LEXINGTON, Kentucky (Ticker) -- Erik Daniels and 19th-ranked Kentucky exacted revenge against Southeastern Conference foe South Carolina.
Daniels matched his career high with 19 points and Marquis Estill added 12 as Kentucky increased its season-high winning streak to five games with a 62-55 victory over South Carolina.
The Wildcats (11-3, 2-0 SEC East) avenged their quarterfinal loss to the Gamecocks in last year's SEC tournament after Kentucky swept South Carolina during the regular season.
Daniels tallied 13 on 6-of-8 shooting in the opening 20 minutes. The junior nailed a 3-pointer with five seconds remaining to give Kentucky a 32-19 halftime advantage. South Carolina (7-5, 1-1) never pulled closer than seven thereafter.
"I thought Erik Daniels especially played well," Wildcats coach Tubby Smith said. "I was pleased with the defensive effort. We've been focused on that and we did better tonight."
Kentucky allowed a season-low 55 points against South Carolina.
Kerbrell Brown contributed 19 points off the bench for the Gamecocks, who dropped their fifth in eight games.
"We got too passive on offense," Gamecocks forward Carlos Powell said. "We were settling for passing the ball around the perimeter instead of penetrating their defense."
In the 2,400th game in Kentucky's storied history, the Wildcats won for the 30th time in 37 all-time meetings with the Gamecocks.
Kentucky was trailing 13-7 when Antwain Barbour's tip-in ignited a 25-6 run during the final 12:16 of the first half. The Wildcats scored seven of the final nine points and entered the locker room with a 13-point cushion.
"We were able to keep up our fullcourt pressure," Smith said. "We extended their offense and made them shoot over hands for the whole game. We did a good job contesting shots."
The Wildcats controlled the game from the free-throw line, converting 15-of-19 (79 percent). Meanwhile, the Gamecocks did not get to the line until there were 70 seconds to go in the contest and made just 3-of-4.
Each team had 13 turnovers in the first half. Kentucky had a season-high 22 turnovers.