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March 14, 2015

Final Stats | USATSI Photo Gallery media-icon-photogallery.gif

Team 1st 2nd Total
South Carolina (17-16, 6-12 SEC) 26 36 62
Georgia (21-10, 11-7 SEC) 33 41 74
Tyrone Johnson, Duane Notice and Coach Martin

NASHVILLE, TENN. – Despite another gutsy effort, a shorthanded Carolina men’s basketball team fell in the quarterfinal round of the SEC tournament Friday night, losing to Georgia 74-62. In a final score that belied the drama of the night, the third-seeded Bulldogs outscored the Gamecocks by 12 over the final five minutes of regulation to squash the upset attempt. Duane Notice led all scorers with 20, including 16 in the second half.

The team now sits at 17-16, while Georgia improves to 21-10 overall.

Playing in its first game of the tournament, the Bulldogs showed fresh legs early on in the game, and took the early lead. Carolina tied the score at 14 with 12:16 still to play, but were outscored 15-5 in the ensuing six minutes of action. Georgia held an advantage in every major statistic in the first half, hitting 50 percent of its shots to go with a sizable rebounding margin.

Marcus Thornton would lead all scorers with 10 points in the half. Carolina saw all eight rotation player score at least two points, but struggled from the field and made just 9-of-26 shots in the first 20 minutes (34.6 percent). Michael Carrera pitched in four points and four rebounds, and was one of four different players to reach the scoring mark for the Garnet and Black.

The second half started on a much different note. A jumper from Marcus Thornton gave Georgia as 12-point lead, its biggest of the game, but a lengthy cold streak and a healthy dose of Notice would get the Gamecocks back into contention.

The sophomore guard was on fire in the opening six minutes, hitting three straight 3-pointers and a pair of field goals. After going down by 12, Carolina went on an 18-7 run in just six minutes and took its first lead of the night on a jumper by Laimonas Chatkevicius with 11:40 still to go.

Georgia was able to keep up with the blistering half from Notice, but not from the field. It made nine free throws in just over nine minutes to start the half, helping to overcome a nine-minute stretch without a field goal before a 3 by Nemanja Djurisic put the Dawgs ahead 50-47.

The combination of tired legs and growing foul trouble would slow the comeback attempt, as Carrera joined Sindarius Thornwell with four fouls with seven minutes to go. The two were forced to risk it on the court, and Thornwell was able to keep the Bulldogs from pulling away again thanks to a pair of free throws and a three-point play two possessions later to tie the game back up at 57 with five minutes to go.

Carolina was never able to retake the lead, and after a Notice layup to make it a 63-60 deficit with 2:25 to play, the Gamecocks finished 0-of-6 from the field and 2-of-4 from the free throw line for the rest of the game. Georgia finished with a 7-0 run in the last 41 seconds of regulation to pull away for the win.


After a traditional three-point play from Sindarius Thornwell with 5:22 left to play in regulation, the Gamecocks would finish just 1-of-9 from the field and 3-of-6 from the free throw line to allow the Bulldogs to close on a 17-5 run after Thornwell’s basket.

KEY STAT Georgia made 23 free throws for the night, including 16-of-19 in the final 20 minutes alone. Not only did it force the Gamecocks into foul trouble, but it alleviated early offensive issues coming out of the halftime break to keep the Bulldogs in the lead.


  • Tonight was the third 20-point game of the season for Duane Notice. He finished with the best scoring output against any SEC opponent, and his total was the most since scoring 20 against Oklahoma State on Dec. 6.
  • The two teams committed just 16 turnovers combined on the night, nine from the Gamecocks. It is the sixth game with less than 10 turnovers committed by Carolina, with three coming against Georgia.

QUOTABLE South Carolina Head Coach Frank Martin

Opening Statement
Yeah, credit Georgia. They attacked us on the inside and were real physical. They made things real hard for us. Defensively I thought they were phenomenal. They’re one of the better defensive teams in the country for a reason. But real proud of our guys. Real proud of our guys. Our guys grew up a lot this year. And they grew up a lot this week. Our fight was great and it was just crazy. It comes down to Neme making that three at the shot-clock buzzer sideways, and J.J. Frazier making another crazy three at the shot-clock buzzer to basically create the separation of the game.