Haley Salvador / The Daily Gamecock

Men's basketball defeats Wyoming despite sloppy play

It wasn’t the cleanest of games, but the South Carolina men’s basketball team (7-2) got it done against Wyoming on Wednesday, 80-64.

In the first half, South Carolina made just 36 percent from the field and a mere 21 percent from behind the arc. According to head coach Frank Martin, the first half was the Gamecocks' strongest half of the game.

“We played better in the first half,” Martin said. “In the second half, we immediately reverted back to the habits and the breakdowns that ... I allowed into our practice that caused us to play so bad last week. So we worked real hard the last two days to fix it and that’s why we played better in the first half.”

Even though the stats would suggest otherwise, the Gamecocks had a sloppy second half. They shot just below 56 percent from both the field and behind the arc, but made costly mistakes, allowing the Cowboys to make things close.

The Gamecocks still struggled to remain out of foul trouble. Justin Minaya and Frank Booker were in foul trouble for the final 10 minutes of the game. Chris Silva had a relatively clean game and avoided early foul trouble, but committed three fouls on the night.

Turnovers were another big issue for the Gamecocks, who tallied 17 on the night. The biggest issue came in the fourth minute of the second half when the Gamecocks had five turnovers, but they were able to capitalize on Wyoming’s 18 turnovers and scored 24 points off of them.

“I feel like our defense was a lot more disciplined today,” Booker said. “And we talked a lot more.”

Up next, South Carolina hosts Coastal Carolina on Saturday before having 10 days off for final exams. Martin, who called out the lack of attendance for the second straight game, hopes more fans will make it down to Colonial Life Arena.

“It’s a little disappointing to continue to play after the two winningest years in the history of this school in a building of four or five thousand people," Martin said. "It’s embarrassing.”

But before that game, these next few days will be a chance for Martin to try to clean up his team’s play.

“We got a lot of issues that I allowed, 'cause I trusted in what I thought was gonna be leadership, and the leadership’s not there, so I’ve got to fix it," Martin said. "It’s never the players’ fault — it’s my fault. I’m gonna fix them.”

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