South Carolina suffered its first loss of the season, losing 67-64 to Seton Hall Monday night at Madison Square Garden in New York City. PJ Dozier led South Carolina with 20 points.
In the first half, it looked like the game would follow the same blueprint as South Carolina's wins over Michigan and Syracuse. South Carolina took control of the game with a stifling defense. It held Seton Hall without a field goal for more than seven minutes at one point, forced 13 turnovers, and held Seton Hall to 26 percent shooting.
But the cracks were already showing - namely a 24-15 rebounding edge for Seton Hall. That rebounding edge would only grow for Seton Hall in the second half, and Seton Hall was able to get the game played at its pace.
Seton Hall's leading scorer Khadeen Carrington began to find his stroke in the second half, and the rest of the Pirates followed suit. Seton Hall shot 43 percent in the second half, while South Carolina's offense struggled to find shots. By making baskets, Seton Hall was able to speed up South Carolina's offense. With Sindarius Thornwell still out due to a suspension and with Duane Notice having a terrible shooting night, there was no calming influence for South Carolina. Fatigue also became a factor, with Hassani Gravett and Chris Silva logging heavy minutes in Thornwell's absence.
After a Justin McKie three put South Carolina up 60-59, Seton Hall scored five straight points. Maik Kotsar, who struggled with foul trouble all game, nailed an elbow jumper to pull South Carolina within a basket. Then with a minute left Notice, who shot just 1-10 for the game, left the game-tying layup short. McKie got a steal near midcourt and was fouled. He made both free throws to tie the game with 34 seconds left.
Coming out of a timeout, the Gamecocks showed a 3-2 zone for the first time in the game. The Pirates were thrown off and called a timeout with 17 seconds left. Off the inbounds, Desi Rodriguez drove baseline, getting around the defense for the game-winning layup.
Dozier tried to win the game with a long three, but his shot over a double team with three seconds left was no good. After a Pirate free throw, Dozier got one last desperation heave at the buzzer. His full-court shot was on line and hit the rim, but bounced out.
Dozier finished with 20 points, five rebounds, and three assists in one of his most impressive games. He showed of a variety of confident moves on offense. Silva and Gravett both scored 11, with Silva chipping in a team-high nine rebounds and four blocks.
Carrington led Seton Hall with 21 points, and Ismael Sanogo and Angel Delgado each had 12 rebounds. Seton Hall crushed South Carolina on the boards 49-35.
McKie once again started in place of Sindarius Thornwell. ... Sedee Keita had five points in 18 minutes. ... South Carolina was just 5-16 from three, and 15-25 from the free throw line. Seton Hall shot 26-36 from the stripe.