Jan. 3, 2015
|SCORE BY PERIODS|
|#9 Iowa State||35||25||60|
|Post-Game Press Conference|
BROOKLYN, N.Y. – On its biggest stage of the season so far, it was an old standby that would help South Carolina notch a signature win Saturday night, beating No. 9 Iowa State 64-60 at the Barclays Center in New York City. The Gamecocks (9-3) used a stingy defense to limit the Cyclones (10-2) to their lowest-scoring game since Jan. 23, 2013 while clinching its first win over a top-ten opponent since the 2009-10 season.
The Gamecocks came out firing from the opening tip, streaking out to a 15-4 lead through the first five minutes of the game. That burst was led by Tyrone Johnson, who scored nine of those 15 points for the hot start, making three straight field goals and adding in a pair of free throws.
The Cyclones answered with a run to cut the deficit to 20-17, but another 12-3 run would give Carolina the game’s biggest lead at 32-20. Foul troubles would weaken the frontcourt attack for the Gamecocks, and Iowa State would take advantage with a strong transition offense that cut into the lead and would enter the halftime break down just one point, 36-35.
Coming out of the break the lead would never go higher than six points as every basket would come at a premium. The Gamecocks would score the first two baskets of the half, but Iowa State would remain in striking distance and would finally take its first lead of the game with a 9-2 run that turned a 45-39 deficit into a 48-47 lead.
The lead was traded back and forth on the ensuing possessions before the Gamecocks found themselves down 51-49 with 6:30 to play in the game. Playing shorthanded with foul troubles, Carolina would flip the momentum with a quick 7-0 run over the next two minutes for the 56-51 lead.
After Mindaugas Kacinas and Laimonas Chatkevicius each picked up their fifth fouls to leave the game with a 58-56 lead and two minutes to play, Sindarius Thornwell would provide a trio of clutch plays that would seal the win. The first was an old-fashioned 3-point play with 1:51 to go gave Carolina a five-point lead 61-56.
He followed with another layup as the shot clock was winding down for a 63-57 lead and just a minute to play. After Iowa State got within one possession and had the ball looking for the tie, Thornwell made the steal and hit a free throw to seal the win thanks to the four-point advantage.
South Carolina’s three starting guards – Johnson, Thornwell and Duane Notice combined to score 41 of the team’s 64 total points. Johnson (Plainfield, N.J.) and Notice (Woodbridge, Ontario) were playing in front of a large group of family and friends, as was Brooklyn native Shamiek Sheppard, who played in his second game back from injury.
After Iowa State took a 51-49 lead with 6:30 left to play, four different Gamecocks would score as part of a 7-0 run over the next two minutes to give the team a two-possession lead.
KEY STAT The one 3-pointer made was the fewest allowed by South Carolina all season, surpassing the previous low of four allowed to Akron and Clemson. The Cyclones shot just 5.6 percent from deep in the game (1-of-18), despite entering the game with an average of almost nine 3s made per game.
- Tonight was the first neutral-site win over a ranked opponent since defeating No. 14 Tennessee in the SEC Tournament on March 10, 2006.
- The win is the team’s seventh straight, the most since winning eight in 2003-04.
- Duane Notice scored in double figures for the eight consecutive games and has led the team in scoring five times so far this season. Of his 145 points scored so far in 2014-15, 113 have come in the last six games.
- South Carolina has won six straight games by double figures for the first time since the 1944-45 season.
- In a meeting of top-ten offense versus top-ten defense, it would be South Carolina that would win out all game long. Iowa State was shooting over 50 percent from the field for the season, but the Gamecocks’ nationally ranked field goal percentage defense would dictate the pace, holding the Cyclones to just 36 percent overall.
QUOTABLE South Carolina Head Coach Frank Martin
I’m extremely excited for (my team). I see the work they put in every single day and everything that they do and the belief they continue to build in each other. It’s a whole lot of fun to be around. Real good win for us. Like I said in the locker room, these are the moments as a coach you have to be careful. It’s a heck of a win for our program and our players, and you want them to embrace it. At the same time, we have Florida on Wednesday. We can’t get overjoyed in January because we have 18 conference games left, one right after the other. We came out of the gate and we guarded. We guarded until the final buzzer. That’s what we try to hang our hat on, our defense.
The conference season begins at home on Wednesday, Jan. 7 when the Gamecocks play host to Florida. The game will tip at 7 p.m. with Carolina looking to open the SEC slate with a win since the 2010-11 season.
TWEETS OF THE GAME
how about that #GAMECOCKS @GamecockMBB WIN at @barclayscenter we had an amazing time & @FrankMartin_SC is the man pic.twitter.com/WVjR8dVly8
— Valerie (@valliesamps828) January 4, 2015
South Carolina holds off Iowa State — impressive performance for the Gamecocks. Led for about 38 of the 40 minutes. Fearless team.
— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) January 4, 2015