USC Men's Basketball

USC rebounds after first-half struggles

South Carolina was lumbering through a listless performance against USC Upstate on Tuesday night at Colonial Life Arena when Ramon Galloway and a spirited defensive presence turned the momentum.

Galloway and Lakeem Jackson keyed a 14-0 spurt in the second half, and the Gamecocks pulled away for a 57-41 victory in front of an announced attendance of 8,642 fans.

“We want to play at a fast pace, speed the other team up and have them not run their offense,” Galloway said. “We had to pick up the energy in the second half.”

South Carolina (3-1) was clinging to a 31-28 lead when Galloway, who had a game-high 12 points, connected on a 3-pointer to begin the decisive run.

Jackson, the only other USC player in double figures with 11, followed with a three-point play. Galloway then scored on a fast break before Jackson scored off of an offensive rebound to make it 41-28 with 11:40 remaining. USC Upstate was not able to get any closer.

“It was trying to get our energy level up,” USC coach Darrin Horn said. “Lakeem Jackson really started with his pressure on the ball. We had a bunch of guys fly around and make plays. It seems like when we do that, especially in our pressure, it helps our team. It obviously created a few easy baskets.”

The Gamecocks had to create its own energy for the most part. They turned to their defense, something Horn stressed coming into the game.

USC held the Spartans (0-6) to 25.9 percent shooting, including a scoreless stretch of 7:22 in the second half when Upstate missed seven shots from the field, two from the free throw line and turned the ball over four times.

“We won a game that was ugly when we were very poor offensively but we got the defensive effort we were looking for forty minutes,” Horn said. “I think all the numbers show that. Obviously, we have a lot of work to do in a lot of areas, especially offensively. But for us to hold them to 41 points and be able to win a game just because we grinded it and defended is a real positive, and something we can build on.”

It was a close game in the first half. USC had the biggest lead of either team at six points, and it was tied four times with seven lead changes.

Horn was able to play his entire bench with everyone reaching double-digit minutes. Jackson had the most court time with 23 minutes and R.J. Slawson played the fewest with 12. Horn believes that will help his team find out who is playing the best that night.

“We won’t know who’s night it’s going to be exactly, but we’ll need people to come in and bring us energy and contribute,” Horn said.

USC UPSTATE

Min

FG-A

FT-A

OR-TR

A

PF

PT

Uzochukwu

24

1-2

0-2

1-1

2

2

2

Craig

24

1-9

1-4

1-7

2

1

3

Rogers

27

2-9

2-2

3-5

1

4

7

Chavis

25

1-6

0-0

0-2

1

4

3

Cook

31

3-8

0-0

2-6

3

2

7

Hash

7

0-4

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

Sloan

14

1-3

1-2

1-1

1

0

3

Dukes

19

1-6

3-3

1-1

0

3

5

Olomuwiya

29

5-11

1-3

3-7

0

0

11

Totals

200

15-58

8-16

12-34

10

16

41

Percentages: FG .259, FT .500. 3-Point Goals: 3-22, .136 (Cook 1-3, Chavis 1-5, Rogers 1-5, Dukes 0-2, Craig 0-3, Hash 0-4). Team Rebounds: 4. Blocked Shots: 11 (Olomuwiya 9, Cook, Craig). Turnovers: 13 (Dukes 3, Craig 2, Cook 2, Uzochukwu 2, Olomuwiya, Chavis, Hash). Steals: 10 (Sloan 5, Dukes 2, Rogers 2, Olomuwiya). Technical Fouls: None.

USC

Min

FG-A

FT-A

OR-TR

A

PF

PT

Cooke

20

4-11

0-0

5-9

0

2

8

Jackson

23

4-8

3-3

3-7

4

0

11

Muldrow

21

1-8

0-0

2-5

0

2

2

Richardson

25

1-4

0-0

1-5

0

3

3

Ellington

21

3-10

1-2

0-1

1

1

8

Spinella

14

0-1

0-0

1-3

0

0

0

Smith

16

1-2

1-3

0-1

1

1

3

Galloway

18

5-9

0-1

2-3

2

0

12

Harris

16

1-3

0-0

3-7

1

0

2

Jefferson

14

2-2

2-2

0-2

0

2

6

Slawson

12

1-5

0-0

1-6

2

2

2

Totals

200

23-63

7-11

21-55

11

13

57

Percentages: FG .365, FT .636. 3-Point Goals: 4-18, .222 (Galloway 2-3, Richardson 1-4, Ellington 1-4, Cooke 0-1, Jackson 0-1, Smith 0-1, Muldrow 0-2, Slawson 0-2). Team Rebounds: 6. Blocked Shots: 3 (Cooke, Harris, Jefferson). Turnovers: 17 (Spinella 3, Smith 3, Galloway 3, Muldrow 2, Cooke 2, Jackson, Slawson, Harris, Ellington). Steals: 4 (Jackson 2, Harris, Ellington). Technical Fouls: None.

USC Upstate

22

19

41

USC

24

33

57

Att.–8,643. Officials–Anthony Jordan, Antinio Petty, Brian Shey.

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