Frank Martin and the Gamecocks, in simplest terms, have Georgia’s number. After suffering through a six-game losing streak and mustering just 48 points at Mississippi State, Wednesday, South Carolina broke out of its offensive slump and poured it on in a 91-70 victory in Athens, Saturday. It is the Gamecocks’ tenth consecutive win over the Bulldogs, dating back to March 3rd, 2016. The 91 points were the most scored since dropping Georgia last season in overtime, 94-90.
Jermaine Cousinard, in the midst of a season-long cold shooting streak, came off the bench to blister Georgia for a season-high 23 points. Cousinard was hitting just 27% of his 3-pointers and 28% from the floor before knocking down half of his 16 shots, Saturday. Forward Keyshawn Bryant’s superior athleticism was on full display as the sophomore made multiple plays above the rim on both ends of the floor, compiling 17 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals.
Martin singled out Bryant’s contributions in his postgame comments, “Anybody that watches these kids should be excited. I don’t coach for wins and losses. Keyshawn Bryant used to never speak. Now he’s become a team leader. A vocal leader. Everyone thinks it’s about winning and losing. That’s how you guys judge me. Why I coach is to watch players grow as people.”
The Gamecocks established dominance right at the opening tip, riding a hot start from freshman center Tre-Vaughn Minott (6-9, 280) to an early lead. Minott scored all six of his points in the first five minutes to stake South Carolina to a 12-4 lead. Martin said, “When was the last time we threw a ball in the post and we scored? That’s how we opened the game. I love watching guys in the post, catch it and score. That puts me in a better frame of mind as a coach.”
The Gamecocks (6-12, 4-10) return home to host Arkansas at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday. The game will be broadcast on the SEC Network.