The South Carolina men’s basketball team started hot and led the entire game in its 82-73 road victory over LSU on Saturday.
The Gamecocks made 15 3-pointers in the game, shooting 46.9% from beyond the arc. LSU was unable to counter, as it shot just 33.3% from range.
For South Carolina, the win was its second on the road in its last three games after defeating Ole Miss last weekend.
Four starters reached double figures in the contest, with sophomore guard Meechie Johnson and freshman forward Gregory “GG” Jackson II leading the team with 20 points each.
Johnson was accurate from 3-point range, shooting 5-9 from deep. Jackson shot 40% from behind the arc but struggled from the field overall, going just 1-7 inside the arc.
Graduate forward Hayden Brown added 16 points, along with seven rebounds and four assists.
Both teams entered the matchup near the bottom of the SEC standings, but the Gamecocks separated itself early with a 15-5 lead after the first five minutes and led by as many as 12 points in the first half.
However, the Tigers would respond and cut the lead to 5 points late in the first half, leaving South Carolina with only a 36-31 lead at halftime.
Sophomore guard Jacobi Wright started off strong from deep, making three 3-pointers in less than 90 seconds early in the game.
Wright led the team in scoring in the first half, contributing 12 points on 4-6 shooting, and finished the game with a career-high 18 points.
Despite its solid shooting early in the contest, the Gamecocks were inconsistent on offense. The team nearly doubled its season average of 10.9 assists per game, registering 20 assists in the contest compared to just nine from LSU. However, South Carolina players also turned the ball over 12 times, including 10 turnovers in the first half.
For the Tigers, junior guard Cam Hayes accounted for over a third of the Tigers’ scoring, tallying 25 points on 8-15 shooting, while senior guard Trae Hannibal, a former Gamecock, had just two points in 20 minutes off of the bench.
Both teams struggled with foul trouble, committing 19 fouls each. LSU struggled to turn those changes into points, however, shooting just 53.8% from the free throw line compared to South Carolina’s 94.4%.
With the victory, the Gamecocks get its third conference win, improving to 3-11 in SEC play and 10-17 overall and passing Ole Miss in the SEC standings after the Rebels lost to Mississippi State on Saturday.
LSU falls to 1-13 in the SEC and 12-15 overall. The defeat marked its fourteenth straight loss. One more consecutive loss will tie its all-time losing streak at 15 games, which was set during the 2016-17 season.
South Carolina’s next matchup is against No. 1 Alabama, which will travel to Columbia to take on the Gamecocks on Feb. 22 at 9 p.m.