South Carolina concluded its regular season with an 82-71 defeat at Auburn, Saturday. The Gamecocks staged a furious second half rally behind veteran Jermaine Couisnard, but a 17-point halftime deficit proved too much to overcome. With the win, Auburn wrapped up the SEC regular season championship and the no. 1 seed in next week’s SEC Tournament. Couisnard scored 16 of his 22 points in the second half as USC tried to track down the fifth-ranked Tigers. Couisnard has posted double figures in each of the last five games, averaging 21.4 points/game over the stretch.
Guards James Reese V and Erik Stevenson joined Couisnard in double figures with 18 points and 13 points, respectively. Reese V, in particular, got off to a hot start and kept the Gamecocks (18-12, 9-9) close through the first 13 minutes of game time. But Auburn rolled off a 24-9 spurt late in the first half that proved to be the deciding factor. South Carolina went from down two to down 17 in a matter of six minutes.
The Gamecocks know they will next be in action, Thursday, as part of the SEC Tournament, but they don’t know their seed or opponent. South Carolina was one of six teams separated by a single game entering play, Saturday.