USC completed its third straight losing regular season Saturday with a 74-64 loss at Vanderbilt. The Gamecocks are 14-17, 4-14 in the SEC, heading into next week’s SEC Tournament in Nashville. The 14 wins are four more than last season, and the Gamecocks won two more SEC games than they did a year ago.
The Commodores led 36-25 at halftime but the Gamecocks did fight back in the second half and pulled to within two at 56-54 after a Lakeem Jackson jumper with 3:45 to play. Jackson was fouled on the shot but missed the free throw.
That was as close as USC would get. Vandy scored the next five points and USC would get no closer than four points the rest of the way. The Commodores hit 6-8 free throws in the final thirty seconds to seal their fifth straight win over the Gamecocks. The Commodores improve to 14-16 and 8-10 in the SEC.
USC will be either the 12th or 13th seed for the tournament depending on the outcome of today’s Auburn-Mississippi State game. The winner of that game will match USC with 4 league wins and the tiebreaker will determine the seeding.
Brenton Williams coming of his career high 38 points in the win over Mississippi State Wednesday, led USC with 17 points off the bench in 31 minutes. Bruce Ellington added 10 points.
Rod Odom and Dai-Jon Parker led Vanderbilt with 18 points each. Odom scored 16 of his points in the first half. And for Parker, the 18 points are a career high.