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South Carolina Basketball Players of the Week: Feb. 1 - 8

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Lots of high and lots of lows this week... but there were some standout players!

NCAA Basketball: Mississippi State at South Carolina Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

This week was all over the place.

The South Carolina men’s squad opened the school’s slate of games last Wednesday with a shocking win over a ranked Florida team... but got massacred by Mississippi State.

The South Carolina women’s squad opened up their week with a thrashing of Auburn (allowing 18 points in the first half!)... but LOST a game at UConn where, for the first time in recent memory, I thought they honestly didn’t play too well.

USC may have won the rebound battle, but they had a case of the turnover bug (21 to be exact) and didn’t log a single fast break point. Additionally, that might have been the most lost I’ve seen them offensively in a very long time. Although they had a chance to win it at the end of regulation, I felt like they performed like the second best team on the court.

So, each team had a high and a low this week.

While the women’s low is pretty understandable because hey, you should be allowed to lose to the incoming best school in the country, the men’s low almost erased all the positives we saw in the win against Florida.

There are good losses and bad losses, but the game versus Mississippi State was a *bad* loss.

Things were close in the second half, but not for long. After the Gamecocks decreased Mississippi State’s lead to one with 13:44 remaining in the second half, the Bulldogs went on a 13-3 run, and the game wasn’t competitive since.

USC shot a season-low 31.1% from the field and only made 5 of 25 tries from behind the arc. Right when they took one step forward, they took two steps back.

Anyway, this was a harder week to come up with players to recognize than usual. Enjoy!

Player of the Week: Aliyah Boston

I really could nitpick something negative to say about almost everyone on both the men’s and women’s squads, and that includes Aliyah Boston, but I still believe she performed the best out of everyone this past week.

Yes, she missed a few tip shots at the end of regulation against UConn that would have won the game for the Cocks and her three-point attempt at the end of OT was a bit questionable, but I still believe her play was a large part as to why they were around at the end at all.

Her rebounding extended possessions and partially led USC to a hefty 17 second chance points in that contest.

If the Cocks didn’t run the boards as much as they did, the UConn game wouldn’t have been close.

Boston added another double-double to her collection as well.

Runner-up: A.J. Lawson

For lack of a better option, I’m going to act like his performance against Mississippi State doesn’t exist and give him runner-up because of the Florida game.

In simple terms, he did the heavy lifting in the victory against a ranked Florida squad and helped them secure the dub.

Being more or less the exclusive source of offense in the first half, Lawson led the way offensively at Florida, finishing with 22 points on 9-of-16 shooting, although he did cool down toward the end of the game a bit and let his teammates take over.

More surprisingly, he finished with the most rebounds on the team with eight, so he was producing in other areas besides the scoring department.

I’m going to stop with the compliments now because he still did shoot 31% against Mississippi State.

Honorable Mention: Victaria Saxton

She’s a dog, a fighter, and she showed that Monday night.

When it came down to the team needing a rebound, she wanted it more than everyone else on the court.

When it came down to the team needing her to make a play, she stepped up.

Saxton also made a clutch basket toward the end of regulation when the Cocks went on a 8-0 run to take a four-point lead with just under three minutes to go.

She does the dirty work for this team, and she simply deserves all the credit in the world.