South Carolina hammered the offensive glass all afternoon on Thursday, and despite the snow delay foisted upon them by the regional snowstorm, ultimately ran out to a victory over Vanderbilt, 65-59.
The Gamecocks outplayed Vanderbilt in exactly one area, but it was plenty - they dominated the offensive glass. South Carolina won that battle 26-12, which played most of the role in their 64-48 advantage in attempted field goals. Thus, despite Vandy out-shooting Carolina 44-38%, the Gamecocks ultimately out-scored the Commodores because they took enough shots to overcome that deficit.
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South Carolina led the entire first half and entered the half with a slim 28-27 advantage. Both teams struggled mightily to hit shots, though the Commodores ended with a respectable 11-23 mark from the field (though 0-4 from 3 and 5-10 from the line). Meanwhile, Carolina squandered their 11 extra field goal attempts of the half - created primarily through an advantage in turnovers (8-6) and offensive rebounds (13-7) - by only hitting 11 of those 34 attempts, including a 1-7 effort from 3.
In the second half, Carolina took control on the back of a 10-2 run at the midway point of the period, capped off by a Brenton Williams 3 on a possession extended by multiple offensive rebounds, including the last one from Brian Steele, which gave the Gamecocks a 51-42 lead with 9 minutes to go. Odom answered with a 3 of his own, but Michael Carrera hit a layup and the Commodores didn't close within 8 points until there was 2:51 to go, when Odom hit another 3 to close the gap to 58-52.
The teams traded wasted possessions for the next 100 seconds where someone the only point scored was a Gamecock free throw. But with 1:10 to go, Thornwell grabbed his own miss and put it back up to extend the Gamecock lead to 61-52, and Carolina rode out the last minute to grab their second SEC win of the season.
South Carolina continues its brief two-game homestand on Saturday as it hosts the Alabama Crimson Tide at the Colonial Life Arena. That game tips off at 4pm and can be watched on SEC TV.