COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina’s first trip to New York City this season gave it a taste for the second.
The No. 19 Gamecocks traveled to face Syracuse in late November at Barclays Center. But the night before, they stopped by Madison Square Garden to see a New York Knicks game. They will be on that court Monday night against Seton Hall, finally getting back to the place they didn’t want to leave on that Friday night.
“Once we got in that building, we didn’t want to leave,” sophomore guard PJ Dozier said. “We were ready to play right then and there. Just a blessing to be able to go back up there and play at MSG. It’s a great opportunity not just for one single person but for the team and for this program.”
The Gamecocks watched the Knicks defeat the Charlotte Hornets 113-111 in overtime that night. The next day, South Carolina went out and won its second ranked game in a week, defeating Syracuse 64-50 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
South Carolina moved into the AP Top 25 after the win and is 8-0, one of seven unbeaten teams in the nation.
The Gamecocks can keep rolling through nonconference play with a win Monday night, with tipoff set for 9 p.m. ET (Fox Sports 1) under the lights that stuck with senior guard Duane Notice.
“You kinda see that all the lights are illuminated onto the court,” Notice said. “You feel like all of the attention is on the court, whereas the crowd is kinda darkened. Just having that experience to know you can play in a facility that is as beautiful as Madison Square Garden is – it’s the mecca of basketball – and all of the great games that have been played there, the concerts, boxing matches, it’s going to be a great experience for our team.”