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Gamecock men top Western Kentucky, 65-58


NCAA Basketball: Western Kentucky at South Carolina Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

The Gamecocks pick up a much needed win against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers 65-58. This win should give the Gamecocks some crucial momentum heading into conference play.

Davion McKnight led the way for the Hilltoppers, scoring a team high 28 points while also grabbing a season and team high of 8 rebounds. Sharpshooter Luke Frampton was held to just 3 points on 1-5 shooting. Senior guard Emmanuel Akot was held to only 5 points on 2-11 shooting as well.

South Carolina was down 11-2 early in the first half. That was until Meechie Johnson caught fire and knocked down 5 threes in the first half. One of those five was a prayer shot as the shot clock was sounding. Johnson finished with a season and team high of 25 points and hit one more three pointer in the second half.

Hayden Brown was much improved defensively tonight. While his paint defense still leaves some to be desired, his perimeter defense against the Hilltoppers was impressive. He even drew two charges!

While GG Jackson, did not have a great night offensively, only putting up 12 points on 4-14 shooting, he was excellent on defense. Jackson contributed greatly in the paint with 2 blocks and played the perimeter great as well. A bright spot of Jackson’s night offensively was the one-handed lob he caught from Chico Carter Jr. late in the first half. Oh, and he had 16 rebounds by the way.

Not to rain on everyone’s parade, but if the Gamecocks wish to dream about competing in the SEC, they must improve at the free throw line. South Carolina only made 12 of their 25 free throw attempts, and it almost cost them the game.

Overall, it was a great, and much needed, team win. This win over Western Kentucky should give the Gamecocks the momentum needed to grab another win against Eastern Michigan on the 30th.