LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — PJ Washington scored 20 points, and No. 5 Kentucky routed South Carolina 76-48 victory Tuesday night for its ninth consecutive victory.
The Wildcats (19-3, 8-1 Southeastern Conference) shot just 41 percent but held the Gamecocks to just 28 percent in the second half and 36 percent overall. It was the seventh time in eight games they've held an opponent below 40 percent. Kentucky outscored 17-4 over the final 5:14 to lead 39-28 at the break and stretched its advantage to as many as 28 with just under five minutes remaining.
Washington fell short of his fourth consecutive double-double but posted his fourth 20-point game in the past five. Tyler Herro, Reid Travis each added 11 points for the Wildcats.
EJ Montgomery came off the bench to post career highs of 11 points and 11 rebounds, his first double-double. Kentucky dominated South Carolina 50-27 on the glass and forced 19 turnovers leading to 26 points.
The Wildcats stayed within a game of the conference lead in the process and improved to 28-2 at home against the Gamecocks (11-11, 6-3).
A.J. Lawson and Tre Campbell each had 12 points for South Carolina.
Kentucky's top-five status seems set with another impressive win.
South Carolina: The Gamecocks held their own for a while in the first half, even with leading scorer Chris Silva on the bench with two quick fouls 12 seconds apart. Things soon fell apart late in the first half and they could make little from the field in the second. They also struggled at the line, making just 5 of 14.
Kentucky: It wasn't a pretty game offensively, just effective when it had to be. The Wildcats gave no ground on the boards or in the paint against an opponent that usually gives them a tough game.
South Carolina hosts Arkansas on Saturday.
Kentucky visits Mississippi State on Saturday.