South Carolina (1-1) vs. Norfolk State (2-1)
Start time: 7 p.m.
TV: SEC Network+
Live stream: watchespn.com
The Gamecocks got caught flat-footed by Stony Brook, taking a disappointing 83-81 loss that wasn’t quite as close as the score would indicate. South Carolina didn’t do anything particularly well in this one: The Gamecocks were out-rebounded by the smaller Seawolves, missed a pile of free throws, and just generally didn’t play good defense after big men Chris Silva and Maik Kotsar landed in early foul trouble.
However, freshman wing A.J. Lawson had a coming out party of sorts, leading South Carolina with 23 points. Fellow freshman Tre Campbell added 15 and Justin Minaya posted an 11-point effort to round out the Gamecocks in double figures.
What to watch for
This is the second and final unbracketed matchup in the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament, an eight-team event which continues through the week and shifts to Uncasville, Conn., this weekend.
Norfolk State opened its season with a 63-44 drubbing to Michigan before rebounding with wins against Mid-Atlantic Christian and Clarion. Guard Nic Thomas leads the Spartans with 13.7 points per game, and Norfolk State ranks 39th nationally in turnovers forced per game (20.3). Historically speaking, the Spartans have been a solid mid-major and no strangers to the NCAA Tournament, so we’ll see what they have in store for the Gamecocks.