South Carolina Basketball: 3 thumbs up, 3 thumbs down vs. Morgan State

South Carolina basketball guard Raven Johnson. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
South Carolina basketball guard Raven Johnson. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports /
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South Carolina Basketball
South Carolina basketball head coach Dawn Staley. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports /

South Carolina Basketball vs. Morgan State:
Thumbs Down

South Carolina Gamecocks. LATE-GAME DEFENSE . Thumbs Down. This probably is splitting hairs, but South Carolina basketball did not play well on defense down the stretch. The Gamecocks were suffocating in the first half of the game, but the defensive intensity waned in the 2nd half. Frankly, the refereeing did not help as the white and black stripes on the court swallowed their whistles through a lot of contact but were happy to call fouls against the Gamecocks late. However, the 16-point 4th quarter should not have happened even with the added free throws for the Bears. That will need to be cleaned up before they play Utah on Sunday..

Thumbs Down. South Carolina basketball blew out Morgan State, but the score could have been even more lopsided had it not been for turnovers. Chloe Kitts had a case of the butterfingers on offense early, and MiLaysia Fulwiley’s aggressiveness led to some interesting decision-making with the ball. In all, the Gamecocks gave the ball away 16 times, a number that is too high for a mismatch against a MEAC school like Morgan State.. . South Carolina Gamecocks. TURNOVERS

DRAWING FOULS . Thumbs Down. Officials often do not call a lot of fouls when one team is blowing out their opponent. However, the Gamecocks shot 4 free throws or fewer in both the 1st, 3rd, and 4th quarters. With the size advantage USC had down low, and the athleticism advantage they had on the perimeter, taking just 17 free throws isn’t enough. With how well Carolina played overall, this “thumbs down” is a bit nit-picky, but outside of the uber-aggressive MiLaysia Fulwiley, the Gamecocks shot just 9 total shots from the charity stripe.. . South Carolina Gamecocks

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