COLUMBIA, South Carolina (Ticker) -- This time, South Carolina finished off Kentucky while also ending two long streaks.
Tarence Kinsey scored 17 points and Carlos Powell scored 12 of his 14 in the second half as South Carolina ended a 15-game regular-season losing streak to No. 3 Kentucky with a 73-61 victory in a Southeastern Conference battle.
The Gamecocks last beat the Wildcats in the regular season in 1997. South Carolina did beat Kentucky in the quarterfinals of the 2002 conference tournament.
The Wildcats had their 19-game conference winning streak snapped. Their last league loss was at Georgia on February 14, 2004.
"You could see they (South Carolina) were hungry," Kentucky coach Tubby Smith said. "They were going to challenge everything. They came up with some great blocks and defensive plays. South Carolina went after every shot. They weren't going to give us any easy baskets."
In the first meeting between the schools this season, on January 5, the Gamecocks held a 41-35 lead at the half but the Wildcats took control midway through the second and pulled out a 79-75 victory.
South Carolina (14-8, 6-5 SEC East) led, 25-23, at intermission in this one and never trailed in the second half. But the Wildcats cut an 11-point deficit to five with seven minutes left before the Gamecocks responded with an 8-0 spurt over the next 2 1/2 minutes to put away the game and end the Wildcats' nine-game winning streak. Powell had six points during the run.
The Gamecocks controlled the pace of the game and confused the Wildcats offense by changing defenses. They held the Wildcats to 35 percent (18-of-51) shooting and forced 21 turnovers - the most by the Wildcats this season.
"They controlled the tempo for the most part, I thought," Smith said. "It seemed like they wanted it more. Our kids fought back, but we couldn't seem to convert. You're not going to beat many people when you turn it over 21 times. At 50-45, I thought we had some momentum, but we couldn't get shots to go down."
Kentucky entered the contest shooting an SEC-best 50 percent in conference games while averaging 13 turnovers.
"We tried to alternate our defenses," South Carolina coach Dave Odom said. "I will say that Kentucky did not have their best night tonight. I think we may have had something to do with that. But obviously, Kentucky wasn't on top of its game tonight."
Antoine Tisby, who scored just nine points in his last six games, had 13 points and five rebounds in 23 minutes off the bench for South Carolina.
"Antoine Tisby really gives us a different element with his ability to rebound and inside strength," Odom said. "He deserves a lot of credit." The win revitalized the Gamecocks' NCAA Tournament hopes after a disappointing 74-71 loss to Auburn on Saturday.
"Any time you beat a top-ranked team like Kentucky it has to help your chances (for the NCAA Tournament), but we still have five games to play and they all count the same," Odom said.
Kelenna Azubuike scored 16 points and freshman Randolph Morris added 10 and eight rebounds for Kentucky (19-3, 10-1), but Chuck Hayes was limited to one point on 0-of-5 shooting and Patrick Sparks shot 2-of-9 for six points.