Jan. 28, 2012
OXFORD, Miss. – The South Carolina men’s basketball team suffered a 66-62 loss at Ole Miss on Saturday in SEC action. Senior forward Malik Cooke led the Gamecocks with 17 points, while sophomore guard Brenton Williams added 15.
South Carolina (9-11, 1-5 SEC) hit 40 percent (24-60) of its shot attempts in the contest, including eight made 3s in the game. Ole Miss (14-7, 4-3 SEC) hit 49 percent (24-49) from the field, but struggled from the free throw line, hitting just 13-of-24 attempts (54.2%).
South Carolina forced 18 Rebel turnovers, collecting 12 steals and posting 19 points off of takeaways. To compare, Ole Miss scored 16 points off of 13 Gamecock turnovers in the contest. Ole Miss held a 38-28 upperhand in rebounds as well.
Senior forward Terrance Henry led the Rebels with 15 points, including a 6-of-6 effort from the free throw line, while junior forward Murphy Holloway collected a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds, while also collecting a team high three steals.
After trading baskets to start the contest, Ole Miss took an 18-9 lead on a layup by Demarco Cox with 10:19 remaining in the first half. The Rebels extended their lead to as many as 11 before the Gamecocks used a 15-7 run over the last 7:25 to pull within three at halftime. A 3 by Williams began the run, which included two layups by freshman forward Anthony Gill and a 3 from sophomore guard Bruce Ellington.
Both teams committed nine turnovers in the opening half, with the Gamecocks dishing eight assists, including three from freshman guard Damien Leonard, while Ole Miss collected eight steals with the Gamecocks earning five.
South Carolina took its first lead since early in the contest less than a minute into the second half on a layup by Cooke. The teams would trade possessions through the under-16 minute media timeout before the Rebels would extend a lead to six at 43-37 on a made jumper by Nick Williams with 15:17 remaining.
The Gamecocks would battle back to take a one-point lead using an 8-1 run over the course of the next two minutes on a 3 by Cooke and a layup and 3 by Williams, but solid free throw shooting down the stretch gave the Rebels a lead they wouldn’t give up the remainder of the game.
Neither team led by more than seven points in the second half. Two free throws by Williams put the Gamecocks behind by one point, 63-62, but a 3 by Henry with 17.5 seconds remaining sealed the game for the Rebels.
Cooke collected a team high seven rebounds for Carolina, while he and Williams both collected three steals. Gill tallied 10 points, two assists and two steals, and Ellington dished a season high five assists.
South Carolina continues SEC play when it travels to Florida for a 9 p.m. contest on Thursday, Feb. 2. The game will be televised on ESPN2.