Who: No. 10 South Carolina (15-3, 4-2 SEC) vs. Kentucky (9-10, 1-4 SEC)
When: Sunday, 12 p.m.
Where: Rupp Arena, Lexington, Kentucky
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Series History: Kentucky leads the all-time series over Carolina with a 33-28 record. However, as is common with most SEC teams, the Gamecocks have completely tamed the Wildcats of late, winning six in a row. The rivalry, however, remains intense.
South Carolina’s Starters: F Alexis Jennings, F Lele Grissett, G Tyasha Harris, G Doniyah Cliney, G Bianca Jackson
Kentucky’s Starters: C Alyssa Rice, C Tatyana Wyatt, G Maci Morris, G Taylor Murray, G Makenzie Cann
Last Game: South Carolina held off a pesky Vanderbilt squad on the road, 95-82, despite playing with only six healthy players at one point. Kentucky also last played Vanderbilt, going on the road and getting surprised, 70-55, for the Wildcats’ fourth SEC loss of the year.
Key Storyline: Health has been an issue for both teams, as USC could potentially have four players held out of Sunday’s contest, and Kentucky’s leading scorer, junior guard Maci Morris, has been playing through pain and finally missed her first game of the season against Vanderbilt.
Morris is expected to return against the Gamecocks, however, and it seems as though most of South Carolina’s injured, including star forward A’ja Wilson, are trending towards a return. But without a definitive report, it’s hard to say what kind of game we’ll see. Without Wilson, sophomore guard Tyasha Harris and redshirt senior guard Lindsey Spann, USC allowed Vanderbilt to cut into a big lead this past Thursday, and Kentucky is widely considered to be a better team than the Commodores.
But with those players, South Carolina is unlikely to struggle much against a Wildcats squad that is currently on a 1-10 slide and has collapsed from ranked No. 20 in the country to one of the worst teams in the SEC.
Other Notes: As of Friday, Wilson had been cleared for minimal contact and was able to participate a little in practice. But she has yet to be fully cleared for games. ... Spann missed five games earlier this season with a knee sprain, and she appeared to injure that knee against Vanderbilt. At practice Friday, she wore a soft compression sleeve over her knee, not the brace she has been wearing for the past several games. ... South Carolina’s run of six wins against Kentucky is the longest by any team in the series since the Wildcats won nine in a row from 1982 to 1995. ... USC’s 95 points against Vandy were tied for its most against a conference opponent over the past three years.
Kentucky ranks 12th in the SEC and 140th nationally in scoring offense, and 11th and 168th, respectively, in field goal percentage. ... The Wildcats have made eight consecutive NCAA tournaments and have not posted a losing record since 2003-2004. ... Maci Morris ranks in the top 20 of the SEC in both points and steals per game, while Taylor Murray is 12th in assists per game.
Greg Hadley: @GregHadley9