USC opened up their 82-73 win at LSU with the kind of outside shooting Pete Maravich would have loved to see inside the building that bears his name. The Gamecocks made their first five shots, all from three-point range, built a 15-5 lead five minutes into the game and were never caught in leading wire to wire.
Jacobi Wright and GG Jackson combined for those five early three-pointers, three of them by Wright. The lead reached 20-8 before the Tigers went on a 16-5 run to pull to within 25-24 with 6:01 left in the half. That would be as close as LSU would get.
The Gamecocks took a 36-31 lead into intermission and opened the second half with an 8-4 spurt to open up a nine point advantage at 44-35. The Tigers had pulled to within four when Meechie Johnson canned a three-pointer and a free throw to make it 48-40 with 14:53 to play. The lead never dropped under six points the rest of the way.
The Gamecocks made a season high 15 three-point shots on a season high 32 attempts. That offset the 36-20 advantage for the Tigers in the paint. USC was also sharp from the line making 17 of 18 free throw attempts.
Jackson, Johnson and Wright combined for 14 of the 15 three-pointers. Jackson and Johnson each had 20 points. Wright had 18 points and Hayden Brown added 16. Jackson also led the Gamecocks with eight rebounds and Johnson led the team with 6 assists.
The Gamecocks played without Chico Charter Jr. and Cooper Ford Jr. due to injuries.
USC is now 10-17 overall and 3-11 in the SEC with all three wins coming on the road. They will host current #1 Alabama Wednesday night for a 9:00 PM tip at the Colonial Life Arena.