Gamecocks Fall to Tigers 68-58
Feb. 18, 2012
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The South Carolina men's basketball team suffered a 68-58 loss to LSU on Saturday afternoon at Colonial Life Arena. Senior forward Malik Cooke, who needed six points to reach the 1,000-point milestone for his career, drained a 3 from the right wing in the second half to break the mark.
Cooke led the Gamecocks (10-16, 2-10 SEC) in scoring, finishing with 17 points. Freshman forward Anthony Gill came off the bench to score nine points and collect four rebounds, and sophomore forward Damontre Harris added eight points and tied a career high with three assists. Sophomore guard Bruce Ellington scored six and brought down a team-high and personal season-high seven rebounds.
LSU (16-10, 6-6 SEC) junior center Justin Hamilton led all scorers with 18 points. Senior forward Storm Warren netted 12 points and collected a game-high eight boards, and Anthony Hickey also recorded double figures with 10 points.
After a slow offensive start for both teams, LSU was able to stretch out an early 13-6 lead before both offenses stalled and didn't find the basket for nearly three minutes. The Gamecocks then settled into a rhythm and scored 10 unanswered points. The run helped South Carolina claim a 20-17 lead with two minutes to go in the first half, but LSU reclaimed the lead by finishing the half on an 8-2 run to give them a 25-22 advantage going into the locker room.
LSU was able to maintain their lead in the early stages of the second half until the Gamecocks seemed to be seizing momentum after a steal by junior forward Lakeem Jackson. Jackson found sophomore guard Brenton Williams in transition for a dunk to trim the Tiger lead to 38-36, but Williams was called for a technical on the play, and LSU went on a 10-2 run over the next four minutes to take control of the game.
The Gamecocks made one final run punctuated by back-to-back 3-pointers by Cooke, to cut a 12-point deficit to four points at 52-56 with just over three minutes remaining. The South Carolina threat could not find a way to inch closer, and LSU went 5-of-6 from the line in the final 1:20 of the game to seal the 68-58 win.
South Carolina hits the road to face Vanderbilt on Wed., Feb. 22, with tip-off scheduled for 8 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast on the SEC Network.