If you enjoy high-scoring offense, you wouldn’t have enjoyed the Gamecocks’ 67-56 victory over Ole Miss at Colonial Life Arena. This one was a slopfest as teams combined for 41 turnovers and shot under 36% on the evening, but the Gamecocks used a 16-3 run spanning the final four-plus minutes of the first half and the first 2:17 of the second half to turn a 25-20 lead into a 41-23 advantage with 17:43 left in regulation. Ole Miss did score the final 11 points of the game to make the scoreline look a little more respectable.
The Gamecocks handled the shorthanded Rebels as only two Ole Miss players (Cullen Neal with 12 and Sebastian Saiz with 11) reached double figures this evening. They shot just 30% from the field, 5-17 from three, and turned it over 21 times while being outrebounded 42-32. South Carolina saw four players reach double figures: PJ Dozier and Chris Silva (16 each), Rakym Felder (12), and Sindarius Thornwell (10). It was a good thing they did, because very few others made an impact. Duane Notice was just 2-8 for seven points and Maik Kotsar scored six before fouling out, but no other Gamecock that saw the floor scored.
Again, an ugly game, but at the end of the day, it’s a win for the Gamecocks as they improve to 4-0 in the SEC for the first time since 1997. But it doesn’t get easier: #23 Florida enters the CLA on Wednesday night before Carolina travels to Lexington to face #6 Kentucky. The result of those two contests will tell us a lot about this Gamecocks team.