USC scored on its opening possession and never looked back en route to a 56-49 victory over Jacksonville State Wednesday night at Colonial Life Arena.
Ramon Galloway led the way for the SC Gamecocks with 15 points off the bench, while Sam Muldrow posted a double double with 11 points and 11 boards. USC never trailed in the contest and led by as many as 18 before slowing down toward the end of regulation.
USC continued its inconsistent play on the season, racing out to a commanding 21-11 lead midway through the 1st half before going 6 minutes without a field goal. The other Gamecocks tied the ballgame at 22 with under 4 minutes to play to silence the small crowd. Horn reinserted his “energy guy” Ramon Galloway off the bench, who responded by hitting a deep 3 to help lead the Gamecocks on a 12-2 run to end the 1st half, giving USC a 34-24 lead.
South Carolina opened the 2nd half with a 13-5 surge to build the lead to 18 and seemingly have the game in hand, but the other Gamecocks simply would not go away. The lead was cut to 51-44 with 3 minutes to play, forcing Horn to use a timeout. His team responded by playing tough defense, taking care of the ball, and holding on for a sloppy 56-49 victory.
USC outscored JSU 28-14 in the paint, 13-0 on fast breaks, and 25-15 off the bench. They also out-rebounded their Gamecock brethren 41-30. Neither team shot the ball particularly well, with USC shooting 37% on the night while JSU was at 36%.
USC hits the hardwood again New Years Day as they host the Boston College Eagles. Boston College is 10-3 on the season, but is coming off a loss at Rhode Island. The Gamecocks are now 8-3 on the season.