Gamecocks Fall to No. 16/17 Auburn, 81-66
South Carolina Athletics/Jeff Sochko
Gregory "GG" Jackson II had a career-high 30 points ; first 30-point game for a Gamecock freshman since Bruce Ellington in 2010
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Johni Broome had a season-high 27 points and 11 rebounds as No. 16 Auburn took control late in the opening half to run past struggling South Carolina 81-66 on Saturday.
Broome’s performance helped the Tigers to their fifth straight win and offset a career-best 30 points from Gamecocks’ freshman Gregory “GG” Jackson II.
The 6-foot-10 Broome took full advantage of South Carolina’s undersized interior for the Tigers (16-3, 6-1 Southeastern Conference) .
He hit 12 of his 17 shots in 30 minutes for his sixth double-double this season and fifth against an SEC opponent.
Auburn got out in front early, but the Gamecocks (8-11, 1-5) were still in the game despite shooting less than 20% from the floor and not hitting a field goal for more than five minutes in the first half. That’s when the Tigers closed the half with a 12-3 run and eventually led by as many as 26 points in the final 20 minutes.
The Gamecocks finished a three-game homestand with three double-digit losses, all after a stunning win over Kentucky at Rupp Arena on Jan. 10. South Carolina has not led any SEC home game at any point this season.
Wendell Green Jr. had 16 points and Jaylin Williams had 12 for Auburn.
Meechie Johnson was South Carolina’s only other player in double figures with 11 points.
- Auburn forced 14 turnovers (eight steals), capitalizing on the other end with 22 points off them. A bulk of those points came in spurts when the Gamecocks were within striking distance.
- The Gamecocks went on an 18-3 run over a 6-minute stretch in the second half to cut the deficit to 10, 58-48 with 8:09 to play. The Tigers then went on a quick 6-0 run thanks to a pair of turnovers to push the lead back to a comfortable margin.
- Gregory “GG” Jackson II finished with a career high 30 points after an efficient 10-of-21 shooting day that included four 3s (ties career high). He is the first Gamecock to score 30 or more points since Jermaine Couisnard (33) against LSU at home on Feb. 19, 2022. Jackson also led the team with eight rebounds.
- He became the first freshman since Bruce Ellington (31 points on 12/22/10 at Furman) to score 30 points in a game. Jackson has now scored 20 or more points six times this season. The last Gamecock freshman to do that was AJ Lawson in 2018.
- Meechie Johnson finished with 11 points and led Carolina with five assists to just one turnover. It marks the ninth game this season he has led the Gamecocks in assists.
- The Gamecock defense held Auburn to just 17.6 percent shooting (3-for-17) from behind the arc.
The Gamecocks (8-11, 1-5 SEC) hit the road for a pair next week in league action with games Florida (10-8, 3-3 SEC) on Wednesday and at Georgia (13-6, 3-3 SEC) on Saturday. Tipoff in Gainesville for the mid-week matchup is set for 7 p.m. (ET) on ESPN2. Kevin Fitzgerald and Pat Bradley will be on the call for the broadcast.