After taking a seven point lead into the half against Seton Hall, the warning signs were there for the Gamecocks. Eventually poor free throw shooting and rebounding doomed Carolina to a 67-64 loss to the Pirates at Madison Square Garden, dropping the Gamecocks to 8-1 on the season.
The Gamecocks gave a determined defensive performance and held Seton Hall well below their season average of 79 points. Holding the Pirates to only 27 points at the break, Carolina forced the Pirates to turn the ball over often. By the end of the game, SC forced 17 turnovers with 10 steals. The Gamecocks edged Seton Hall in every category but the glass and the foul line. With a 40 point second half, the Pirates owned the final score.
Heading into the contest, the Pirates had four players averaging double figures. All four of those players hit double figures tonight. The Pirates leading scorer, Khadeen Carrington scored 14 of his 21 points in the second half while Desi Rodriguez scored 16 and Myles Powell added 11 points. Angel Delgado recorded his fourth straight double-double with 13 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.
The Gamecocks were carried by P.J. Dozier who scored 20 of the team’s 64 points. Instead of playing for a potential overtime, Dozier opted for a three-point attempt that would have given the Gamecocks the lead with less than ten seconds remaining. His attempt came up short and the Pirates were able to get the rebound. Following a free throw miss with 0.4 seconds on the clock a full-court heave that would have tied the game from Dozier rimmed out. It would have been subject to review had it gone in.
Carolina got a boost from Hassani Gravett. The sophomore guard scored a season high 11 points. Chris Silva was the only other Gamecock to hit double figures with 11 points while leading the team with nine rebounds. Duane Notice played a game high 36 minutes but had a poor shooting night, finishing with only four points.
Seton Hall won the game on the glass and at the foul-line. A 49-35 (18-12 offensive) rebounding edge allowed the Pirates to outscore the Gamecocks 15-5 in second chance points. The Pirates were 26-36 from the foul line while the Gamecocks were only 15-25.
Next up for the Gamecocks is a trip to South Florida to take on the 5-3 Bulls on Saturday at 1 p.m. on CBS Sports Network.