After its worst game of the season Saturday in a lopsided loss to Auburn, USC turned in one of it’s best performances in routing Georgia 83-59 Wednesday night at the Colonial Life Arena to break a three game losing streak. Four Gamecocks scored in double figures led by Keyshawn Bryant with 19 points. Bryant also grabbed 10 rebounds for his 1st double-double of the season and the 4th of his career.
The Gamecocks, who played a version of a matador defense in yielding 109 points to Auburn, their most ever under Frank Martin, tightened things up considerably on the defensive side against the Bulldogs, who came into the game as the 4th highest scoring team in the SEC this season. Georgia shot a season low 32% for the game and made only 4 of 26 three-point shots.
USC overcame a sluggish offensive start of its own before taking control of the game late in the first half. A three-pointer by Justin Minaya with 6:27 left in the half gave the Gamecocks the lead for good at 21-19. That started a 14-0 run, and USC led 36-26 at the half.
Georgia got to within six early in the second half at 41-35, but a 13-4 run pushed the lead to 15, and the Gamecocks never looked back extending their advantage to 31 points with just over three minutes to play. Georgia made just 1 of 19 shots over that critical stretch while the Gamecocks made 15 of their final 20 field goal attempts.
The Gamecocks shot 44% from the floor, hit 9 three-pointers and made 8-10 free throws. They also hauled in 23 offensive rebounds they converted to 23 second chance points.
The win was the 9th straight for the Gamecocks over Georgia and gives them a 59-58 lead in the all-time series. USC is now 4-5 overall and 2-3 in the SEC and heads to Nashville Saturday for a matchup with Vanderbilt.