Our man Chicken Hoops is a prophet.
For no reason think today could be like Ark home game two years ago where we just pounded them. This team is poised to break out.— Chicken Hoops (@chickenhoops) January 31, 2015
South Carolina owned the Georgia Bulldogs from start to finish. Things got somewhat close at single points in the first half and second half but for the most part the Gamecocks handled the 'Dawgs.
Georgia scored just three field goals in the first 10 minutes of the first half while South Carolina built an early 13-6 lead. The Bulldogs, with some outside hits, brought the lead down before the Gamecocks went on a 10-run to break the game open again. USC went on two separate 10-runs in the first half against UGA.
The Bulldogs, who entered in 2nd-place in the Southeastern Conference, found themselves down 33-24 at halftime to a team they had beaten in each of the schools five previous meetings.
The Gamecocks forced Georgia into an incredibly blah shooting performance but it was extra blah in the second half. In that period of play the Bulldogs shot 4-of-24 from the field. Combing that stretch with their 7-of-26 first half performance, Georgia finished with an overall 11-of-50, 22 percent shooting performance which is the now the new school record for opponent field goal percentage in an SEC game for South Carolina. The previous record was set in 2004 when South Carolina forced Auburn to shoot 25.4 percent from the field.
The 'Dawgs brought South Carolina's often-held double-digit lead down to eight with 11 minutes to go in the game. Georgia had the momentum and it looked as if another second half meltdown was looming for the Gamecocks. At that point, Georgia head coach Mark Fox received a technical foul when he stomped far out onto the court to argue a call. The event changed the tides of the game and South Carolina never looked back. "The tech gave us momentum and put us on a run," South Carolina senior guard Tyrone Johnson said after the game.
After making just three field goals in the first 10 minutes of the game, Georgia made only three field goals in the final 13 minutes of the game. Six baskets in the combining 23 minutes of the opening and closing segments with only five baskets in the 17 minutes in-between. The Gamecock defense was stellar. Georgia scored 25 points from the free throw line and 25 points from the field. The Bulldogs were without leading scorer and rebounder Marcus Thornton, who was out with a concussion, and after the game head coach Mark Fox said that his absence left the UGA team "disjointed." JJ Frazier led the 'Dawgs with 16 points but it wasn't enough to overcome the Gamecocks all-around performance.
Laimonas Chatkevicius led all South Carolina scorers with 12 points but four players scored in double figures. Duane Notice, Tyrone Johnson, and Sindarius Thornwell all had weirdly similar stat lines. Notice finished with 11 points, five rebounds, and 3 assists while Ty finished with 10 points, five rebounds, and three assists, and Sin tallied 10 points, five rebounds, and four assists.
Michael Carrera had another solid, productive performance for the Gamecocks, ending with eight points and nine rebounds. "He grabbed some big-boy rebounds today," said head coach Frank Martin. "He grabbed some man rebounds today."
Georgia entered Colonial Life Arean on a five-game winning streak and had also beaten South Carolina in the schools previous five meetings. The quest for six in both categories were stopped by just the second win for USC since they beat Iowa State earlier this month. The 67-50 win snapped a four-game losing streak for the Gamecocks.
Next on the docket for South Carolina is a February 3rd meeting with the Arkansas Razorbacks (16-5, 5-3). Demetrius Henry and Justin McKie missed a second straight game due to concussions but after the game Frank Martin revealed that Henry was close to playing today.
Here's to ChickenHoops' prophecy and a breakthrough win for a resilient, talented basketball team.