The South Carolina Gamecocks beat the Morgan State Bears 87-71 Friday night, but the game was much closer than that score indicates.
Carolina did have the game in hand well before the final buzzer, but the box score tells a much different story than the scoreboard.
Both teams turned the ball over 20 times, both teams shot 52 percent from the field and both teams had 20 fouls.
The Gamecocks hit 80 percent of their free-throws, though, compared to Morgan State, which shot just 65 percent from the line.
Carolina also grabbed 13 more rebounds than the much bigger Bears, who had a seven footer and two other 6’8″ players on their roster. The Gamecocks sported just one player of that size, RJ Slawson, who scored 10 points, grabbed five rebounds and blocked one shot.
LaShay Page stole the show, though. The senior transfer from Dillon, SC scored 20 points on 13 shots and grabbed five rebounds.
There were three other Gamecocks in double figures besides those two, but Lakeem Jackson played better than all of them (in my humble opinion). Severely undersized guarding that seven footer much of the night, Jackson still managed to score eight points and grab eight rebounds to lead his team in that category.
Brenton Williams, Eric Smith and and Brian Richardson were those other players in double figures.
Smith scored 17 points, but didn’t record an assist and turned the ball over three times.
Frank Martin was not happy. At one point during the first half after a Smith turnover, the coach turned to him the next time he had the ball in his hands and screamed “Hey, Eric! Turn it over again! Turn it over again!”
To be honest, Martin wasn’t happy with much after the game.
One of the first things he told reporters during his post game presser was “I’m embarrassed that people gave up their money to come watch our team play.”
The Gamecocks will play Rider on Monday before traveling to Mexico for one of the many early season tournaments going on in November.