Gamecocks Fall To Manhattan 86-68

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By USC SID

COLUMBIA, S.C. (USC SID) -- South Carolina was unable to overcome the timely shooting and 34 made free throws from Manhattan tonight as the Gamecocks fell 86-68 to the Jaspers at Colonial Life Arena.

Manhattan’s George Beamon scored 26 points on night, while fellow senior Michael Alvarado added 20 points, hitting 10-11 from the free throw line. Freshman guard Sindarius Thornwell led the Gamecocks with 17 points and five rebounds as junior Tyrone Johnson added 12 points.

South Carolina (2-4) opened up the game quick as senior guard Bruce Ellington scored five points in a 20-second span after the Jaspers scored the opening basket. Johnson followed that with lay-in and added a free throw to give the Gamecocks an early 8-2 advantage.

From that point on, Manhattan (8-2) raced out to a 10-2 run to reclaim the lead less than three minutes into the game. Carolina was able to tie it up at 18-18 after a Johnson hit a 16-footer as the shot clock expired. After a quick Jasper turnover, Johnson drove through the lane and added a lay-up after a taking a hard foul. The junior hit one of two ensuing free throws to give the Gamecocks a three-point lead.

Beamon responded for the Jaspers, knocking down a 3-pointer on their next possession to tie-up the game at 21-21 with just over 10 minutes remaining in the half.

Tied at 28-28 with 7:01 remaining in the half, Manhattan went on an 8-0 run, going 8-8 from the free throw line. Senior guard Brenton Williams then found freshman Demitrius Henry on the back door for a dunk to end the drought, but Shane Richards answered with a 3-pointer on the Jaspers’ next trip.

Manhattan took a 45-34 lead into the half, due in part to going 18-19 (94.7 percent) from the free throw line, outscoring South Carolina by nine from the line.

After only scoring four of his 17 points in the first half, Thornwell asserted himself in the second half, trying to bring the Gamecocks back, but the Jaspers had an answer each time.

Thornwell cut the deficit to five with a pair from the line at 15:32. The Jaspers responded though with five quick points on a 3-pointer from Alvarado and a pair of free throws from Emmy Andujar.

With under 13 minutes to play, Thornwell squared up and hit an open 3. Alavardo responded though with a two free throws to push Manhattan’s lead back to 10.

At the 11:31 mark, Mindaugas Kacinas found Michael Carrera sitting underneath for a lay-in as he was fouled. The sophomore converted the three-point play, but again the Manhattan answered from the line. Beamon followed that up with his second 3-pointer of the night to give the Jaspers a 63-53 lead.

Manhattan maintained its lead throughout the remainder of game to end the night with their seventh road win of of the season, 86-68. As a team, Manhattan shot a 34-39 (87.2 percent) from the free throw line as the Gamecocks hit 22-52 (42.3 percent) from the field and went 22-38 (57.9 percent) from the line.

The Gamecocks will return to Colonial Life Arena on Thursday as they host USC Upstate. Tip-off is scheduled for 4 p.m. ET and will air live on SportsSouth/FoxSports Carolinas.

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