The South Carolina Gamecocks fell to 10-3 on the season with a 70-54 loss at Memphis. In the final non-league game, Carolina trailed almost the entire game. Second half foul trouble allowed Memphis to pull away with a comfortable 16 point win.
The first half was not pretty. Chris Silva lead the team with six points as Carolina entered the break down 33-28. Both Dozier and Duane Notice had a rough first half. The pair combined to shoot 2-12 from the floor for only seven points. A mini-run before halftime allowed the Gamecocks to cut into the lead as Memphis held a 10 point lead with three minutes remaining. The Tigers built the lead down low, outscoring USC 18-8 inside the paint.
The second half was more of the same. The Gamecocks cut the lead to one with 12 minutes left. A 17 to 5 run by Memphis up 56-43 with six minutes remaining. Chris Silva fouled out for the Gamecocks with six minutes remaining and he was joined by P.J. Dozier with four minutes left. Dozier left the game on 13 points, the game high for Carolina.
The Gamecocks edged the battle on the glass 36-34 but were dominated inside and at the foul line. Memphis outscored the Gamecocks 32-14 in the paint and shot 29-37 from the foul line while USC shot 9-15.
The three point shot kept the Gamecocks around in the second half. Carolina outscored Memphis from beyond the arc, hitting nine from downtown to only one for the Tigers. Justin McKie scored a season high 10 points and freshman Rakym Felder followed up his 20 points game against Lander with 10 points.
Carolina was able to control K.J. Lawson as the Tigers second leading scorer only had one point. But his brother, Dedric Lawson, did what he wanted to on the court. Lawson flirted with a triple-double, finishing with 19 points, 15 rebounds and 8 assists. The Tigers also got a big boost from Markel Crawford as the guard finished with a season-high 28 points and 7 rebounds.
Carolina is back in action Wednesday night at 7 p.m. on the road against Georgia to open up SEC play.