The Daily Gamecock

Analysis: South Carolina men's basketball captures crucial win against Missouri on senior night

The South Carolina men's basketball team beat Missouri on Tuesday night 73-69.

The South Carolina men’s basketball team played its last home game of the season Tuesday night, beating Missouri in a 73-69 nail biter.

It was a game that went down to the wire as neither team shot the ball well. Both were cold right from the start as the Gamecocks were shooting 35% from the floor and the Tigers 32%. 

“Credit them man, they created problems, they got after us defensively, took a little while to get a feel for how they were handling ball screens and handoffs, and we got a better feel for it as the game flowed,” head coach Frank Martin said.

South Carolina took eight more field goals than Missouri and made two more to shoot 25-65 for the game. The Tigers 15 turnovers hurt them, although the Gamecocks failed to capitalize off these mistakes, scoring only eight points off of those turnovers.

Missouri relied heavily on the foul line for points as the team shot 19-26 from the charity stripe. The Tigers attempted five more free throws than the Gamecocks, however, that gap would have been much larger had it not been for late-game fouls to extend the game by Missouri. 

In the end, both teams played evenly in this game. South Carolina had more looks in the end and hit just enough of its shots to sneak away with the win. 

<p>South Carolina senior Brandon Martin walks with his family during the senior ceremony concluding Tuesday's game.</p>
South Carolina senior Brandon Martin walks with his family during the senior ceremony concluding Tuesday's game.

After the game, South Carolina honored several players for senior night. Redshirt junior guard Jermaine Couisnard and graduate student guard James Reese V were two of the players honored who had a big impact on the game. 

Couisnard finished with 17 points, seven assists and four rebounds. Reese contributed 13 points of his own to the final score. For Reese, this game was the culmination of his basketball career, which started right here in Columbia. 

“It’s very emotional, just seeing my family, all the other guys who are seniors who’s leaving, but for me, it kind of hit a little harder,” Reese said. “This really like my last go around, I wouldn’t want to spend it no place else. It means a lot just being home."

Freshman guard Devin Carter also played a key role in the win, scoring 17 points and leading the team with eight rebounds. 

“Devin’s got the chance to be a special player. He’s good that way,” Frank Martin said.

After the game Martin said this game was crucial for the Gamecocks NCAA Tournament hopes.

“If you win enough you get in, if you don’t you won’t, it’s not complicated,” Martin said. “We got to go play, and let the people make the decisions they got to make.”

South Carolina improves to 18-11 (9-8 SEC) with the win. The team’s last game before the SEC tournament will be March 5 when they visit No. 5 Auburn.