Context is important.
At first glance, you might see this result as somewhat explainable. South Carolina was 9-7 in SEC play heading into this game, the SEC is rumored to have 8+ teams headed to the dance, and we had nothing to play for. It makes sense, right?
Not exactly. The Gamecocks had a horrific spell in non-conference play, and their recent three-game losing streak saw them completely dropped from the NCAA Bracketology picture. What’s more - they were severely hampered by injury and had just lost another significant contributor in AJ Lawson.
And with all that being said, they crushed us in Reed Arena, our sixth home defeat by 15 or more points this season.
Can Someone Cool These Guys Off
The Gamecocks set a school record with sixteen made threes during their 84-77 victory over us in Columbia, so I figured they’d cool down a little? Right? Guys?
Nope. The Gamecocks went 8-10 from beyond the arc in the first half, continuing an other-worldly shooting streak against us. While I’d like to think some of it was bad luck, a decent number of these shots were wiiiiide ass open. We gotta shoulder some of that blame as.
Halftime Score: South Carolina 39, Texas A&M 34
A Lack Of Fight
It was the last night of the season at Reed Arena… and we did nothing to show that Texas A&M Basketball wanted a foothold in this game. South Carolina extended the lead to double digits around halfway through the period, and we seemed perfectly content with that development. We scored 20 points in our last half at Reed Arena, limping meekly to our sixth home defeat by 15+ this season.
Yes, I said it again for emphasis. And it’s not the last time you’ll see it, either.
Final Score: South Carolina 71, Texas A&M 54
- The Gamecocks had 20 assists on 25 made baskets, with only 8 turnovers. We had 9 assists on 19 made baskets, and we coughed up 13 turnovers. You know. Basketball stuff.
- Did I mention it was our sixth home defeat by 15+ this season? Because it was our sixth home defeat by 15+ this season.
- This area is typically reserved for positive comments about individual players, and this area is now complete.
Let’s talk atmosphere, gang.
Reed Arena was comatose tonight, and it has been for most of the season. And honestly… I get it. When you drop games to UC Irvine and Texas Southern before the New Year, you lose a ton of support. When you get crushed by Missouri and Auburn in your first two games after the students come back, you lose a ton of support. And when you get wiped off the floor by teams with superior talent (Tennessee, LSU) despite actually not playing that bad… it makes things seem kind of hopeless, and you lose a ton of support.
The Reed Arena environment is on death’s door, and the end of our home slate almost felt merciful.
Next up is MSU in Starkville to close out the SEC regular season.