Davion Mintz made his start at point guard a memorable one, helping Kentucky breeze to a 92-64 win over South Carolina on Saturday in a matchup of struggling Southeastern Conference teams in Lexington, Ky.
The graduate transfer from Creighton drilled a career-high six 3-pointers in 11 attempts and scored 20 points as the Wildcats (9-15 overall, 8-9 SEC) clinched a spot in next week's 8-9 game in the SEC tournament in Nashville. Mintz also had seven assists against only two turnovers.
Brandon Boston Jr. scored a career-high 21 points that included six 3-pointers and fellow freshman Isaiah Jackson posted his second collegiate double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Olivier Sarr scored 15 points in just 21 minutes for Kentucky, which went 20 of 34 from the field in the second half to finish the game shooting 49.3 percent from the floor. Conversely, South Carolina shot 38.2 percent from the floor.
Keyshawn Bryant led the Gamecocks (6-14, 4-12 SEC) with 16 points and Jaylyn McCreary scored a career-high 14. Leading scorer A.J. Lawson scored just six points on Saturday.
Kentucky earned its first double-digit lead of the game when Keion Brooks Jr. opened the second half with a jumper to make it 38-28. The Wildcats led by double digits the rest of the way.
The Wildcats led by 20 points at 63-43 with just over 11 minutes left in the game.
South Carolina played without Jermaine Couisnard, the team's third-leading scorer. He sustained a rib injury in practice late in the week.
Both teams started off hot in the opening minutes with Kentucky hitting five of its first six shots and South Carolina five of its first seven. The Wildcats finished the half making only eight of their next 27 attempts but led 36-28 at the break, as the Gamecocks finished the period converting only seven of their last 22 shots.
--Field Level Media