The Gamecocks' home struggles against SEC opponents continued Tuesday night when South Carolina lost to Ole Miss 70-58 in a night of continued offensive concerns.
The game marks another blemish in a pattern of struggles against SEC opponents for South Carolina, adding to two blowout losses at home against No. 8 Tennessee and Texas A&M and an away overtime loss to Vanderbilt.
“You have to get on to the next game,” head coach Lamont Paris said. “You can’t lick your wounds for 10 days and go back into the lab and get it all figured out.”
Freshman forward GG Jackson struggled offensively, going 5-20 from the field, while sophomore guard Meechie Johnson shot 2-10 and 1-7 on 3-pointers. As a team, South Carolina shot 37% from the field and 25% from the three-point range.
“You have to be a confident guy to be good in this game offensively,” Paris said. “When you do that you’re going to play better, but we got to find ways to get those guys to start being more efficient basketball players.”
Ole Miss junior guard Matthew Murrell was impressive, leading the Rebels with 23 points, including five shots from 3-point range. Murrell also racked up nine rebounds and three assists.
“Murrell made some timely shots when we needed it,” Ole Miss head coach Kermit Davis said. “I consider him one of the best shooters in the league.”
Tonight marks the first SEC win of the year for Ole Miss, going 0-5 prior to the victory. This brings the Rebels to 9-9 overall for the season and also marks its first road win of the season.
“Both teams needed a win,” Davis said. “We’ve led in four SEC games in the second half and haven’t been able to finish games. We did tonight.”
Tonight's loss drops South Carolina to 8-10 overall and 1-4 in conference play, its only SEC win being the away victory against Kentucky a week ago. The Gamecocks' only home losses have come in conference play.
“The SEC is tough,” senior guard Chico Carter said. “Every game they're gonna have a target on your back ... I feel like we just have to get back in the gym more (and) get more shots.”
South Carolina will play No. 16 Auburn at Colonial Life Arena on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. The game will air on SEC Network.