South Carolina Basketball: 3 thumbs up, 3 thumbs down from road win against Texas A&M

South Carolina basketball held on for the last-second win over Texas A&M in College Station.

South Carolina basketball coach Lamont Paris with point guard Ta'Lon Cooper
South Carolina basketball coach Lamont Paris with point guard Ta'Lon Cooper / John Reed-USA TODAY Sports
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South Carolina Basketball vs. Texas A&M Aggies
Thumbs Down 1: Free Throw Shooting

On Wednesday, the Gamecocks were awful from the free throw line. They shot just 13 times from the stripe (not enough), and they made an abysmal 46% of those shots. That contrasts with Texas A&M as the Aggies shot 25 times from the foul line (too many) and made 22 of them. The 6-22 disparity in points from the free throw line almost cost Carolina a game they dominated otherwise.

South Carolina Basketball vs. Texas A&M Aggies
Thumbs Down 2: Fouls and Early Turnovers

South Carolina is a physical team, and sometimes fouls can pile up for the Gamecocks. The 1st half of the A&M game was a prime example of this as the Gamecocks had 10 fouls, including 2 infractions each from Collin Murray-Boyles, BJ Mack, Ta'Lon Cooper, and Zach Davis. Those fouls allowed the Aggies to shoot 14 free throws in the opening 20 minutes, keeping the home team in the game despite Carolina's huge advantage in shooting efficiency.

Carolina finished the game with 21 fouls, allowing Texas A&M to shoot 25 foul shots. Collin Murray-Boyles fouled out, and most of the starters were in foul trouble at some point in the game. The officials weren't good on Wednesday, but the Gamecocks also didn't keep their hands to themselves, either.

The Gamecocks had 8 1st half turnovers, including 3 shot clock violations. Thankfully for Coach Paris' team, they had just 1 giveaway in the 2nd half.

South Carolina Basketball vs. Texas A&M Aggies
Thumbs Down 3: No Show from BJ Mack and Josh Gray

As good as Carolina's 1-3 were, the Gamecocks did not get much from two of their top-3 bigs. Josh Gray and BJ Mack combined to play 40 minutes, and they scored 6 points and brought down just 2 rebounds. They also committed 6 fouls.

That isn't good enough for two players who are capable of so much more. Gray did manage to block 2 shots, and Mack drew a few fouls on the Aggies, but they did not play well against Texas A&M. If the Gamecocks hope to win again before this regular season ends (Florida, Tennessee, @ Mississippi State), they will have to get more from Mack and Gray.

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