#Gamecocks with slow start, strong finish, beat Western Kentucky 65-58 (AUDIO)

Meechie Johnson was hot from the outside Thursday night (Gamecock Athletics)

Colonial Life Arena: USC spotted Western Kentucky an 8-point head start, but Meechie Johnson started to hit from downtown, and the Gamecocks turned up their defense as they rallied for a 65-58 win Thursday night at Colonial Life Arena.

Johnson scored a career high 25 points including 6-three pointers, and defensively the Gamecocks held the Hilltoppers to one field goal goals over the final 9:43. At that point they trailed 49-44. The Gamecocks then went on a 17-2 run over the next seven minutes capped by a Johnson three-point play for a 61-51 lead with 2:15 left.

The Hilltoppers got to within six twice. Hayden Brown’s dunk put USC back up 8 with :30 to play, and Chico Carter Jr. made a free throw five seconds later for the final scoring.

The Gamecocks shot just 34%, but 9 of their 22 field goals were three pointers. They also struggled from the line going 12-25. But Western Kentucky couldn’t take advantage. WKU came into the game was one of the top three-point shooting teams in the nation but went just 3-22 from deep. From the line, the Hilltoppers were 15-25.

The Gamecocks did a nice job on the glass outrebounding Western Kentucky 51-31, including 17 offensive boards. GG Jackson had a career high 16 rebounds to go along with a dozen points for the second double-double of his young career.

USC snapped a two-game losing streak to improve to 6-6. They will close out non-league play at home December 30th against Eastern Michigan which features one of the nation’s top players in Emmoni Bates.

Final Stats

Lamont Paris postgame press conference

Meechie Johnson, GG Jackson postgame press conference

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.