All season long, South Carolina fans have been lamenting the Gamecocks’ general inability to shoot, particularly from 3-point land and the free-throw line. On Saturday against Texas A&M, South Carolina at least momentarily hushed the doubters, draining a school-record-tying 16 3-pointers en route to its first road win, a cathartic 81-67 victory.
Redshirt junior guard Jair Bolden, who missed the upset against Kentucky, led the charge with 19 points — and five 3s. Justin Minaya had his second strong performance of the week, adding 18 points, with Kentucky hero Jermaine Couisnard (17) and A.J. Lawson (13) rounding out the double-figure scoring.
The Gamecocks held a 39-33 lead at the half, having enjoyed a 48% shooting performance from the floor and a 50% mark from 3. The Aggies mounted a challenge in the second period, though, taking advantage of a brief South Carolina cold snap to go up 49-48. But the Gamecocks shook that off and continued to bomb away from behind the arc, ultimately making 10 of their 16 3s in that period.
In a defensive effort Frank Martin had to have loved, Texas A&M went scoreless for the final 4:22 of the game. South Carolina also outrebounded the Aggies 38-27, and went 7-of-8 from the free-throw line for a gaudy percentage there as well (although it should be noted that A&M took a whopping 41!!! foul shots).
South Carolina (10-7, 2-2 SEC) travels to face Auburn on Wednesday at 7 p.m. The Tigers are currently ranked fourth, but having just taken a beating from Florida, should tumble in this week’s polls before the matchup.