Senior guard Jennifer O’Neill scored a team-high 15 points and pulled down eight rebounds to lead Kentucky (21-8, 10-6 SEC). Fellow senior Azia Bishop added 11 points, nine rebounds and two blocked shots, while sophomore Makayla Epps added 14 for the Cats in a balanced attack.
“That was going to be a hard game to win today,” said Mitchell, whose team notched its third win over a Top 10 team this season. “I wasn’t really worried about the outcome. I was so proud of them for what they have done, but it sure is icing on the cake to get the victory and their memory of ‘Senior Day’ is going to be something special, and they deserve to feel good today. I am really proud of our team as a whole and especially proud of our seniors.”
Kentucky led by six at halftime, but exploded to stretch the lead to 50-29 midway through the second half. The Cats held South Carolina without a basket until the 12:26 mark. They held reigning SEC Player of the Year Tiffany Mitchell to just eight points before she fouled out. Her team shot a season-low 32.3 percent (20 of 62) from the field and committed 20 turnovers.
UK spoiled the Gamecocks’ run at an undefeated SEC championship season. Instead, South Carolina (27-2, 15-1) will share the title with Tennessee. Its only other loss this season came to UConn, currently ranked No. 1 in the polls.
It was UK's first win in program history over a team ranked No. 2 in the polls. UK defeated No. 1 Tennessee in 2006 at Rupp Arena.
Kentucky will be the No. 6 seed in the SEC Tournament at Little Rock, Ark. The Cats will play at approximately 9:30 p.m. ET on Thursday night against the winner of No. 11 seed Vanderbilt and No. 14 seed Alabama. The game will be broadcast on the SEC Network.