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Gamecocks go ice cold in second half, fall to Georgia

South Carolina couldn't buy a bucket in the second half and got blown out for the second time this season by the Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday afternoon.

A picture's worth 1000 missed shots.
A picture's worth 1000 missed shots.

South Carolina went ice cold from the field in the second half, and after ending the first 20 minutes tied at 34 with Georgia, got out-scored in the second half to lose .  Carolina dropped to 3-11 in the SEC on the season, while Georgia surprisingly remained in 3rd place in the SEC with a 9-5 record.

Advanced Box Score
73 Score 56
1.176 PPP 0.902
1.401 Non-TO: 1.017
62 possessions
23-52 FG 15-57
8-16 3P 7-20
19-29 FT 19-24
12 OREB 15
28 DREB 23
10 TO 7
Four Factors
51.92% eFG 32.46%
16.11% TO 11.27%
34.29% OReb 34.88%
55.77% FTR 42.11%
41.67% 2P% 21.62%
50.00% 3P% 35.00%
30.77% 3PA% 35.09%
65.52% FT% 79.17%

One of the simplest games you'll ever see - shooting.  South Carolina matched the 'Dogs in every other aspect of the game, even overcoming the advantage Georgia earned in free throw attempts (29-24) by matching them in free throw makes (19 a piece).  Carolina and Georgia were dead even in offensive rebounding percentage, and the Gamecocks out-played the Bulldogs in turnover margin, 10-7.

But oh, the shooting.  The Gamecocks made just 15 field goals on the afternoon, shooting at a 26% clip.  Sindarius Thornwell was 4-15 from the field (though 10-12 from the line), and Brenton Williams went just 5-16, as their teammates left it to them to take over half of Carolina's shots despite playing just 34% of their minutes (Thornwell played the entire game, with Brenton's only break coming during the 12 minutes he sat in the first half due to foul trouble).  The third-leading shooter by field goal attempts and points for the Gamecocks was Brian Steele, who scored 8 on 2-7 shooting.  Steele gives effort, but if he's your third-best option on the afternoon, you're in trouble.

The game started at a tepid pace as the Gamecocks opened up a 13-9 lead on the back of Williams 3-3 shooting from 3-point land to open the afternoon.  But Georgia quickly returned fire, and the teams stayed within a few points of one another for the rest of the half, entering the intermission tied at 34.  Saddled with two early fouls, Williams spent the last 11:45 of the first half on the bench, but Thornwell's 11 points kept the Gamecocks in it, along with Michael Carrera's 6 offensive rebounds.  Brian Steele also buried two 3s for Carolina in 8 first half minutes.

The Bulldogs opened the second half on a 16-1 run to open up a 50-35 lead in the first 8 minutes of the second half.  There was nothing magical about how the Bulldogs out-played Carolina - the Gamecocks went 5-31 from the field in the half, and the defense didn't do anything to start the offense, as the Bulldogs only committed two turnovers in the first 12 minutes.  At that point, Carolina never really had a way back into the game, and Frank Martin summarized USC's frustration when he earned a technical foul during a timeout with about 10 minutes remaining.

The only relevant moments of the last 10 minutes occurred when Carrera went down injured twice, the latter time hitting the floor very hard.  It's unclear how long or if he'll be out going forward.

South Carolina travels to Auburn on Wednesday.