South Carolina lost 85-73 last night in a game that the Gamecocks never really controlled.
Although Tennessee is the top ranked team in the country, South Carolina hung with them for the first ten minutes of the game. South Carolina continued to go scoreless for the next four minutes, and Tennessee created separation that the Gamecocks just couldn’t overcome.
South Carolina went into the half down by 13 and couldn’t catch up. The numbers show that this game was closer than it seems. The Gamecocks shot better from beyond the arc than Tennessee, and both teams had the same amount of turnovers.
The Gamecocks didn’t win, but there were some bright spots from this game. Tre Campbell was on fire with 19 points, including making all five of his three pointers. Chris Silva put up another double-double with 17 points and 15 rebounds. Hassani Gravett continues to play well as the sixth man, and he put up 15 points, four assists and two steals off the bench.
Tennessee did a good job of shutting down freshman Keyshawn Bryant, who was held to only five points. On the other end, the Gamecocks couldn’t shut down Tennessee’s star Admiral Schofield, who finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds.
South Carolina’s tournament hopes are slipping away, but the rest of their schedule is very manageable. If the Gamecocks can win out, they will have a small chance at getting an at large bid. Otherwise, they would have to win the SEC Tournament, which will be very hard.
The realistic expectation at this point is that the Gamecocks will compete for the NIT. The game against Texas A&M on Saturday will help show where South Carolina really belongs.