Photo: Sara Yang/The Daily Gamecock

Gamecocks look to get back on track at home against Gators

The South Carolina men's basketball team has lost its last three games at home, and all of them have been close losses. The Gamecocks (13-11) haven’t won at home since upsetting Kentucky on Jan. 16. The Gamecocks are also currently on a four-game losing streak, and will try to break that at home on Saturday against Florida. 

The Gamecocks looked like they were moving up in the NCAA Tournament bubble after winning two games out of four against ranked opponents. Since then, the Gamecocks have lost three in a row, but Florida has also been struggling during that time. The Gators lost three out of their last five games, and one of those games was a loss against South Carolina at home, a rematch of the Elite Eight game almost a year ago.

To get back on track, the Gamecocks need to improve on all sides of the ball, especially since they have a healthy team again. Freshman guard Justin Minaya and junior guard Kory Holden were back from injuries for the Texas A&M game, but Holden was limited. The Gamecocks struggled to get anything going against the Aggies, as they shot a mere 27.5 percent in that loss. 

They also struggled in their most recent loss against Arkansas on Tuesday, shooting only 41.2 percent while Arkansas shot 47.2 percent. The Gamecocks also need to clean up their play, as they had five more turnovers and six more fouls than the Razorbacks. 

South Carolina's biggest issue in these home losses has been closing out the game. The Gamecocks have had trouble finishing at home, especially in the last few minutes. In their game against Texas Tech, the Gamecocks allowed a 13-2 run in the last few minutes, which led to the Red Raiders winning a game that could’ve been won by South Carolina if they played tougher defense down the stretch. The Gamecocks will need to finish out these games and get their momentum back as the conference schedule winds down if they want to keep their NCAA Tournament dreams alive. 

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