USC never found its shot and never led in the game in falling to Illinois State 69-65 Thursday afternoon in the Puerto Rico Shootout at the HTC Center at Coastal Carolina. The Gamecocks shot a miserable 29.5% for the game against a 2-3 zone they could never solve over 40 minutes.
Inside or outside, it made no difference. The Gamecocks could not find a comfort level against the zone. They had only one true offensive run in the game, that came midway thru the second half when they scored eight straight to tie the game at 41. That would be the last tie of the game.
The Redbirds went back up by six. A three pointer with 3:13 left by Frank Booker got the Gamecocks back to within one at 56-55, but that was as close as they would get.
Of the Gamecocks 18 field goals, half were three pointers, and they needed 32 long ones for that. They also missed ten free throws.
Chris Silva, Hassani Gravett and Booker each had 10 points. All of Silva’s came from the line as he had just one official field goal attempt. He along with David Beatty and Maik Kotsar fouled out.
The Gamecocks drop to 2-1 and into the consolation bracket Friday morning at 10:30 on ESPNU.
USC press conference with Frank Martin, Hassani Gravett & Chris Silva