Redshirt freshman guard Jermaine Couisnard made the most of his first start, banking in a 3-pointer at the buzzer for a career-high 26 points as South Carolina rallied for an 81-78 victory over No. 10 Kentucky on Wednesday night in Columbia, S.C.
Forward Keyshawn Bryant scored 11 of his 15 points in the second half as the Gamecocks (9-7, 1-2 SEC) outscored the Wildcats 56-45 in the second half and 13-10 over the last four minutes.
Kentucky guard Immanuel Quickley, whose baseline jumper tied the game at 78 with 4.1 seconds left, scored 20 points to lead the Wildcats (12-4, 3-1). Forward Nick Richards scored 15 points despite playing only 24 minutes because of foul trouble. The loss snapped Kentucky's four-game winning streak.
The Wildcats build a 14-point lead early in the second half and were still up by 13 points, 54-41, before the Gamecocks went on a 9-0 run, capped by Couisnard's 3-pointer with 10:35 remaining.
Tyrese Maxey's back-to-back 3-pointers about five minutes later gave the Wildcats some relief, but the Gamecocks caught up at 68-68 on Couisnard's driving layup with 4:25 left.
Justin Minaya's five quick points -- including a 3-pointer -- gave South Carolina a 73-70 lead with 3:15 remaining. AJ Lawson followed with his first basket of the night to make it 75-70 at the 2:25 mark.
Lawson, who came into the game with a team-best 14.5-point scoring average, scored only five points for South Carolina, and top rebounder Maik Kotsar was hampered by foul issues and was scoreless with just four rebounds in 12 minutes.
The Gamecocks survived ongoing woes from the free throw line, making 16 of 30 from the stripe.
The Gamecocks dug themselves an early hole by missing their first 10 shots. But they trailed only 8-4 after Bryant's dunk, as the Wildcats made just three of their first nine shots. Kentucky led 33-25 at the half.
--Field Level Media