The up-and-down rollercoaster of South Carolina’s basketball season continued on Wednesday night, with the Gamecocks taking a deflating 80-67 loss on the road to the No. 16 Auburn Tigers.
South Carolina was riding a two-game winning streak that featured a buzzer-beating victory over a top-10 Kentucky squad and a dismantling of Texas A&M on the road. Auburn, which had climbed as high as fourth in the polls, was in a two-game slump after its offense was a no-show against Florida and Alabama. Unfortunately, the Gamecocks couldn’t take advantage, as the Tigers found their stroke from 3 — shooting 37% from distance — and kept South Carolina safely at arm’s length.
The Gamecocks were missing starting forward Keyshawn Bryant, out with a head injury, which certainly didn’t help. Jermaine Couisnard continued his strong play, leading South Carolina with 16 points, and Justin Minaya added 14, A.J. Lawson 11, and Jair Bolden posted 10 coming off the bench. Wildens Leveque, starting in place of the injured Bryant, played pretty well with four points, three steals, three rebounds, and a block.
While the Gamecocks shot a solid 48% from the floor, they made just three of their nine free throws, and were outrebounded 37-33 while canning only six of their 21 3-point attempts.
South Carolina (10-8, 2-3 SEC) hosts Vanderbilt on Saturday.