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Feb. 22, 2014

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COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina men’s basketball team dropped a 73-56 decision to Georgia in an SEC matchup on Saturday afternoon at Colonial Life Arena.

The Gamecocks (10-17, 3-11 SEC) and Bulldogs went to halftime interlocked at 34-34, but a cold-shooting second half by South Carolina allowed Georgia (15-11, 9-5) to pull away for the win. The Gamecocks were 5-of-31 from the floor in the final 20 minutes.

For the game, South Carolina shot 26.3 percent from the field (15-of-57), with seven of its made baskets coming from behind the arc. Freshman Sindarius Thornwell tallied 18 points, dished out five assists and grabbed four rebounds to lead the Gamecocks, while senior Brenton Williams reached double figures for the 17th time in his last 19 games with 16 points, including four 3-pointers. Sophomore forward Michael Carrera pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds and chipped in three points.

Georgia shot at a 44.2 percent clip for the game, including 50 percent from deep (8-of-16). The Bulldogs also held the edge in rebounds (40-38) and points in the paint (24-12). Sophomore guard Kenny Gaines fired in a game-high 27 points on 9-of-14 shooting to lead the Bulldogs, while junior forward Marcus Thornton contributed a double-double with 12 points and 10 boards. Sophomore forward Brandon Morris also had 12 points on the afternoon.

Williams paced the Gamecocks early on, making all three of his 3-point attempts in the first eight minutes. His three from the corner at the 12:23 mark gave South Carolina a 13-6 lead, capping a 10-0 Gamecock run.

Georgia scrapped its way back to take a 22-19 lead with a 16-6 run during the next four minutes. Gaines was instrumental in pushing the Bulldogs in front with nine points during the run, including a pair of 3-pointers.

The Bulldogs held a 34-31 lead with less than a minute left in the half, but Gamecock forward Brian Steele drained a three from the top of the key with 25 seconds remaining to tie the game heading into the locker room.

Thornwell scored 11 points in the half to lead Carolina, while Williams added nine. Carerra pulled down eight rebounds, including six on the offensive end. Gaines carried Georgia with 15 points, and Morris chipped in nine.

The Gamecocks were unable to get their offense going in the second half as they missed their first 14 shots from the field, allowing Georgia to open on a 16-1 run to build a 50-35 lead. Thornwell sank a floater in the lane at the 10:52 mark to make it a 50-37 ballgame, but that was as close as South Carolina was able pull the rest of the way.

South Carolina will return to action on Wednesday at Auburn. Tipoff is set for 9 p.m., and the game will be televised on FSN.