Gamecocks come back, defeat No. 18 Kentucky

Chris Silva matched career-highs with 27 points in 35 minutes.

USC Athletics image- used with permission

After being down by 14 in the second half, South Carolina rallied to defeat  No. 18 Kentucky 76-68, Tuesday night.

South Carolina’s Chris Silva led the Gamecocks’ comeback. He tied his career high with 27 points to help USC  improve to 12-6 and 3-3 in the SEC.

Gamecock head coach Frank Martin talked with Silva at halftime. ”He told me to go strong and finish,” Silva said. Frank Booker had 18 points for South Carolina.

”Our guys took ownership,” Martin said as the Gamecocks won for third time in four games after opening SEC play 0-2.

USC’s  Wesley Myers’ scored to give the Gamecocks the lead, late, 67-65, and Maik Kotsar made four straight foul shots to give South Carolina a 71-67 lead.

With the win, the Gamecocks break a four-game losing streak to Kentucky.

Knox led Kentucky with 21 points. No other Wildcat had more than 10 points.

With a three-point lead with 2:47 to play, the Gamecocks finished the game 9-for-10 at the free throw line. Carolina made 25 foul shots, one shy of its season-high 26.

South Carolina has another home game Saturday when No. 21 Tennessee comes to Columbia. That game is 6 p.m. ET on ESPN2.