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South Carolina basketball back on track
It looked like it could be a long afternoon for South Carolina basketball, but the No. 16 Gamecocks (9-1) ultimately pulled out the 77-66 win against South Florida on Saturday.
The young team showed guts and resolve in bouncing back from its first loss of the season earlier in the week — a 67-64 defeat at the hands of Seton Hall on Monday.
“It was our first experience as a team to go through it (losing a game). I think we kind of came out and played the first half like somebody took our dog. We didn’t have our enthusiasm, the fight that we’ve played with every single day out,” coach Frank Martin told the media after the game. “But I’m equally as pleased, I thought we played well in the second half as a basketball team. Different guys doing things.”
PG P.J. Dozier led the Gamecocks with 23 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists. Senior G Duane Notice chipped in with 15 points.
— Gamecock MBB (@GamecockMBB) December 17, 2016
This was the Gamecocks’ third straight game without suspended guard Sindarius Thornwell — with the team going 2-1 over that stretch.
With three games as our sample size, it’s obvious that if the Gamecocks are to survive the next few games without Thornwell, both Dozier and Notice must step up and play well.
The game against Clemson on Wednesday has me terrified — the Tigers are 8-2 and coming off an impressive road win on Sunday over a decent Alabama team.
Lady Gamecocks keep rolling
The No. 6 Lady Gamecocks posted their third win against a top-10 opponent this season, topping No. 9 UCLA, 66-57, on Sunday.
UCLA coach Cori Close praised South Carolina for its ability to get inside and said "they played like women, to their credit."
— Mike Wilson (@MikeWilsonAJC) December 18, 2016
The Gamecocks opened the game just 2 of 15 from the field, finding themselves in a 11-5 hole at the end of the first quarter.
Center Alaina Coates posted her third straight double-double, with 20 points and 14 boards.
“South Carolina’s plan was clear early in the third quarter: It was all about getting Coates the ball. The senior center took advantage; she scored 5 straight points to open the second half. UCLA responded before South Carolina scored 10 in a row, keyed on by Coates’ strong start.”
Since losing to Duke on Dec. 4, the Gamecocks have looked extremely impressive in big wins over Minnesota, Clemson and UCLA. Coach Dawn Staley’s teams rarely deal with adversity, but the response to an early season loss has been fantastic.
We just gonna act like Clowney ain't bury number 72 with no tombstone https://t.co/OtialXTruz
— Michael Kelso (@mikeflowry) December 18, 2016
Beyond this crushing hit delivered to an attempted blocker, former Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney had himself a day on Sunday.
The Rock Hill, S.C., product had a sack, 2 QB hits and 3 TFL in the Texans’ 21-20 win against the Jaguars.
Jadeveon Clowney: 'I don't know if it was one my best, best games, but it was probably up there. Feeling good, playing at a high level now'
— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) December 18, 2016
Succop for the win
Clowney wasn’t the only former USC player to stand out on Sunday.
Former Gamecocks kicker Ryan Succop drilled a 53-yarder (twice actually, thanks to an icing attempt by Kansas City coach Andy Reid) to put the Titans ahead of the Chiefs for good, 19-17.
— NFL (@NFL) December 18, 2016
For Succop, it was a happy homecoming to Kansas City, the team that originally drafted him in 2009.
USC commit Shi Smith had himself quite a game in the Shrine Bowl on Saturday.
The 4-star WR commit had 5 receptions for 96 yards and a touchdown as his South Carolina team fell to North Carolina, 17-10.
“It was big to go against this competition,” Smith said. “On the touchdown, when I saw the ball in the air, I knew I had to make the play. He was kind of holding a little bit, I gave him a little bump and I made the play.”
Smith is one of the Gamecocks’ highest-rated commitments. With his Ace Sanders-like ability, the Union (SC) standout is expected to give the Gamecocks’ offense and return game a major boost.
In case you missed it
— Josina Anderson (@JosinaAnderson) December 18, 2016
- Gamecock Central dishes out its Shrine Bowl awards.
- Steven Gilmore, brother of former Carolina CB Stephon Gilmore, shines in South Carolina state championship.
- Former Carolina OL Brandon Shell had an amazing first career start for the Jets, from The Big Spur.
- From The State, several young Gamecocks take big steps in redshirt seasons.
- The Post and Courier on bowl practice, providing a first glimpse at the Gamecocks in 2017.
- “Birmingham is fine, actually,” says Garnet & Black Attack on the Gamecocks’ bowl destination.
English gives NFL scouts something to think about: https://t.co/dp31QTHfg4
— David Cloninger (@DCTheState) December 18, 2016
Bob McNair looked on from his owner’s box and gave an approving Spurs Up …
JD Clowney still loves his Gamecocks! pic.twitter.com/qAaIME127z
— Harris Pastides (@HarrisPastides) December 18, 2016
Need more celebrations like this at Willy B …
— GoGamecocks.com (@gogamecocks) December 17, 2016
D.J. Swearinger 2.0?
— Adam Friedman (@RivalsFriedman) December 12, 2016