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Zia Cooke scores 21, Gamecocks defeat Wildcats 76-55

After losing their first SEC game in two seasons on Thursday, the Gamecocks bounce back with a 21 - point victory vs. Kentucky.
Credit: AP

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Zia Cooke scored 21 points and No. 2 South Carolina got back on track after its first Southeastern Conference loss in two seasons with a 76-55 victory over No. 17 Kentucky on Sunday.

The Gamecocks (18-3, 13-1 SEC) had won 31 straight over league opponents before blowing a double-digit, second-half lead at No. 21 Tennessee this past Thursday night.

Cooke and South Carolina's stingy defense ensured it wouldn't be two straight defeats. The Gamecocks held Rhyne Howard to 12 points on 2-of-11 shooting as senior LeLe Grissett shadowed the Kentucky star much of the game.

Point guard Destanni Henderson added 14 points as the Gamecocks' backcourt took control in a game where standout center Aliyah Boston finished with a season-low four points, nine fewer than her average coming in.

The No. 2/3 Gamecocks (18-3, 13-1 SEC) finish their home slate when the Ole Miss Rebels (9-9, 3-9 SEC) come to Colonial Life Arena on Thursday. Tipoff time will be announced soon.