For much of Saturday it looked like USC was about to build its first two game winning streak of the SEC season. The Gamecocks played with great energy and confidence at Ole Miss and built a 16 point lead with 8:11 to play.
But the Gamecocks could not sustain the momentum and the Rebels put on a strong finish to pull out a 75-71 victory in Oxford. It was the second tight game of the season between the teams. Ole Miss won in Columbia 75-74 January 18th.
After Sindarius Thornwell put USC up by 64-54 with a three pointer, the Gamecocks scored only one more basket the rest of the way. They missed eight of their last night shots and committed five turnovers to close out the game. Conversely, the Rebels hit six of their final nine shots and knocked down eight free throws. Ole Miss took the lead for good at 69-68 on a jumper by Jarvis Summers with 1:32 to play.
The Gamecocks were hurt by 18 turnovers which Ole Miss converted into 23 points. That offset USC’s rebounding advantage of 38-28. The Gamecocks hit seven three pointers but were only 18-27 from the line.
Brenton Williams led USC with 23 points including five three pointers. Thornwell added 18 points. Marshall Henderson led the Rebels with 21 points.
USC falls to 8-13 and 1-7 in the SEC. Ole Miss improves to 15-6 and 6-2.
USC returns to action Wednesday night at home against Auburn with tipoff at 7:30 PM.