Gamecocks Pull Away for 67-50 Win Over Georgia

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina men’s basketball team held Georgia to a season-low 22 percent shooting on its way to claiming a 67-50 victory on Saturday afternoon at Colonial Life Arena. With the win, the Gamecocks improve to 11-9 on the season and 2-6 in SEC play and snap a five-game Georgia winning streak in the series. The Bulldogs drop to 14-6 overall and 5-3 in league play. Carolina shut down a Bulldog offense that came into the game ranked fifth in the SEC scoring offense (72.3 points per game) and was shooting 45.9 percent from the field on the season. The Gamecocks held Georgia to just 11 made field goals (11-of-50), including only four in the second half. Carolina also made the most of 11 Georgia turnovers, matching a season-high with 25 points off of those turnovers. The Gamecocks shot 40 percent from the field (22-of-55) and knocked down 17-of-21 free throw attempts on the afternoon. Junior forward Laimonas Chatkevicius paced four Gamecocks in double figures with 12 points and also had four rebounds and three blocks. Sophomore guard Duane Notice added 11 points, five rebounds and three assists, while sophomore guard Sindarius Thornwell and senior guard Tyrone Johnson each finished with 10 points and five rebounds. Thornwell also dished out four assists and collected three steals. Junior forward Michael Carrera pitched in eight points and led Carolina in rebounding for the fourth straight game with nine. Sophomore guard J.J. Frazier and junior guard Charles Mann combined to score 30 of Georgia’s 50 points. Frazier led the way with 16, while Mann contributed 14. The teams traded 3-pointers to open the contest. After Georgia’s Nemanja Djurisic drained a three to give the Bulldogs a 3-0 lead, Notice answered with a 3-pointer at the other end to knot the game at 3-3. Frazier then sank Georgia’s second three of the game to give the Bulldogs a 6-3 lead at the 17:43 mark. However, Carrera pulled up at the other end to sink a jumper and spark a 10-0 Carolina run that put the Gamecocks in front 13-6 with 13:19 left in the half. Georgia scrapped back to trim Carolina’s lead to 15-14 after a basket by Houston Kessler, but the Gamecocks responded with another run, this time a 16-2 spurt, to build their biggest lead of the half. Carrera threw down an ally oop from Thornwell to give Carolina a 30-16 advantage and then capped the run by sinking the first of two free throws to give the Gamecocks a 31-16 lead with 2:28 remaining. The Bulldogs closed out the half on an 8-2 run, as Carolina went into the locker room leading 33-24. The 24 points were the second fewest in the first half from Georgia this season, as the Gamecocks held the Bulldogs to 28 percent shooting (7-of-25). Carolina scored at a 42.9 percent clip (12-of-28), including seven points from Chatkevicius. Notice got the Gamecocks off to a strong start in the second half as he made a 3-pointer and converted a three-point play to push Carolina’s lead to 39-24. Georgia then used a 12-5 run to cut the Gamecocks’ lead to 44-36 after a pair of made free throws by Mann at the 11:02 mark. However, the Bulldogs were assessed a technical foul a little more than a minute later, and the Gamecocks turned it into a five-point swing. Johnson made both technical free throws. Carrera then made one free throw and missed the second, but Thornwell gathered the offense rebound, and Chatkevicius sank a jumper to extend the Gamecocks’ lead to 49-36. The Bulldogs didn’t pull closer than 10 points the rest of the way.

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