What started out as a week of hope for USC, with the Gamecocks appearing on the NCAA Tournament bubble watch, ended in disappointment with an 86-80 home loss to LSU Saturday night. The Gamecocks had a chance for two Quad-1 wins this week, at Mississippi State and then against LSU. They lost a close one in Starkville Wednesday night and never could get their offense consistently going Saturday night. The Gamecocks fall to 16-11 overall and 8-6 in the SEC.
Inside the USC loss to LSU
- Just like at Mississippi State, the Gamecocks faced a large deficit late in the game only to rally to make it close. But unlike the Mississippi State game, USC never had possession with a chance to tie or take the lead. They did cut a 19 point lead to 4 over the last 5 minutes.
- LSU led by 7 at halftime then used a 17-7 run to take a 6 point lead to 16. The lead peaked at 19 with 5:11 left. The Gamecocks went into scramble mode and got as close as 4 points with :18 to play after an AJ Lawson jumper, but they wouldn’t score again.
- The Gamecock offense looked disjointed much of the game. Maik Kotsar hit his first three shots in the first three-and-a-half minutes, but two fouls put him down for 4 minutes. His only other field goal came with 1:29 to play in the game. Frank Martin said Kotsar did not play well.
- USC attacked the rim regularly but many of the shots were wild attempts. The Gamecocks scored just 8 points off layups compared to 16 by LSU. Frank Martin said his guards drive to the rim well but aren’t physical enough to finish at the rim and at least draw a foul.
- Frank Martin said no one should be fooled by the late run by his team when they forced a couple of turnovers and made some shots. “We got our tail kicked.”
- The Gamecocks had 20 offensive rebounds, 23 second chance points, and forced 14 turnovers. They took 16 more shots and made 2 more field goals. But LSU outscored USC 25-15 at the line.
- Three Gamecocks scored 15 points each in Jermaine Couisnard, Keyshawn Bryant and Jair Bolden.
- Final Box
Frank Martin postgame press conference