South Carolina basketball got smacked by Alabama at the beginning of this past week, but they finished the week on a winning note. In a road trip to the "other Columbia," the Gamecocks beat the Missouri Tigers in overtime to move to 14-2 on the season and 2-1 in SEC play.
Utilizing a brand new starting lineup (Collin Murray-Boyles was inserted for Stephen Clark), Carolina got out to a quick lead against the Tigers, but Missouri bounced back. A run from the Gamecocks cut Mizzou's lead to just 1 at halftime (the same margin as the Alabama game). Missouri held a small lead for most of the 2nd half before Ta'Lon Cooper tied the game in the closing seconds with a 3-pointer.
Lamont Paris' team controled the overtime period, but after a clutch jumper from Jacobi Wright, Mizzou still had an opportunity to tie the game or take the lead in the final seconds. A nice defensive possession from Cooper sealed the deal, and the Gamecocks escaped CoMo with a huge win in SEC play.
It was not a banner day for Meechie Johnson, and Coach Paris actually sat Johnson for the final few minutes of regulation and most of overtime because it just wasn't his day. However, the previously struggling BJ Mack had a really nice game on offense, scoring 21 points on 7-13 shooting from the field and 6-6 from the free throw line.
Solid performances from Ta'Lon Cooper and Jacobi Wright plus nice moments from Collin Murray-Boyles and Myles Stute helped the Gamecocks do just enough to win.
It was the type of game that last year's South Carolina basketball squad (and likely several of the years before that) would have found a way to lose, but this year's USC team is good. The 'Cocks did enough to win 71-69.