Welcome back Chris Silva and Maik Kotsar. The much maligned big men gave USC their best performances of the season, and that’s a major positive for Frank Martin to take away from his team’s second straight loss, 89-78 at fifth ranked and unbeaten Michigan. The Gamecocks fall to 4-5 as they go into their break for exams.
The Gamecocks scored more points on Michigan than anyone else has this season, but the Wolverines responded with the most points scored against the Gamecocks this season. USC shot 52% for the game, the best figure of the season against the Wolverines.
Silva had his best game of the season with 18 points and 12 rebounds, his third double-double of the season and 18th of his career. Silva did foul out for the first time this season. For the two game road trip that started at Wyoming, Silva totaled 29 points and 20 rebounds.
Kotsar also turned in his best offensive outing of the season matching his career high of 16 points while knocking down 7-10 shots. But, Kotsar grabbed just a single rebound. The Gamecocks were whipped on the boards 37-24 and allowed 13 offensive rebounds Michigan turned into 23 points.
Michigan also had a big advantage at the foul line going 23-30 while USC was just 9-14. The Gamecocks were whistled for 21 fouls to 14 for Michigan.
Michigan had five to score in double figures led by Jordan Poole’s career high 26 points. The Wolverines led 42-36 at halftime and used a 14-9 run to build a cushion in the second half. The closest USC would get the rest of the way as six points.
The Gamecocks tough December schedule continues on the 19th with a home game against 4th ranked Virginia. Three days later Clemson visits Colonial Life Arena.