USC capitalized on a seven minute, 14-0 run in the second half to pull away for a 57-41 victory over USC Upstate Tuesday night at the Colonial Life Arena.
That was about the most positive way to describe the basketball game. A more accurate description would include adjectives such as ugly, lackadaisical, embarrassing, or boring; but, I digress. The loudest cheer from the crowd all night came during the second half when the fifteen-person student section started an anti-Clemson chant. Maybe the Gamecocks saw Upstate’s green jerseys and Spartan mascot and thought they were still playing against Michigan State during the first half.
To be fair, USC’s main focus tonight was solidifying their starting rotation, along with seeking out contributors off the bench. All eleven players that dressed for the Gamecocks saw double-digit minutes of playing time against the Spartans.
The Gamecocks were able to use their speed and length to put constant pressure on the Spartans all night long, converting 13 forced turnovers into 16 points. USC added 13 fast break points, 34 points in the paint, and added 25 off the bench. The Gamecocks also dominated the rebounding battle 55-34.
Sophomore guard Ramon Galloway led the Gamecocks in scoring with 12 off the bench, including shooting 2-3 from beyond the arc. Galloway joins Brian Richardson as the only Gamecocks to have made a 3-pointer in each game this season.
The most impressive player of the night, though, was freshman forward/center Babatund Olumuyiwa from USC Upstate. He recorded 11 points, 9 blocks, and 7 boards on the night in 29 minutes off the bench. The freshman is from Athens, GA, and seems capable of making the jump to a big-time program in the near future.
USC improves to 3-1 on the young season and is back in action Saturday night at Western Kentucky, which is Darrin Horn’s old stomping grounds. Tip-off is 7:00 pm.