Another Saturday of college hoops is in the rear view mirror and there is plenty to unpack. USC fans are getting a little antsy after the Gamecocks suffered their second straight loss and their third setback in the past four games Saturday night at Vanderbilt. Meanwhile, Clemson’s already thin NCAA Tournament chances took a blow in South Florida. SoCon leader Furman took it on the chin at home, College of Charleston avenged an earlier season loss and more are recapped below.
USC in a free fall
One could forgive a four overtime loss to Alabama as just a tough break at home. Losing again at home the following week to Arkansas raised some eyebrows, but following that with a road loss at Vanderbilt has some Gamecocks fans in full panic mode. USC didn’t make a basket over the final nine minutes in a 71-62 loss in Nashville. It was a one point game with 4:27 left, but Vandy surged ahead with a 7-0 and sealed it from there. The Gamecocks are 20-7 and 10-4 in the SEC. Despite the loss they still hold the third place spot in the league standings, but they are slumping with a game at SEC co-leader Florida looming next. Sindarius Thornwell led the Gamecocks with 21 points. PJ Dozier had 15 and Chris Silva scored 14.
Clemson falling off NCAA Tournament bubble
Despite its struggles in the ACC this season Clemson has remained squarely in the NCAA Tournament hunt. That could be changing after Saturday afternoon’s 71-65 loss at Miami. The loss dropped the Tigers to 14-12 overall and 4-10 in the ACC. Jaron Blossomgame scored a game high 16 points for the Tigers. Marcquise Reed continued his solid play with 15 points, but obviously it wasn’t enough to give the Tigers their first win on the Hurricanes court since 2011. Clemson has another road game coming next week, at Virginia Tech Tuesday night.
Check out what Brad Brownell had to say after the loss via Learfield Sports:
College of Charleston avenges loss to Northeastern
Earlier this season Northeastern stunned the Cougars on their home court with a last second shot to win the game. CofC got its revenge Saturday with a 85-71 road win. Joe Chealey hit six 3-pointers and finished with 29 points to lead the Cougars. Charleston is 21-8 overall and 12-4 in the CAA. They are a half game behind UNC-Wilmington for the conference lead.
Furman takes a beating a home
Furman has been outstanding this season and entered Saturday’s game against UNC-Greensboro leading the Southern Conference and projected as an NCAA Tournament team, but the Paladins went down 73-62 at Timmons Arena. FU only scored three points over the final eight minutes of the game. They are 20-9 and 13-3 in the SoCon. They still lead the league, but only by a half game over East Tennessee State.
Winthrop moves into 2nd in Big South
Winthrop beat Liberty 84-67 to move into a 2nd place tie in the Big South standings with the Flames. It was their second win over Liberty this season and improved the Eagles record to 21-6, 13-3. Keon Johnson scored 24 points to lead Winthrop.
Upstate goes down in OT
USC Upstate had a chance to knock of Atlantic Sun leading Florida Gulf College but came up short in a 97-89 overtime loss. FGC clinched at least a share of the conference title with that win. Upstate dropped to 17-13 and 7-6 in league play.
Wofford whoops Western Carolina
Wofford beat Western Carolina 84-56 to run its record to 14-15 and 9-7 in the SoCon. Cameron Jackson and Eric Garcia each had 19 points for the Terriers. It was the final game for the Terriers in Ben Johnson Arena as they move into a new on campus facility next season.
Troy tops Coastal Carolina
Coastal Carolina lost by nine at Troy, 87-78. The Chanticleers never led and fell to 15-12 and 7-6 in the Sun Belt.
Charleston Southern wins
Charleston Southern pulled out a one point win over High Point, 76-75. The Bucs are 10-17 and 6-10 in the Big South.
Citadel can’t stop Mercer
The Citadel’s tough season added another SoCon loss with an 89-78 home loss to Mercer. The Bulldogs are 2-13 in league play.