South Carolina Basketball: 3 thumbs up, 3 thumbs down from collapse vs. LSU

South Carolina basketball blew a 16-point lead in the 2nd half against the LSU Tigers and lost their second game in a row.

South Carolina basketball wing Zach Davis trying to keep up with former Gamecock Trae Hannibal
South Carolina basketball wing Zach Davis trying to keep up with former Gamecock Trae Hannibal / Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
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When LSU traveled to Columbia this weekend to take on South Carolina basketball, Gamecock fans were hoping for a bounce-back performance from their favorite team after an awful showing in Auburn during the mid-week.

They didn't get it.

Outside of a 17-1 run in the 1st half and a solid 9-0 start to the 2nd half, Carolina didn't play particularly well in the game. LSU isn't a very good team, and even with the Gamecocks dominating from 10:22 in the 1st half to 16:58 in the 2nd half by a score of 38-12, Lamont Paris' team lost.

From the opening tip, things just felt a bit off for the Gamecocks. Even when things were going well (late 1st half, early 2nd half), USC's offense wasn't crisp, and their defensive success hinged upon LSU missing shots rather than the defense making plays.

The normally steady Ta'Lon Cooper wasn't his best self, and Meechie Johnson went scoreless before leaving the game after taking a knock to the head in the 2nd half.

BJ Mack had a pretty good game, and Collin Murray-Boyles, Zach Davis, and Jacobi Wright had some good moments. Other than that, the Gamecocks struggled.

For the game, Carolina shot 41.9%/30%/83.3%, and those shooting numbers from the floor were not good enough considering the amount of open shots they got against a porous LSU defense. Of those misses, going 6-20 from behind the 3-point arc and 9-16 on layup felt like the killer for the offense.

The defense was pretty solid in the 1st half, but after halftime, Carolina allowed LSU to shoot over 50% from the field and over 50% from the perimeter. The Gamecocks surrendered a ridiculously efficient 1.345 points per possession number in the 2nd half, and the defense was actually worse than that as LSU only shot 11-25 on layups, meaning the number could have been even greater. They also only pulled down 11 rebounds in the 2nd half as the Tigers outworked the Gamecocks on the glass most of the game.

The end of the game was shrouded in controversy as USC led by 3 in the closing seconds. Coach Paris was yelling for his team to foul as LSU drove the ball down the floor with under 30 seconds left in the game. For some reason, no one fouled, and no one played defense, either, as Jordan Wright drove in for an uncontested layup.

After the layup, the Gamecocks made a poor decision to inbound the ball right into a sideline trap, despite still having a timeout remaining. BJ Mack was fouled (with no call from referee Pat Adams), and then tied up. The tie-up was the only call, and with the possession arrow favoring LSU, the Tigers got the ball back.

Wright drove to the basket on the ensuing possession, and Collin Murray-Boyles was called for a semi-questionable foul. 2 Wright makes from the foul line gave them a lead before a Jacobi Wright step-back 3-pointer clanged off the rim as the clock expired.

Though it was just by one point (64-63), South Carolina basketball lost a bad one to LSU on Saturday.

South Carolina Basketball vs. LSU Tigers. 63. 533. Final. 64. 529

BOX SCORE