Wildcats embarrass Gamecocks

Associated Press
Kentucky's Derrick Jasper (5) is called for the foul in his battle with South Carolina's Tre Kelley for a loose ball in the first half.

COLUMBIA - Joe Crawford tied his career high with 23 points and No. 25 Kentucky won its 11th consecutive game, an 87-49 victory over South Carolina on Tuesday night.

 

Crawford had 17 points in the first half to help the Wildcats (15-3, 4-0 Southeastern Conference) open a double-digit lead. Randolph Morris added 17 points and 11 rebounds for Kentucky, which hasn't lost since falling at North Carolina on Dec. 2.


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It was the worst home loss for South Carolina (10-6, 0-3) since a 64-11 defeat by Wake Forest in 1915.

Crawford was 3-for-3 from 3-point range over the first 6 minutes. When South Carolina tightened up its defense, Crawford easily found his points closer to the basket. He had three field goals and Morris converted a layup during a 3-minute sequence to put Kentucky ahead 30-19.

When South Carolina cut the lead to 30-25 - the closest it would come the rest of the way - the Wildcats finished the half on a 7-2 run, including two free throws by Crawford.

It was the Gamecocks' fourth consecutive blowout loss - by a combined 112 points. The stretch began with a loss to No. 5 Kansas (70-54), and continued with flops against Georgia (80-56) and top-ranked Florida (84-50).

South Carolina plays at No. 22 Tennessee on Saturday.

Tre Kelley led South Carolina with 19 points.

Former Silver Bluff star Brandon Wallace was held to 8 points for the Gamecocks on 1 of 8 shooting from the floor. Former Josey player Dominique Archie had 2 points on 1 of 5 shooting.

Crawford left the game for good with about 5 minutes to play.

Moments earlier, the junior matched his career best of 23 points for the fourth time.

Crawford started hot - eerily similar to the 5-for-5 long-range performance Florida's Lee Humphrey hung on South Carolina to start that game - and the Wildcats picked it up from there.

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