South Carolina Basketball: Gamecocks fall to Tennessee despite late-game comeback

South Carolina basketball couldn't quite come back to beat the Tennessee Volunteers, falling 66-59 to move to 24-6 on the season.

South Carolina forward BJ Mack trying to defend Tennessee's Jonas Aidoo
South Carolina forward BJ Mack trying to defend Tennessee's Jonas Aidoo / Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
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South Carolina Basketball vs. Tennessee Volunteers
Stats, Scoring, and Observations

South Carolina basketball couldn't sweep the Tennessee Volunteers as they fell at home 66-59 despite a furious late-game comeback.

Here are the stats from the game:

STATS

Tennessee

Points

Leader: Dalton Knecht with 26

Rebounds

Leader: Jonas Aidoo with 9

Assists

Leader: Zakai Zeigler with 7

Steals

Leader: Santiago Vescovi and Jonas Aidoo each with 2

Blocks

Leader: Josiah Jordan-James with 2

Team

The Volunteers shot 35.7%/35%/86.4% and had 8 turnovers

South Carolina

Points

Leader: Meechie Johnson with 18

Rebounds

Leader: Collin Murray-Boyles with 11

Assists

Leader: Meechie Johnson and Jacobi Wright each with 3

Steals

Leader: Collin Murray-Boyles with 2

Blocks

Leader: Collin Murray-Boyles with 3

Team

The Gamecocks shot 38.3%/27.6%/50% and had 10 turnovers

BOX SCORE

OBSERVATIONS

  • Starters: Ta’Lon Cooper-Meechie Johnson-Zach Davis-BJ Mack-Collin Murray-Boyles
  • Myles Stute returned from his knee injury and played a rotational role.
  • The Gamecocks were much too reliant on the 3-point shot early. In the first 8 minutes, they shot 9 outside jumpers. In the 1st half, Carolina took over half of their shots from outside, making just 4-17.
  • BJ Mack scored a few times but was not good on defense or on the glass. He had 5 points and 1 rebound in the 1st half and gave up several easy rebounds to Tennessee players by not boxing out.
  • Carolina was not playing their game on offense in the 1st half. Most possessions devolved into 1-on-1 play or deep 3-pointers. The usual ball movement and efficient shot selection weren't happening. They also shot 0 free throws in the 1st half and just 10 in the whole game.
  • The Gamecocks played pretty solid defense, especially when Zach Davis was in the game. However, after Meechie Johnson and Zach Davis sat for what felt like an eternity, the Gamecocks' defense was bad at the very end of the 1st half, surrendering 11 points in the final 3 minutes of 4-6 shooting, including 3-4 from 3-point land for Dalton Knecht. It was an 11-2 run for the Vols.
  • Myles Stute was assigned the Dalton Knecht job for long stretches of the 2nd half. He fouled Knecht a lot, but the referees were letting the contact go. The physicality seemed to throw him off, though, as he missed more relatively open shots against Stute than he did against good defense from Zach Davis. Davis, Meechie Johnson, Ta'Lon Cooper, and Collin Murray-Boyles split up the duties down the stretch.
  • USC got eaten alive on out-of-bounds plays all night.
  • Speaking of eaten alive...the pick and roll killed the Gamecock defense and seemed to be the default offense for Rick Barnes' team anytime BJ Mack was in the game.
  • A late-game comeback came on the backs of Meechie Johnson, Collin Murray-Boyles, and Ta'Lon Cooper. It was too little, too late, however, as the 15-point deficit was too much to overcome.

Next. South Carolina Basketball: Gamecock signee named All-American. South Carolina Basketball: Gamecock signee named All-American. dark