MBB: Gamecocks fall to Friars
SOUTH CAROLINA MEN'S BASKETBALL
Providence ran past South Carolina 76-67, as the Gamecocks fell to 2-2 on the season.
Providence took the lead for good with a 6-0 run midway through the second half. The six points came all on dunks, as Providence simply beat the South Carolina defense to the rim. South Carolina called a timeout to stop the momentum, but the pro-Providence crowd was energized and the shooters now had confidence. the run ballooned, ultimately becoming a 17-5 spurt.
Related: USC-Providence Box Score
Providence made six of eight baskets during the decisive run. Up to that point it had made just thirteen baskets all game, shooting 29 percent from the floor. Providence shot 52 percent from the floor in the second half and scored 49 points.
The Gamecocks seemed to take control with a big run to end the second half. They switched to a zone defense that kept the Friar out of the paint. The Friars went nearly seven minutes without a field goal, and the Gamecocks went on a 19-4 run. Hassani Gravett made a couple of long threes to get the run stated, and then freshman T.J. Moss scored seven points during the span.
But the hot shooting by Gravett and Moss and zone defense masked a larger issue: South Carolina was getting almost nothing from the post. Chris Silva quickly picked up two fouls at the beginning of each half, and was a total non-factor. Silva finished with ####.
Maik Kotsar scored four points in the first four minutes of the game, and nothing the rest of the way. Silva, Kotsar, Felipe Haase, and Jason Cudd, the four post players, combined for just 15 total points and no assists. The Gamecocks held their own on the glass, being outrebounded just 39-38, but got just nine rebounds from the bigs.
The lack of an interior presence was reflected at the free throw line. Providence made 28 free throws on 34 attempts, making twice as many free throws as South Carolina even attempted (11-14).
Gravett led the Gamecocks with 14 points and seven rebounds. Moss added 12 points, and Justin Minaya and A.J. Lawson each scored 10. Lawson had a rough game shooting just 4-12 and committeg four turnovers to go with four rebounds and three assists. Keyshawn Bryant, the other explosive freshman, had a game to forget. Bryant scored two points and did not make a field goal, at one point missing three straight layups.
Davis Duke led Providence with 20 points, and Alpha Diallo added 17.
South Carolina will play Sunday at 4:30 against George Washington in the consolation game.
STAYED TUNED TO GAMECOCK CENTRAL FOR CONTINUING COVERAGE.