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Jan. 17, 2015

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Team 1st 2nd Total
South Carolina (10-6, 1-3 SEC) 29 39 68
Auburn (10-7, 2-2 SEC) 39 32 71
Post-Game Press Conference

AUBURN, ALA. – The Gamecock’s offense would return in a big way Saturday night at Auburn, but the Tigers would hold off a late rally to win 71-68. Despite hitting 58 percent of its shots in the second half, Carolina (10-6, 1-3 SEC) would be trumped at the foul line, with the home side converting on 18 more than their counterparts.

Carolina enjoyed the early lead from the tip, maintaining that advantage for the first 11 minutes of the game. The Tigers (10-7, 2-2) would pull even with eight minutes to go, tying the game at 19 and outscored the Gamecocks 20-10 in the home stretch to take a 39-29 lead into halftime. The major factor would be turnovers, as Auburn turned 10 South Carolina turnovers into 15 points in the first half alone.

A clean start to the second half would help Carolina open on a 7-0 run in the first three minutes of play, capitalized by a dunk from Laimonas Chatkevicius to force a timeout. The Gamecocks would finally claw its way back to even with 12 minutes to play after a jumper from Chatkevicius knotted it up at 45.

Trailing 53-49 with eight minutes left, the Gamecocks would make their best effort to earn the road victory. The home team would go scoreless over a three-minute stretch, allowing the Garnet and Black to key a 9-0 run and a 58-53 lead. The scoring drought would be broken in a big way, though, as KT Harrell’s four-point play would ignite the crowd and his teammates. Auburn would respond with a 10-0 rally that included six points from Harrell and four from Cinmeon Bowers.

It would be a layup from Bowers at the 3:42 mark that would serve as Auburn’s final field goal made, but it was able to earn enough trips to the charity stripe to keep Carolina’s final comeback attempt well enough at bay. The Tigers made 10-of-12 free throws during its slump from the field, with the only two misses coming in a five-point game and 21 seconds to play.

For as good as its counterparts were in foul shooting, South Carolina would have an off night, making just 8-of-15 overall. Five of those caroms would come in the final four minutes of the game.

After the run to reclaim the lead, Auburn was able to maintain a two-possession lead for the final three minutes of regulation. The closest Carolina would come would be three points after Tyrone Johnson hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

The Gamecocks would hit 14-of-24 shots from the floor in the final 20 minutes, and was able to snap a recent cold stretch from 3, making 8-of-18. Auburn would make just six field goals in the second half and shot 36 percent from the floor in the game.


After the Gamecocks roared back ahead with a 9-0 run to go up 58-53 with 4:43 to play, Auburn countered with a 10-0 run in just under two minutes to reclaim the lead for good. KT Harrell’s four-point play would spark the run and Auburn would get two “and-1” opportunities in the span of three possessions.

KEY STAT Auburn held more than a three-to-one advantage in free throws made, converting on 26-of-33 while Carolina made just 8-of-15. The Tigers would make more free throws in just the final 20 minutes than the Gamecocks would attempt for the entire game.


  • The Gamecocks made exactly 50 percent of their field goal attempts, the fourth time this season hitting half or more in a game. It is the first time since Jan. 29 of last season (vs. Texas A&M) that the team made 50 percent or better in a conference game.
  • Laimonas Chatkevicius recorded his second double-double of the season, pulling down 10 rebounds to go with 15 points.
  • Duane Notice led the team in scoring with 16 points. It marks the sixth time this season he has scored 15 points or more and snaps a three-game stretch of scoring under 10 points. He has led the team in scoring six times.
  • The eight free throws made tie a season low, set previously vs. Charlotte. The 53 percent from the charity stripe is the worst in a game since March 8, 2014 (50 percent, vs. Mississippi State).

QUOTABLE South Carolina Head Coach Frank Martin

Opening Statement
“I give a lot of credit to Auburn, Bruce Pearl and the atmosphere. They’re good at home. We turned it over way too much in the first half. Then we didn’t play strong enough in the first half. At today’s shoot around, I was unhappy offensively. When we also can’t make free throws down the stretch, it’s going to be hard to win.”


The Gamecocks return home for another late-night affair, hosting Tennessee on Tuesday at 9 p.m. The team is looking for its first win against the Volunteers since Feb. 17, 2007, a span of 14 games.