It might not of been the prettiest game, but no one can say the USC-Monmouth game wasn’t interesting. From the Gamecocks opening up a 17-2 lead and letting it slip away, to both teams cold shooting, to PJ Dozier going from lost Gamecock to hero. A lot was going on Tuesday night at Colonial Life Arena. When all of the dust settled the Gamecocks had a 70-69 overtime, their third win in five days, over a Hawks team that is getting votes in the top 25 polls and expected to be in the NCAA Tournament.
USC led by 18 points with 15:23 left in the game, but that evaporated when the Gamecocks shots stopped falling and Monmouth flipped the momentum. It was a dogfight over the final 10 minutes and it ended up tied at 60 at the end of regulation.
Monmouth was clinging to a one point lead in the final seconds of overtime. The Gamecocks were able to get a stop on defense and zipped down the court for a final shot. Duane Notice found Dozier in the corner for the game winner. Dozier jumped as he caught the pass and didn’t even land or set his feet, he put up the shot and rattled it in for the game winner.
It wasn’t exactly how Frank Martin drew it up. Almost everyone in the arena thought Notice was going to put up the shot and Dozier had drifted into what Martin called “no man’s land” in the short corner. But Martin applauded the athletic ability of Dozier to make an athletic play to catch and shoot the ball in one motion and knock it home.
Making the play more impressive and improbable was the fact Dozier struggled for most of the game. He was scoreless in regulation on 0-8 shooting and had three turnovers. He didn’t look confident at time and passed up a few open looks. He shook that off in overtime and made three shots, including the biggest one of his career at the buzzer.
PJ DOZIER ON HIS WINNING SHOT:
FRANK MARTIN DISCUSSES WIN OVER MONMOUTH, DOZIER SHOT:
USC will return to action Friday at home against SC State.