South Carolina Basketball: Gamecocks survive ugly game against CSU to move to 9-1

Lamont Paris' South Carolina basketball team won an ugly game against in-state Charleston Southern to move to 9-1 on the season.

South Carolina basketball coach Lamont Paris
South Carolina basketball coach Lamont Paris / Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports
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South Carolina Basketball vs. Charleston Southern
Thumbs Up 1: Bench Productivity

While bench production isn't usually the top point of conversation after a game, but the Gamecocks' bench got the job done on Saturday. In a game that was ugly, Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk thrived. In 13 minutes, he scored 6 points (on 3-4 shooting) and grabbed 4 rebounds. Collin Murray-Boyles scored 7 points in just 9 minutes, and Morris Ugusuk had an excellent facilitation day with 5 assists off the bench. Zach Davis and Jacobi Wright each shot 50% and grabbed 3 boards. Josh Gray, in just 2 minutes, pulled down 2 rebounds. Every bench player who saw the court ended the game with a positive +/-. The bench was good, and the Gamecocks needed them to be to beat CSU.

South Carolina Basketball vs. Charleston Southern
Thumbs Up 2: Free Throw Efficiency

The Gamecocks didn't shoot their first free throw until the 2nd half, so they didn't do a good enough job of getting to the line. However, Carolina shot 9-11 from the charity stripe on Saturday, including some clutch makes from Meechie Johnson late. In close games, free throw shooting often is a deciding factor, and South Carolina basketball did just enough there to avoid the disastrous loss.

South Carolina Basketball vs. Charleston Southern
Thumbs Up 3: Fouls and Turnovers

The Gamecocks have been really good this year at limiting turnovers. That starts with point guard Ta'Lon Cooper. #55 has 10 turnovers in 10 games, including just one against Charletson Southern. High-usage player Meechie Johnson had no turnovers, and backup point guard Morris Ugusuk had a 5-assist, 0-turnover performance across 24 huge minutes off the bench. USC had just 6 turnovers for the game.
South Carolina also did a good job limiting their fouls. Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk was the only player to have 2 fouls as Carolina had just 7 for the entire game.