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4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET12:00 PM GMT8:00 PM 北京时间5:00 PM MST7:00 PM EST, Feb 5, 2019
Rupp Arena, Lexington, Kentucky  Attendance: 20,496

South Carolina looks to cool down No. 5 Kentucky

Kentucky is making a move.

The Wildcats (18-3, 7-1) have won eight games in a row since losing their SEC opener against Alabama -- seven conference games and a victory against then-No. 9 Kansas in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge.

They're still a game behind top-ranked Tennessee in the SEC standings, but they climbed to No. 5 in the AP poll on Monday.

"We are still a work in progress," Kentucky coach John Calipari said. "We are halfway up the hill."

The Wildcats, who host South Carolina (11-10, 6-2) on Tuesday night, continued their ascension with a 65-54 victory at Florida on Saturday.

The winning streak was in jeopardy as the Gators led by 11 in the second half, but Kentucky's defense fueled a 14-0 run that turned things around. Florida scored just 12 points in the final 13:53 and made just 9 of 33 shots in the second half, including just 1 of 9 from long range.

"We just had to dig down deep, come out, and get it done," freshman guard Keldon Johnson said. "We knew that we didn't want to lose. We all had each other's back. We just went out there, locked down defense and communicated."

P.J. Washington led the Wildcats' defensive effort and finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds.

"He's built his own confidence," Calipari said of Washington. "He's taking control of games. He's coaching players on the court."

While Kentucky mounted a significant comeback, South Carolina never trailed in an 86-80 victory at Georgia on Saturday.

The Gamecocks scored the first seven points of the game and built leads of 14-4 and 22-8 on their way to a 15-point lead in the first half, but the Bulldogs made them work until the end. The lead shrank to five at halftime and was down to two early in the second half.

South Carolina rebuilt the lead to 69-56 midway through the second half, but Georgia got within five with three minutes remaining.

Hassani Gravett answered with a 3-pointer for the Gamecocks, who maintained the lead by shooting 65.2 percent (15 for 23) in the second half and 56.9 percent (33 for 58) for the game. They made 68.8 percent (11 for 16) of their 3-pointers.

"You don't win and lose in the last three minutes with your defense, you win and lose with your offense," South Carolina coach Frank Martin said. "You have bad turnovers, empty possessions, you create bad situations. ...

"We're playing better offensively and when you play well offensively then the spacing and balance of the floor is the right way, which gives you a chance to grab offensive rebounds, but more importantly allows your defense to be protected."

Freshman A.J. Lawson and senior Chris Silva scored 19 points apiece against the Bulldogs. Silva, who added six rebounds, scored in double figures for the 12th time in the last 14 games. Gravett scored 13 off the bench.

--Field Level Media

Updated February 4, 2019

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