An all-around dominant performance led to South Carolina's 91-70 triumph over Georgia on Saturday, snapping the Gamecocks' six-game losing streak.
Saturday's game marks the 10th consecutive time South Carolina has beat Georgia.
Junior guard Jermaine Couisnard was the X-factor in the win for the Gamecocks. He scored a game-high 23 points on 50% shooting. He also shot 4-of-8 from three-point territory and grabbed five rebounds.
“I give all the appreciation to my teammates. They the ones who kept me lifted through all the things I was going through,” Couisnard said. “They told me to keep on playing with confidence and just keep on shooting the ball.”
South Carolina controlled the game from the opening tip. The Gamecocks started the game on a 12-4 run to get out to an early lead. Five minutes into the game, the team was shooting 6-8 from the floor.
Georgia managed to slow down the South Carolina offense and take a 17-15 lead, but the Bulldogs could not buy a bucket on offense from there. The Gamecocks held Georgia scoreless for over six minutes while the team went on a 13-0 run to retake the lead.
At halftime, South Carolina found itself up 12. It dominated the paint, scoring 22 points. The Gamecocks also received a huge boost from its bench with 24 bench points compared to the Bulldogs' 7.
The Gamecock defense played with intensity all half. The defense hustled after loose balls, trapped the Bulldog players in the corners and forced them to commit 11 turnovers. South Carolina made Georgia use up the shot clock and take bad shots.
“We created a presence at the rim today, offensively and defensively early in the game, that gave us confidence,” South Carolina head coach Frank Martin said.
South Carolina finished the half shooting 53.1% from the floor and 40% from three. Couisnard had a big half, scoring 15 points on 5-8 shooting and had two three-pointers.
Georgia started the second half hot, setting the pace early. It outscored the Gamecocks 15-7 in the first six minutes of the half to cut the deficit to four.
“They started scoring and scoring,” Martin said. “After the year we had, our guys might have hung their head, they could have said 'here we go again.' Instead, we locked in defensively."
South Carolina then went on its own 16-4 run to expand its lead. During this run, South Carolina blew by Georgia's defense and got into the paint to get easy buckets in front of the hoop.
The Gamecocks never gave Georgia a chance to get back in it after their early second-half run. The Bulldogs shooting went ice cold as time went on. With five minutes left in the game, the Bulldogs were shooting 7-24 from the field in the half and were down 22.
South Carolina finished the game shooting 53.6% from the floor and 43.5% from three. The Gamecocks held Georgia to 36.7% shooting and forced 19 turnovers.
South Carolina's bench outscored the Bulldogs' bench 46-20 for the game. Having players come in and score was a big part of the South Carolina victory.
“We finished the month with a win, played pretty well, so we got to be positive and come back tomorrow,” Martin said.
The Gamecocks will look to carry over Saturday's momentum in the home finale against Arkansas on Tuesday. Television coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. on the SEC Network.