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

South Carolina basketball remains undefeated at 14-0 and 2-0 in SEC play after beating the Mississippi State Bulldogs.

South Carolina basketball wing Bree Hall
South Carolina basketball wing Bree Hall / G Fiume/GettyImages
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South Carolina Basketball vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs
Thumbs Down 1: The Freebies

The biggest negative from the Gamecocks' matchup with Mississippi State was their horrible performance scoring at the rim. For the game, South Carolina basketball shot 14-34 on layups. That is an unacceptable number that would have cost them the game against one of the SEC's better teams.

After shooting 90% from the free throw line in the 1st quarter, the Gamecocks hit just 60% of their looks from the line over the rest of the game. The 75% number they shot for the game isn't horrible (it's right around average, actually), but the 60% rate over the final 3 quarters isn't good enough for a national championship contender.

South Carolina Basketball vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs
Thumbs Down 2: Rebounding Effort

South Carolina won the rebounding battle. However, they won by just one board 44-43. Frankly, they should have had a much larger margin for the game, but the effort on the glass was not consistently good enough.

Against a middle-of-the-pack rebounding squad, the Gamecocks allowed five different Bulldogs to pull down at least 4 rebounds, including 6 for Quanirah Montague in just 14 minutes of action. They also allowed 6 rebounds to the two smallest players on the court, Jerkaila Jordan and Lauren Park-Lane.

USC had a case of the dropsies, as well. Many rebounds found their way to the Gamecocks, only to be dropped out of bounds or fumbled to the opponent. This happened a lot on the defensive end, helping MSU reach their 22 offensive rebound total for the game.

South Carolina Basketball vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs
Thumbs Down 3: Defensive Lapses on the Perimeter

Dawn Staley wasn't happy with her team's defensive effort on Sunday, either. The Gamecocks lost track of the Bulldog guards a lot, allowing Jerkaila Jordan and Lauren Park-Lane to combine for 39 points. They shot 50% for the game but missed a lot of open looks, so the defensive stats weren't quite as bad as the could have been.

Mississippi State got off 19 outside shots in the game, as well, most of them wide-open. Fortunately for Carolina, the Bulldogs missed 16 of them, but a few more makes could have made for a much different game. MSU scored 66 points in the game despite shooting just 36% from the field and 56% from the free throw line. The Gamecock guards got beat on the offensive glass repeatedly, surrendering 6 offensive rebounds to the Bulldog's three shortest players.

Next. South Carolina Basketball: Gamecock commit scored 50 points while playing with a broken finger. South Carolina Basketball: Gamecock commit scored 50 points while playing with a broken finger. dark