South Carolina and Baylor battled down to the wire in Tuesday's matchup that was part of ESPN's Tip-Off Marathon.
It was a back and forth affair between the Gamecocks and the No. 25 ranked Bears but a failed last second shot attempt by the Gamecocks failed to tie the game and left South Carolina with its first loss of the season by a score of 66-64.
The first road trip for the Gamecocks ended with South Carolina's first loss of the season but there are definitely some positives to take away from Tuesday's game.
Here are Jump Shots from the South Carolina/Baylor game:
- 1. Sindarious Thornwell found a way to keep South Carolina in position to win with his 20 points to lead all scorers in Tuesday's game. The impressive thing about Thornwell is his ability to create and get to the free-throw line. Thornwell shot 10 free-throws and was able to hit seven of them for seven of his 20 points. He also added four rebounds and three steals on the day. He was only 6-of-13 from the field but he was definitely a focal point of the South Carolina offense on Tuesday.
- 2. Brenton Williams added a bit of a spark off the bench, which is his expected role this year. He scored 12 points, was 4-of-4 from the free-throw line and hit two three-pointers on the day. He was the Gamecocks only other double-digit scorer and will need to continue but a veteran leader off the bench for this young team all season long.
- 3. South Carolina was exceptional with the ball on Tuesday, only turning the ball over eight times but finished with 14 assists, including eight from Tyrone Johnson. On defense, the Gamecocks forced 15 turnovers and scored 19 points off of those turnovers. The area were the Gamecocks struggled in was second chance points as Baylor scored 16 points as opposed to the Gamecocks five points. The Gamecocks allowed Baylor to pick up 18 offensive rebounds and win the rebounding battle 46-35 overall.
The important thing to take away from the Baylor game was the fight and resolve the Gamecocks showed to stay in it. The largest lead from either team was five points. This kept either team from running away with the game and put South Carolina in position to fight for a win over a Top 25 ranked basketball team. They nearly came away with the victory and certainly showed enough to the coaching staff that they know how to win.
A game like this is certainly one that can be a teaching moment for this young basketball team. There were mistakes made and poor shooting in the second half, but the Gamecocks were in it to win it at the crucial point in the game. South Carolina will need to learn from this game and use these lessons the next time they are in a position like this to win.
If anything, this will be a confidence booster for the Gamecocks, who will travel to Clemson this Sunday for the big rivalry matchup