Gamecocks suffer largest loss of season at Texas A&M

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) – Junior guard Admon Gilder scored 15 points and Texas A&M dominated South Carolina from the start, winning 83-60 on Saturday in Reed Arena.

The Aggies (15-8, 4-6 Southeastern Conference) led 49-27 at half, in shooting 63 percent (17 of 27) from the field in the first 20 minutes. The Gamecocks (13-10, 4-6) shot 21.1 percent (8 of 38) in the same span, as A&M blasted to the 22-point lead. A&M finished 29 of 55 from the field, good for 53 percent.

Justin Minaya scored 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead the Gamecocks.

A&M sophomore forward Robert Williams collected five blocks, to go with 11 points, and the Aggies’ 11 total blocks were one shy of the team record of 12 set in 2013 against Mississippi State. A&M dominated South Carolina in points in the paint (40 to 18) and on the fast break (17-4).

BIG PICTURE

South Carolina: The Gamecocks looked a long way from their Final Four appearance of last season in the blowout loss. South Carolina entered the game at .500 on the road in SEC contests, but wasn’t in this one from the start. The Gamecocks are trying to make the NCAA Tournament in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1997-98.

Texas A&M: The Aggies looked like the team that had risen to No. 5 nationally leading into SEC play, before they lost their first five league games because of injuries and suspensions. Performances like the one on Saturday, despite A&M still owning a losing record in SEC action, are why analysts like ESPN’s Joe Lunardi project A&M in the NCAA Tournament as a 10th seed as of this week.

KEY STAT

The Aggies shot 53 percent from the floor and outscored the Gamecocks 40-18 in the paint Saturday afternoon.

NOTABLE

  • Carolina gave up a season-high 83 points. Texas A&M is just the second team to score 80 or more versus the Gamecocks this season (Mississippi State, 81).
  • Freshman wing Justin Minaya played 32 minutes after missing his first career game on Wednesday night versus Mississippi State with an ankle injury. He led Carolina with 16 points today and also pulled down seven rebounds, one shy of a career high.
  • Junior forward Chris Silva was the only other Gamecock in double figures with 12. He led the team with eight rebounds and two blocks.

UP NEXT

South Carolina continues SEC action on the road when it travels to face Arkansas at Bud Walton Arena on Tuesday. Tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET vs. the Razorbacks, with Jason Benetti (play-by-play) and Dalen Cuff (analyst) on the call for ESPN2.

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