The Gamecocks finally put the brakes on a season on the skids and pulled out a tough win over Ole Miss tonight in Columbia. The score was 79-73, which should catch your eye not only because we won, but also because we managed to score almost 80 points, a shocking feat considering how awful our offense has been lately. Sam Muldrow led Carolina with 23 points, 10 boards, and 4 blocks, while Chris Warren nearly singlehandedly kept Ole Miss in the game with 33. Malik Cooke, Damontre Harris, Ramon Galloway, and Eric Smith also made solid contributions to the Carolina cause.
After what happened in Lexington over the weekend, you have to give Coach Horn and his team credit for bouncing back. Horn has taken a lot of heat over the course of this season, but one things that's hard to say against him is that he doesn't care or that he can't motivate his team. He certainly did a good job of that tonight, as whatever he told his guys privately, along with his public statements that his team quit against UK, clearly made an impression on the guys. He got them to play ball, and he may have saved a modicum of this season's dignity in the process. We now have a fighter's chance at the NIT if we can pick up an upset or two in the final games, and while we'll likely be the underdogs in each matchup, I now have some hope that we might have another win in us somewhere.
A few other thoughts:
- Bruce Ellington continues to struggle. The good news, though, is that we got some other guys involved on offense. My hope is that the next step is a start for Smith, because we look like a decent team when he's running the point.
- Harris is another guy I'd like to really point to tonight as a major contributor. This was probably his best game of the season; he honestly looked like a competent SEC PF tonight. With a little time in the weight room and some work on his post game, I think we might have a future with this guy.
- Not much else to say about Muldrow. He had a fantastic game. The late three to break the tie was a moment for the ages for him. He hasn't been as consistent as one would like this season, but you have to hand it to him for always being there at the right time.
That's a wrap for tonight. Stay tuned tomorrow for further discussion of our NIT chances.