Dec. 6, 2014
|SCORE BY PERIODS|
|Sindarius Thornwell and Duane Notice|
COLUMBIA, S.C. – A balanced scoring effort and a suffocating defense helped guide the Gamecocks (5-3) to a 75-49 win over Oklahoma State (7-1) Saturday afternoon in their matchup in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge. The Carolina guard play dictated the game, as the five-man rotation combined to score 56 points. Duane Notice led all scorers with 20 points, his second straight 20-point effort.
South Carolina held a 9-5 advantage at the first media timeout of the contest with 14:26 remaining in the half. Tyrone Johnson scored on a fast-break lay-in off Laimonas Chatkevicius’ third block of the half out of the break, but the Cowboys scored two at the free throw line after a called foul on the Gamecocks.
Hard work, and high energy on both ends of the floor by the Gamecocks and a lay-up and two at the foul line from Sindarius Thornwell saw Carolina’s lead extend to 17-10 with just under nine minutes to play in the half. The Gamecock defense held Oklahoma State to just 16 percent through its first 18 attempts, connecting on just three.
OSU’s Phil Forte attempted a 3 from the corner out of the under-eight minute media timeout that Mindaugas Kacinas blocked, but the Cowboys connected on back-to-back 3s from Jeff Newberry and Forte, and Michael Cobbins scored under the basket on a missed Carolina attempt, which gave OSU its first lead at 18-17 with 5:54 to play in the half, forcing a Carolina timeout. It would ultimately be its only lead of the day and lasted just 12 seconds.
South Carolina regained its lead out of the break, scoring five unanswered on a jumper from Notice and a 3 from Justin McKie. McKie added two more on a spin move in the lane, and Tyrone Johnson connected on a three-point play leading the Gamecocks into the locker room with a 32-24 upperhand.
South Carolina’s defense held Oklahoma State to 26 percent from the floor in the opening half, as the Cowboys connected on just 8-of-31 attempts. Thornwell paced Carolina in the opening stanza with nine points and eight rebounds. The defense would only intensify over the final 20 minutes for Carolina, and Oklahoma State would see its percentage from the floor drop even lower with an 8-of-34 success rate in the second half.
A steal and lay-in from OSU’s Anthony Hickey brought the Cowboys to within five at 37-32 at the 17-minute mark, but Carolina responded with a dunk from Demetrius Henry and a contested jumper from Notice on the baseline, extending the lead back to nine at the under-16 minute media timeout.
Two free throws from Thornwell pushed the Gamecock lead back to 10 at 44-34, with 14 minutes to play. A miss from Hickey would give Carolina a three-point play, as Johnson hit the fast break lay-up and was fouled by Forte. Johnson hit from the free throw line, and the Gamecocks would capitalize on another missed 3 from the Cowboys, as Kacinas hit a 3, pushing the Carolina lead to 50-34 and forcing a timeout.
Carolina continued to play solid on both ends of the court. Johnson connected on another three-point play and Notice hit his third 3 of the contest to give Carolina a 22-point advantage at 60-38 with 9:54 to play. Carolina free throws and Notice’s 20th point of the contest continued the Gamecock lead, which stood at 68-44 with 5:03 to play.
The lead would peak at 30 points, 73-43 at the 4:03 mark, after Kacinas made his second 3-pointer of the afternoon. The junior post would score seven points with seven rebounds in the final half alone, racking up 12 rebounds overall for a season high.
Leading by eight with 14:34 to play in the second half, South Carolina went on a 12-0 run to push its lead to 18 with 13:17 to play. Four different players contributed to the run.
KEY STAT The Cowboys made just 16 field goals in the game for a 24.6 percent success rate. It marks the third game this season that a Carolina opponent failed to make 20 field goals and first time a team was held to under 25 percent from the floor.
- Junior forward Michael Carrera missed his third-straight contest. He is still experiencing concussion-related symptoms.
- Carolina held Oklahoma State’s top three scorers to just 22 points on 7-of-39 shooting from the field. The trio of Le’Bryan Nash, Phil Forte and Anthony Hickey entered the game averaging 46 points per game combined.
- Senior guard Tyrone Johnson connected on a trio of three-point plays – a made shot and make at the foul line after a Cowboy foul. Two came within two minutes of each other in the second half, helping to put a bow on a 12-0 run.
- Junior forward Mindaguas Kacinas posted his third double-figure rebounding performance of the season, a season-high 12. He also hit a career-high two 3s in the win.
- The win vs. the Cowboys is Carolina’s first over a Big 12 opponent since an 85-84 win vs. Baylor on Jan. 2, 2009. Frank Martin’s record improves to 5-4 all-time vs. Oklahoma State.
- Duane Noticed scored 20 points for the second-straight game, marking his third-career 20-point performance.
- Marcus Stroman corralled a career-high eight rebounds and was one of six players with four or more rebounds in the game. The Gamecocks’ 49 rebounds overall were a new season-high.
QUOTABLE South Carolina Head Coach Frank Martin
On importance of early defense
We have been defending well. Even the games we have lost, our defense has not been the problem. I’ve been real happy with our defense. What we haven’t done is we haven’t come up with those, you have a great possession defensively and that ball kind of just falls out there or comes off the rim and it’s a competitive ball, and we haven’t been coming up with those. I thought our guards were phenomenal in coming up with those basketballs and coming up with defensive rebounds and then taking off and just attacking in the open court. I thought our guards were real good. Our bigs didn’t play their cleanest game…the one thing they did do and continue to do is they’re protecting the rim for us defensively. We’ve got to make sure we maintain our focus with what we’re doing defensively and just continue to grow offensively.
South Carolina will not have a game until Dec. 19, as the squad will take the annual break from competition for final exams. The Gamecocks will host Upstate rival Clemson on the 19th, with that game set to tip at 7 p.m. ET on the SEC Network. The meeting vs. the Tigers will be the 165th all-time, with the Gamecocks entering that matchup with an 88-76 lead in the all-time series. Clemson has won the last two contests.
TWEETS OF THE GAME