained and plenty skilled. But he has “made the pivotal mistake that all young players make: They begin to think too much.”
- Payne also gave the most detailed and encouraging update yet on 5-star freshman Jarred Vanderbilt, who is attempting to come back from a third left foot injury in two years and has become a polarizing figure with the fan base. He’s cleared to play, but coaches say it’s up to him when he does — that he has a mental hurdle still to clear. “It’s wrong for adults to force a kid to do anything when they don’t feel like they are ready yet,” said Payne, who also raved about Vanderbilt’s skills. “His speed is unbelievable … he can really move … an exceptional ball handler … literally like a point forward.”
- Oh, by the way, Kentucky has been playing the last two games without its starting point guard, Quade Green, who tweaked his back. Because Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has been so good — “our best player, by far,” Payne says plainly — and the Wildcats have won both without Green, it’s easy to overlook how much they need him. He’s one of the team’s best free-throw and 3-point shooters and takes care of the ball, all things UK could’ve used in its near-collapses the last two games. Here’s the latest update on his status and when he might return.