23 points off the bench from freshman forward Gregory "GG" Jackson II was not enough for the Gamecocks as the team fell to the Missouri Tigers on the road, 83-74, for its 10th SEC loss of the season.
Jackson, the team’s only scorer off the bench, went 8-12 from the floor including 50% from three while adding just two rebounds in 26 minutes.
The only other two bench players to enter the game, freshman guard Zachary Davis and redshirt junior forward Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk, combined for 0 points and six personal fouls.
South Carolina shot a higher percentage than Missouri overall, but due to 14 turnovers paired with 17 team fouls, Missouri was able to maintain control of the game down the stretch and come away with the win on its home floor.
Missouri threatened to pull away early, jumping out to a 7-point lead within the first four minutes. South Carolina’s shooting helped the team battle back and keep things close throughout the half, gaining a 32-29 lead with five minutes to go in the first.
“Our quality of shot was pretty good,” head coach Lamont Paris said. “(We) did some basic things that yielded pretty good attempts, high-quality attempts. It’s basic but it’s hard to do it against this team because they’re active, they have active hands, they obviously force a lot of turnovers.”
High turnovers aren’t a new theme for South Carolina, as the team came into the matchup ranked No. 233 nationally in turnovers per game.
Problems closing were also apparent for Lamont Paris’ squad. After taking the 3-point lead, South Carolina allowed a 13-5 run by Missouri to close the first half.
Then, after a GG Jackson layup to cut the Tiger lead to one with just over 10 minutes to play, the Gamecocks were outscored 22-14 as its shooting numbers slumped.
Graduate forward Hayden Brown, South Carolina’s leading first-half scorer, cooled off in the second, going just 3-9 from the field.
It was Jackson, Brown and sophomore guard Jacobi Wright who took it upon themselves to score the ball, combining for 53 of the Gamecocks’ 74 points.
Wright opened up the second half with consecutive 3-pointers to give South Carolina a 43-42 lead, but it would be the last time the Gamecocks led the Tigers.
South Carolina trailed for the remainder of the game after surrendering a 3-pointer closely after.
“It’s hard to (come back), especially if you can’t string five, six stops together,” Paris said. “Anytime we started doing something, I feel like they would respond with points.”
It didn’t help the comeback effort that South Carolina shot 61.9% from the free throw line, just under its average of 63.7%, ranking No. 336 nationally.
With the loss, South Carolina has failed to win eight straight contests and falls to (8-16) overall and (1-10) in the SEC.
South Carolina will look to regroup ahead of its trip to Oxford to take on Ole Miss (10-14, 2-9 SEC) this Saturday at 1 p.m.