It won’t be a happy Thanksgiving for the USC basketball team. Elon spoiled the holiday mood for Frank Martins’ team by handing them their first loss of the season 65-53 Wednesday night at the Colonial Life Arena. It’s the second year in a row the Phoenix have defeated the Gamecocks. And it’s the fifth year in a row USC has lost to a Southern Conference team.
USC never led in the game and trailed by eight at halftime. The lead grew to 16 in the second half. USC did make a brief run to get to within five with 5:45 to play but that was as close as the Gamecocks would get.
Lakeem Jackson led the Gamecocks with 14 points. He added 10 rebounds for his first double-double of the season. He was the only Gamecock to score in double figures.
Lucas Troutman, who prepped at Belton Honea-Path, led all scorers with 17 points.
The Gamecocks shot just 32% from the floor compared to 46% for Elon.
“I guess we should all be thankful it’s Thanksgiving,” Gamecock coach Frank Martin said. “I know you guys were looking at me like I had six heads the other night. I hope you understand what I see every day.”
AUDIO: Frank Martin can’t stomach what he saw against Elon [3:17]
AUDIO: Jackson expresses unhappiness with some teammates [3:01]
USC played its third straight game without freshman forward Michael Carrera who is recovering from a concussion suffered in practice.
The Gamecocks are now 3-1 and will play Missouri State Saturday in a tournament in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Elon improves to 4-1.