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No. 5/4 UK Hoops Heads to No. 18/14 USC

Posted: Jan 23, 2013 5:18 PM

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The No. 5/4 Kentucky women's basketball team takes its nation-long 17-game winning streak on the road when it faces No. 18/14 South Carolina on Thursday, Jan. 24 at 7 p.m.

The Wildcats improved to 18-1 overall, 6-0 in the Southeastern Conference with a commanding 97-53 win over Auburn on Sunday in Memorial Coliseum. After Duke fell to Connecticut on Monday night, the Cats now own the nation's longest overall winning streak at 17.

This will be the 49th meeting between Kentucky and South Carolina. The Wildcats won both meetings against the Gamecocks last season, 66-58 in Columbia and 53-50 in Lexington.

"I think that this is really becoming one of the most hotly-contested rivalries in our conference," UK Hoops Coach Matthew Mitchell said. "We play South Carolina twice every year and as you go back and review the history of the games in the past five years, it is two teams that really, really, play hard and get after each other. It appears the players have great respect for each other and play really hard and compete really hard. We know that we will be in a real battle tomorrow night. Coach Staley is one of the toughest coaches to prepare for. Her teams are hard to prepare for because you know that they will play so incredibly tough so this will be a real test for us. It is one of the toughest defenses we have gone up against in quite some time. We will have to put everything we can into this one and play extremely well to earn a victory at South Carolina tomorrow night."

South Carolina (16-3-4-2 SEC) enters Thursday night's game having won two tight victories. The Gamecocks defeated LSU last week at home 66-59 and took a 52-44 win at Florida on Sunday.

UK is 2-1 against ranked teams this season with wins over No. 7/6 Louisville on Dec. 2 and No. 20/21 Texas A&M on Jan. 10. The only loss came at top-ranked Baylor on Nov. 13.