Gamecocks MBB Fight Hard But Fall Short


For the second straight year, South Carolina Gamecocks MBB played the rare midweek afternoon game against the Baylor Bears in EPSN’s Tip off Marathon. Once again, a young Gamecocks team lost a close hard fought battle to the team from Waco, 69-65.

Carolina’s offense was stifled most of the day by Baylor’s zone defense, which is made more effective by the length and athleticism they possess. The Gamecocks found it hard to get their inside players involved, and struggled shooting from 3-point range as well. Aside from to baskets by forward Michael Carrera early in the 2nd half, points in the paint were at a premium in the half court all day. Both of those baskets came off of good ball movement and great diagonal passes thru the zone by Soph Sindarius Thornwell, but the Gamecocks were not able to make enough of those plays. 

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After a back in forth 1st half, in which the two teams traded the lead with alternating runs, South Carolina took an early lead in the 2nd stanza. Baylor quickly recovered to take back the lead, and never surrendered it again. After a cold shooting first half, Senior guard Kenny Chery scored 18 of his 20 points after the break to spearhead the Bears attack. Too many times, the Gamecocks lost him in their rotations and allowed Baylor’s best player open looks. Freshman Johnathon Motley added 17 to help pace the road team from the Big 12.

Senior point guard Ty Johnson led USC with a career high 21. Combing an array of driving layups with a few spot up threes, an area he has improved since last year. He had a 3-point shot late that could have tied the game.

“It was the right shot, it just didn’t go in,” Johnson said.

Thornwell added 16 points and 4 assists, but struggled shooting from the floor for the second straight game. Freshman Marcus Stroman was forced to play a lot due to foul trouble, and responded well by chipping in 10 points. After getting good contributions from the big men in the opener, only Carrera was able to impact the game scoring 10 and grabbing 6 boards.

Now they must refocus quickly, and prepare for three games in four days in the Charleston Classic.