South Carolina Basketball: 3 thumbs up, 3 thumbs down from Missouri win

South Carolina basketball is now 17-3 (5-2) after winning at home against the Missouri Tigers.

South Carolina basketball forward BJ Mack shooting over Missouri's Jordan Butler
South Carolina basketball forward BJ Mack shooting over Missouri's Jordan Butler / Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
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South Carolina basketball is 17-3. The winning ways in Columbia continued on Saturday as Lamont Paris and the Gamecocks took down a Missouri squad that is winless in SEC play (with five losses by 8 points or fewer).

Perhaps most impressively about the win, the Gamecocks, as they have done many times this year, proved themselves to be good enough to win games even with a major contributor struggling. On Saturday, it was Meechie Johnson who couldn't get going (0 points on 0-9 shooting), but the Gamecocks overcame and won 72-64.

BJ Mack was the leading scorer as he put in 21 big points (the same total he scored against Missouri on the road), and three non-Johnson guards combined for 33 points as Ta'Lon Cooper (4-5), Jacobi Wright (3-5), and Morris Ugusuk (3-3) only missed three shots for the whole game. Cooper, Wright, Ugusuk, Mack, and Zach Davis all hit 2 3-pointers.

Freshman Collin Murray-Boyles continued to be a do-it-all freak for the Gamecocks, as well, logging 7 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 blocks, and 2 steals while being the best overall defender for Lamont Paris' group. Big Josh Gray also kept up his strong play in the SEC schedule with 5 points, 3 rebounds, and a block in just 13 minutes while also providing some needed physicality and length down low.

Carolina trailed for just 3 minutes during the game, but it was never out of reach. The offense wasn't brilliant, but they made their outside looks (over 50% from 3 if you remove Johnson's shots), and the defense played well outside of a quick Missouri 11-0 run to start the 2nd half.

The win helps secure the Gamecocks in the NCAA Tournament field. Barring a collapse down the stretch (@Tennessee, @Georgia, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, @Auburn, LSU, @Ole Miss, @Texas A&M, Florida, Tennessee, @Mississippi State), South Carolina basketball fans should be able to watch their team play meaningful basketball in March as five more SEC wins should put USC in the Big Dance.

64. 531. South Carolina Basketball vs. Missouri Tigers. 72. 533. Final

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