Houston center Brison Gresham (55) dunks over USC during first-half action in Columbia Sunday (Travis Bell/SIDELINE CAROLINA)

USC’s modest two game winning streak crashed and burned Sunday afternoon at the hands of the Houston Cougars with a 76-56 loss at the Colonial Life Arena. The wins over George Washington and UMass last week had given Gamecock fans hopes that Frank Martin’s team was ready to play well against higher level competition like Houston. But Kelvin Sampson’s team had too many lengthy athletes who pressured the Gamecocks into a horrendous shooting day. The Gamecocks fall to 6-4 and Houston improves to 5-2.

The Gamecocks never led and trailed by double figures for the last 23:52 of the game. The 56 points is the low-scoring mark of the season for USC thus far this season. Next up, two difficult road games for the Gamecocks, next Sunday at Clemson and the following Sunday at Virginia.

Here are some of the keys to the Gamecocks’ defeat

  • USC shot 32% for the game to the Cougars’ 50%. They were 6-25 from three and 10-16 from the line. Houston hit 9 three-pointers.
  • Kelvin Sampson said he set his defense to guard the paint so when the Gamecocks had breakouts they would run into a lot of bodies.
  • Houston won the rebounding battle 41-29 including 12 on the offensive glass converted to 12 points.
  • The Cougars scored 28 points in the paint to USC’s 18, and had 15 fastbreak points to the Gamecocks’ 4.
  • USC did force 17 turnovers but turned those in to just 11 points.
  • Only two Gamecocks scored in double figures, Maik Kotsar with 12 and AJ Lawson with 10.
  • Three Cougars scored in double figures with Quentin Grimes leading the way with 24. Freshman Nate Hinton added 17 points & 11 rebounds.
  • Final Stats

Frank Martin Postgame

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