ATHENS, GA (TheBigSpur) - South Carolina controlled just about every facet of a basketball game on Wednesday night in route to a 75-59 road victory over Georgia.
Other than a lost opening tip, the Gamecocks (15-9, 7-4) commanded the game from start to finish. With as much as a 22-point lead in the first half, the road team shot 47 percent in the first 20 minutes. Georgia didn’t get its first points until the 16:13 mark, two makes at the free-throw line. The first basket was at the 12:49 mark and the Bulldogs didn’t get into double digits until there was 4:27 left until halftime.
In the second half, four Gamecocks got into double figures and the Bulldogs were at one point 0-of-15 from the three-point line. South Carolina led for the final 38:56 of the game.
Below is a two-MVP, four-quote, seven-game notes breakdown, recapping the Gamecocks’ seventh conference win of the season.
A.J. LAWSON – The sophomore guard scored his first six points in the paint before extending out to the three-point line, where he made 2-of-4 attempts. Aggressive in half court and transition opportunities, Lawson scored a game-high 20 points after scoring 18 points over the weekend against Texas A&M. In Athens he was 7-of-10 from the field and 4-of-5 from the free throw line. He also added four rebounds, three steals and two assists in 23 minutes played.
JERMAINE COUISNARD – Aside from being taken out midway through the first half for having three turnovers and then towards the end of the first half after taking a shot to the heat, Couisnard commanded the Gamecocks offense at the point. He had four assists to compliment 14 points on 5-of-13 shooting. When the Bulldogs cut it to within 14 points in the second half, he made one of his three three-pointers on the night. He too played 23 minutes.
-- “I thought the little wrinkles we tried to implement (defensively), I thought we were real good with them. I thought our attention to detail was really good. They are constantly cutting from all five spots so they got us a couple times on those cuts, but when you’re zoned in and you’re trying to keep (Wheeler) out of the paint and you have a special talent in Anthony Edwards, it puts a lot of stress on your help defense to be really disciplined. I thought we were really good in that department.” – South Carolina head coach Frank Martin
-- “I thought we rebounded the ball extremely well today. That was a big part of our game plan; open court be as aggressive as you want to be and for set defense it was we have to make them move to get them out of the paint and we can’t settle. I thought late in the first half our guard started trying to go without running offense. I thought we did a pretty good job of being disciplined and not settling for certain shots. Our bigs couldn’t convert a lay-up today, but when you play with effort and toughness and discipline, your team usually gets rewarded and I thought we did that today.” – Martin on his offense
-- “We just stuck to the game plan. We couldn’t get rattled and we contained (Edwards) the best we could. … I feel everyone is buying in. We need all guys on the defensive end.” – Couisnard on his team’s defense
-- “When one person drove everybody rotated. It was hard. Nobody was hitting threes today. They were sitting in the paint and it was hard. They play really good defense. … They outplayed us in every aspect of the game.” – Georgia freshman guard Anthony Edwards on facing the Gamecocks
1. The Gamecocks have now won six games on the road this season, the most in the SEC. That is the most road games in a season since the 2016-17 Final Four team won six. The Gamecocks have won seven of their last nine games and have defeated three SEC teams by at least 20 points (Vanderbilt, Missouri and Texas A&M) in that span.
2. After holding Texas A&M to 27.3 percent from the field, South Carolina entered week six of SEC play as the conference’s top field goal percentage defense (38.3 percent). On Wednesday night, Georgia shot 34.6 percent from the field. The Bulldogs missed their first 15 three-point shot attempts and finished 3-of-24.
3. In eight road games this season South Carolina was averaging 71.6 points per game and 46.8 percent shooting from the field coming to Athens. Lawson, Couisnard and senior forward Maik Kotsar were all averaging double-digit point totals (37.1 points combined). The team shot 44.6 percent on Wednesday and the trio combined for 45 points.
4. Edwards, the Class of 2019’s No. 2 overall prospect according to the 247Sports Composite, entered the game as the nation’s top-scoring freshman, averaging 19.7 points per game. On Wednesday night he was held to 16 points on 13 shot attempts. Half of his points came at the free throw line (8-for-8).
5. Against an undersized Georgia team that plays a five out offense without a starter over 6-9, South Carolina commanded rebounds 45-33 and points in the paint 40-22. Sophomore forward Alanzo Frink led all players in rebounds with nine in jut 19 minutes played. That rebound total was one short of tying his career high, which was set on November 15 against Cleveland State.
6. South Carolina has now won seven straight games against Georgia. The Gamecocks have not lost to their SEC border rival since losing three straight in the 2015-16 season. They’ll meet again this season on February 26 in Columbia.
January 2017 in Athens: South Carolina 67 – Georgia 61
February 2017 in Columbia: South Carolina 77 – Georgia 75
January 2018 in Athens: South Carolina 64 – Georgia 57
February 2018 in Columbia: South Carolina 66 – Georgia 57
February 2019 in Athens: South Carolina 86 – Georgia 80
March 2019 in Columbia: South Carolina 66 – Georgia 46
February 2020 in Athens: South Carolina 75 – Georgia 59
7. UP NEXT: South Carolina returns home for the second meeting of the season with Tennessee on Saturday at 6 p.m. on the SEC Network. The Gamecocks and Volunteers had a rock fight affair in Knoxville on Jan. 11, the first road game of the conference season. UT took the game 56-55. The Volunteers (14-10, 6-5) played on Tuesday and secured at 82-61 home win over Arkansas.