Columbia, SC (SportsNetwork.com) - Brenton Williams shot 15-for-16 from the foul line and scored 24 points to help South Carolina to a 72-67 upset over No. 17 Kentucky on Saturday.
Sindarius Thornwell tallied 14 points and Michael Carrera added 11 points and seven rebounds for the Gamecocks (11-18, 4-12 SEC), who snapped a three-game skid.
Aaron Harrison had 21 points and six boards, and James Young scored 19 points for the Wildcats (21-8, 11-5), who have lost two straight. Julius Randle contributed 10 points and 15 rebounds.
Young knocked down a trey with 1:13 left to play to bring Kentucky within three, 64-61. The Gamecocks scored the next four points to push the lead to seven, but Randle made a three-point play after a Harrison 3 to cut it to one with 21 seconds left on the clock.
"The biggest thing was don't let the moment get to us. It doesn't matter if Kentucky hits a few shots, we don't have to panic. We just need to focus and stay on task and that's what we did. We stayed on task and pulled away," Thornwell said about the discussions in the final timeouts.
The Gamecocks nailed their final four shots from the stripe down the stretch and Kentucky could not answer on the other end the rest of the way.
"By practice tomorrow we just have to let this loss go and keep moving forward. We we'll try to make a big run in the end so we have to keep going day to day," said Young about bouncing back after the loss.
South Carolina opened the second half with a 17-4 surge to take a 48-32 lead with just over 14 minutes to play. The Wildcats refused to go away and used a 14-2 run to pull within four, 57-53, with 4:36 remaining on the clock.
The Gamecocks used a 14-6 burst to take a 26-25 lead with just under three minutes left in the first half. South Carolina led 31-28 at the half. The Wildcats did not make a basket in the final 7:45 of the half.