Temple 76, South Carolina 60
The last time the Gamecocks were in Madison Square Garden, things went very, very well. This time, however, they got schooled by Temple in the Under Armour Reunion tournament. Quinton Rose dropped 24 points on South Carolina, and Damion Moore finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds as the Owls (4-1) were in control from wire to wire.
While South Carolina (5-2) went to the locker room dealing with a manageable 38-27 deficit, things had not been going particularly well for the Gamecocks. That continued in the second half, as Temple jumped out to a 54-39 lead and at one point led by as much as 23. South Carolina turned in a brutal shooting performance — 37.9% from the field, making just 6 of its 21 attempts from 3 — and also committed 17 turnovers, with a whopping 12 of those being steals.
David Beatty led the Gamecocks off the bench with 13 points, joined in double figures by Maik Kotsar (12) and Justin Minaya (11). Chris Silva was notably quiet, scoring just five points, although he did grab nine rebounds. Speaking of, the Gamecocks also got out-rebounded 37-33, a sticking point for coach Frank Martin.
Though the loss is disappointing, it’s not really unexpected. This is a team still trying to figure out how all the pieces fit after the losses of Sindarius Thornwell and P.J. Dozier, so we’re just going to have to wait and see how it comes together.
Up next: The Gamecocks return to Columbia to host UMass at 2 p.m. on Saturday. South Carolina has only played one home game this season, so this will hopefully be an opportunity to catch a breather.
No. 5 South Carolina 101, Western Carolina 43
The Gamecocks got exactly what they needed after a disappointing defeat to Notre Dame, taking out their frustrations on the hapless Catamounts (1-5) in a blowout victory.
A’ja Wilson led South Carolina with 29 points and seven rebounds, continuing the absolute tear she’s been on this season. Alexis Jennings scored 19 points, and Ty Harris notched a double-double with 10 points and 10 assists. Two more Gamecocks off the bench contributed double-figure scoring: Mikiah Herbert Harrigan (12) and LaDazhia Williams (11).
Of note: Lindsey Spann was held out with what the team said was a knee sprain, and Bianca Cuevas-Moore still has yet to play this season with her own sprained knee. Both are substantial contributors, so South Carolina is clearly being careful with their health.
Up next: The Gamecocks host No. 14 Duke at noon on Sunday in what should be an intriguing clash of ranked teams. South Carolina is 1-1 in that department so far, having beaten Maryland but losing to Notre Dame.