The South Carolina men’s basketball team failed to hold on to early game momentum en route to a 79-60 loss against Furman in the final game of the Charleston Classic.
The Gamecocks came out hot shooting over 60% from three early. The offense was efficient in the beginning as freshman forward GG Jackson controlled the pace of play and proved he belongs on the court even at a young age. Jackson finished the game with 19 points and six rebounds in the game.
However, halfway through the first half, Furman proved to be a better shooting team. The Paladins took the lead after a long scoring drought from South Carolina and never looked back.
Furman kept this same pace for the entirety of the second half, shooting almost 58% from the field to close the game. Junior forward Garrett Hein led the way for Furman in the second half, scoring 13 of his 20 points on 5-6 shooting and 2-2 from three.
"To devote yourself to the defensive side of the basketball, that's hard for a young man to do," South Carolina head coach Lamont Paris said. "We have a lot of guys that are learning how to win."
As the game progressed, the offensive efficiency decreased. Scoring droughts were the theme of the game for South Carolina. The longest drought was just under six minutes long and there were multiple other scoring droughts lasting around three minutes.
The team took bad shots and played carelessly with the ball, committing 17 turnovers. Those turnovers ultimately led to more points for Furman.
"Those decisions have to be made quickly. If you don't, they recover, and that's what happened," Paris said. "Some other times, it's just pure slopiness with the ball."
Despite the Gamecocks only having five more turnovers than Furman, the Paladins scored 19 more points off turnovers than South Carolina. They scored 23 points off turnovers while South Carolina scored only 4 points off turnovers.
“I value possession of the basketball, and so, there's work to be done, certainly,” Paris said.
Points in transition were another major point that Furman dominated. The Paladins had 18 fast break points, while South Carolina only managed to score three.
The loss concludes the Gamecocks' time in Charleston. The team went 0-3 in its games, including losses to Colorado State and Davidson.
"To come in here with the group that we had and play some guys that believe they're going to win, they know the pathway to winning. They know how to stick to a plan, even when it gets a little wobbly," Paris said. "We were at a disadvantage in that area."
The Gamecocks are now 2-3 on the season and look to get back on their feet against USC Upstate when they return home to Colonial Life Arena on Nov. 25 at 4 p.m.