April 23, 2014

Gamecocks deep fried by Phoenix 65-53 (AUDIO)

Jackson led USC with 13 points (File Photo)

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.

Final Box