April 24, 2014

USC loses Williams and the game against St. John’s

Brenton Williams was injured in the second half Thursday night (file photo)

The USC basketball team added a guard to the roster this week, but they may have lost one for a while too. The Gamecocks lost at St. John’s 89-65 in the SEC/Big East Challenge Thursday night, a loss that was overshadowed by a scary injury to junior guard Brenton Williams in the second half.

With about 10 minutes left in the game, Williams took a foul on a drive in the lane and a Red Storm player landed on him. The blow injured Williams’ neck and the game was delayed for an extended period while medics placed him on a stretcher and transported him out of the arena to a local hospital. USC officials plan to update Williams’ status later, but the team said he was moving his arms and legs.

Williams’ injury put more minutes on Bruce Ellington’s plate in his first game since rejoining the team during a break from his football duties. Ellington finished the game with seven points in 29 minutes of action.

Freshman forward Laimonas Chatkevicius also made his debut Thursday night. He sat out the first six games for an NCAA violation and finished with three points.

St. John’s had a 38-26 lead at the half and extended that lead in the second half after Williams went down with the injury. De’Angelo Harrison led the Red Storm with 26 points. Michael Carrera led the Gamecocks with 11 points and 11 rebounds.

USC falls to 5-2 this season. They return home to renew the in-state rivalry with Clemson Sunday at noon.

FINAL STATS