Sunday, February 2, 2003

No. 7 Kentucky 87, South Carolina 69


Red-hot Wildcats smother S. Carolina

The Associated Press

[img]
Kentucky's Marquis Estill (50) goes up for two as South Carolina's Rolando Howell (55) tries to stop him.
(AP photo)
| ZOOM |
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Marquis Estill doesn't see man-to-man defense very often. When he does, he tries to take advantage.

Estill did just that Saturday, scoring 16 of his 18 points in the first half and lifting seventh-ranked Kentucky to its 10th straight victory, 87-69 over South Carolina.

"I like when teams play me one-on-one," said Estill, who shot 7-for-11 in the first half. "I feel like it's going to be hard for them to stop me. I don't think anybody can stop me when I get the ball inside."

The Wildcats (16-3, 6-0 Southeastern Conference) used a 21-4 first-half run to break open the game.

The Gamecocks (7-10, 1-6) lost their sixth straight game and 13th in 14 meetings with Kentucky.

While the Wildcats' Keith Bogans and Gerald Fitch get plenty of notice for their outside shooting, South Carolina coach Dave Odom said, "Kentucky, like all great teams, still beats you from 5 feet."

"Marquis Estill, right now, is the most improved center in the league, I think," added Odom, whose team is in the midst of its longest losing streak since dropping nine straight in 1999-2000.

Kentucky extended its longest winning streak since the 1998 national champions closed with 13 straight victories.

Things might not be so easy for the Wildcats in their next game. They face fourth-ranked Florida on Tuesday night in Rupp Arena.

Estill said he and his teammates didn't even mention the Gators during the past week.

"We don't know much about them, except what we see on TV," he said. "We spent our time on South Carolina."

It showed. Estill dominated the middle and opened up chances for his teammates.

Estill's inside basket gave Kentucky a 23-20 lead and started the Wildcats' charge. Erik Daniels completed a three-point play and Keith Bogans added a driving layup. Bogans and Fitch then sank consecutive 3-pointers, extending the lead to 38-24. Estill hit another shot from close range, and Josh Carrier closed the run with an uncontested layup to put Kentucky ahead 42-24 with 3:39 left.

"When you can come on the road and play with poise and be patient, it's important," Wildcats coach Tubby Smith said. "I'm seeing the maturation of our team."

Odom entered the game concerned whether his team could withstand Kentucky's defense. The Gamecocks couldn't, committing six turnovers and taking three shots during UK's six-minute surge.

"Anytime we get the ball down low to Marquis, there's usually a trap," Bogans said. "They didn't trap him. When you don't trap him, he's going to make you pay."

Kentucky didn't stop until the first-half buzzer sounded. Bogans added a jumper and a 3-pointer in the final 46 seconds to give the Wildcats a 57-32 lead. They shot 59 percent (23-of-39) in the half.

The blowout continued in the second half. Kentucky extended its lead to 69-42 on a Bogans 3-pointer with 12:34 remaining in the game. Rolando Howell's basket with 2:01 to go pulled South Carolina within 78-63, but there wasn't enough time or shotmakers for the Gamecocks to get closer.

Odom said the game was lost during the first-half run.

"If you go through a period like that, you have to be a heck of a team to survive it," he said. "We're not a heck of a team."

Bogans scored 16 points, while Daniels had 14 and Chuck Hayes 12 for UK.

Chuck Eidson led South Carolina with 17 points, and Kerbrell Brown added 15.

KentuckyMFGAttFTAttRAFTOTP
Daniels255745552114
Hayes33610011042412
Estill2071448403018
Fitch304110023319
Bogans3361111722316
Hawkins223422463210
Carrier2110000002
Cote1000000000
Azubuike8030001000
Barbour7120020013
Camara19121221313
Totals200346512193622181387
Team rebounds - 1.

S.CarolinaMFGAttFTAttRAFTOTP
Powell21341212537
Brown2851245422115
R.Howell315934405213
Gerald13000000000
Eidson3771200163317
I.Howell1000000000
Warren10010011020
Kinsey215900112210
Morrison7120010002
Boynton6000001000
Kitchings13122210204
Chappell12011231101
Totals200275214191714201369
Team rebounds - 7.

Kentucky5730-87
South Carolina3237-69
3-pointers - UK 7-17 (Fitch 1-6, Bogans 3-5, Hawkins 2-2, Azubuike 0-3, Barbour 1-1), SC 1-9 (Powell 0-1, Brown 1-5, Eidson 0-2, Kinsey -1). Technicals - None. Officials - N/A. Attendance - 14,922.




UC BEARCATS
Marquette 82, UC 76
Daugherty: Snarl gone from 'Cats
Rankings become least of concerns

XAVIER
Xavier 66, Richmond 52
Victory a little sweeter for West

OTHER COLLEGE BASKETBALL
No. 7 Kentucky 87, South Carolina 69
Miami 57, Buffalo 55
Ohio State 65, Northwestern 52
No. 8 Louisville 95, No. 19 Indiana 76
Syracuse stuns No. 2 Pitt
Texas A&M denies Knight 800th victory
Top 25 roundup: Who's No. 1? Maybe Texas
How the Top 25 fared
Women: UConn blasts No. 1 Duke
Smith's late basket lifts Norse men to 76-75 victory

REDS / MLB
Shake this winter chill, make tracks for Florida
Reds Spring Training Guide
A look at the Grapefruit League
Leading off, Adam Dunn?
Judge: Put Rose in HOF

BENGALS / NFL
Bengals Q&A
Ditka interested in coaching Lions
Garcia frustrated by 49ers' coaching conundrum
Rice's heart fonder for Hawaii

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Hula Bowl: South 27, North 24
Paterno: 2006 might be final year at Penn State
Grambling QB wins Gaither Award

HORSE RACING
Streaking Champali adds WEBN at Turfway
Medaglia d'Oro wins Strub Stakes after three-month layoff
Record number nominated for Triple Crown races

PREP SPORTS
Groeschen: St. X swimmers step up
Schmidt: Former prep football stars get shot at pros
Withrow gets top seed in Division I
Sectional tournament pairings
St. Henry hits All 'A' state
Ohio boys games
Ohio girls games
Ky. boys games
Ky. girls games
Prep sports results

GOLF
Herron pulls away by 4 strokes in Hope Classic

NBA BASKETBALL
NBA: Penalized Pacers prevail

HOCKEY
MacInnis, Roy lead West to skills victory
NHL YoungStars: East 8, West 3
NHL All-Star notebook
Ducks waddle past Admirals

AUTO RACING
The Boogity Man is back
Tight battle up front in Daytona
NASCAR notebook

TRISTATE SPOTLITE
Ex-GCL, XU players skip along in ACC
Local man knows story behind numbers
Enquirer's Page Two power rankings

AS THE SPORTS WORLD TURNS
Lewis prefers Tyson rematch over quality opponent