South Carolina Basketball: Gamecocks bounce back with road win over Ole Miss

South Carolina basketball traveled to Oxford, Mississippi and bounced back with a win over the Ole Miss Rebels.

South Carolina basketball wing Zach Davis had a career day for the Gamecocks against Ole Miss.
South Carolina basketball wing Zach Davis had a career day for the Gamecocks against Ole Miss. / Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
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South Carolina basketball was ranked 11th in the AP poll heading into last week, but they dropped 9 spots after a disastrous week that included a blowout loss at Auburn and a home loss to LSU (after leading by 16 in the 2nd half. On Saturday, they traveled to Oxford, Mississippi with hopes of bouncing back with a winning effort against another NCAA Tournament hopeful.

Myles Stute did not travel with the team after a knee injury that he suffered in practice this week, and the Gamecocks arrived in Oxford a little short-handed.

The game started with some poor rebounding as Lamont Paris' team got beat for three early offensive rebounds. A nice effort from Zach Davis resulted in 4 points, keeping the score tied before Collin Murray-Boyles post-up put USC ahead, and Davis hit 2 free throws to move the scoring run to 8-0 heading into the under-16 timeout.

A terrible missed foul call on a Josh Gray dunk attempt gave new life to Ole Miss and caught the ire of the Gamecock coaches and players, but a Meechie Johnson 3-pointer moved the Carolina lead to 11-6.

The Rebels went over 7 minutes without a field goal make until an Allen Flanigan fastbreak layup made the score 13-8. During the run, Collin Murray-Boyles picked up his 3rd foul and had to come out of the game with over 11 minutes left in the opening half.

The foul situation got worse as Ole Miss entered the bonus and both Jacobi Wright and Zach Davis earned their 2nd fouls before the halfway point of the 1st half.

After some free throws from the Rebels, the two teams traded buckets and bricks, but two of the Gamecocks' came from outside as BJ Mack and Ta'Lon Cooper tickled the twine for 3 points each. Heading into another timeout, the score stood 23-19 in favor of South Carolina basketball.

2 Meechie Johnson free throws put USC up by 6, and then Stephen Clark grabbed defensive rebounds on back-to-back possessions before a nice big-to-big assist to Josh Gray on the next offensive trip down the court.

After a bad scoring drought earlier in the half, Chris Beard's team went over 6 minutes without a single point, allowing the Gamecocks to extend their lead to 33-19. One Moussa Cisse free throw ended the drought, but Morris Ugusuk canned a perimeter jumper to bring the run to 13-1 down the stretch of the 1st half.

Allen Flanigan made a tough fadeaway in the closing seconds, so heading into halftime, South Carolina basketball led 36-22.

Ole Miss scored first in the 2nd, but Zach Davis' strong game continued as he answered with a putback layup. Davis then was called for a foul when he didn't touch Allen Flanigan, his third of the game. Matthew Murrell then made a tough shot to cut the lead to 11 points.

Flanigan was called for a flagrant-2 (and was ejected) when he threw an elbow at Zach Davis' head away from the ball. Essentially, he threw a punch with his elbow, and his day was done. Davis hit one of two of the ensuing free throws to move the score to 43-29.

Matthew Murrell, the only consistent scoring option left for Ole Miss after Flanigan's ejection, picked up his 3rd foul at the 16:20 mark but stayed in the game.

Ole Miss went over 4 minutes without any points from the floor, and by the time Moussa Cisse scored on an offensive rebound, Carolina led 48-34. A rim-rattling dunk from Collin Murray-Boyles pushed the lead to 16 points before Ole Miss picked up a few buckets.

Meechie Johnson drew a 4th foul on Murrell, sending him to the bench, and in the first minute he was out, Carolina's lead ballooned to 15 points.

The Gamecocks were able to coast their way to the finish line. Along the way, Collin Murray-Boyles threw down a dunk that would have brought down the house if they were playing in Colonial Life Arena, and Zach Davis set career highs with 14 points and 9 rebounds. The biggest lead was 17, but the final score favored the Gamecocks by a score of 72-59.

Final. 72. 533. South Carolina Basketball vs. Ole Miss Rebels. 59. 532