Feb. 26, 2014
AUBURN, Ala. - South Carolina (10-18, 3-12) was unable to overcome a 12-point deficit at the half as the Gamecocks fell 83-67 on the road to Auburn (13-13, 5-10) Wednesday night at Auburn Arena.
Gamecock senior guard Brenton Williams led all scorers with 26 points, hitting 5-9 from 3, whole sophomore forward Mindaugas Kacinas added 10 points. Auburn was led by Chris Denson with 22 points, while Allen Payne chipped in 15 and Tahj Shamsid-Deen had 14.
Holding an early 6-3 lead after a jumper from freshman forward Demitrius Henry, Auburn struck with a 10-0 run started by a 3-pointer from KT Harrell. Despite a pair of 3-pointers from Dion Wade, Carolina was able to keep the deficit at eight as the teams crossed the midpoint of the half.
A jumper from freshman guard Sindarius Thornwell with 7:41 on the clock cut Auburn's lead to 21-15. After trading baskets and free throws with the foul total mounting for both teams, but a layup and-one from Denson, pushed the Tigers lead to 37-26 with 1:40 remaining in the half.
After sophomore forward Michael Carrera went 1-of-2 from the line with under a minute remaining, Payne converted both free throws with 14 seconds left to give Auburn a 37-29 lead going into the half. Carolina was held to 8-30 (26.7 percent) from the field.
Carrera opened up the second half with a layup for Gamecocks. The Tigers though responded with a 9-2 run as Shamsid-Deen hit three consecutive 3-pointers to extend their lead to 50-31 just over three minutes in the second half.
The Gamecocks answered the Tigers run with an 11-3 run of their own over the next two minutes with eight points coming from Williams. The Gamecocks though were unable to keep their momentum as the Tigers scored seven unanswered from foul line as they built their lead back up 66-46 with 9:03 left.
Williams was able to cut the deficit back to 15 with his fourth 3 of the of the game, but the back-and-forth game continued as the two teams traded field goals and free throws.
Carolina continued to fight back late as a 10-3 run capped off by a 3 from sophomore forward Brian Steele in the corner with 3:19 remaining cut the deficit to 75-65. That was the closest the Gamecocks would get though as an 8-0 run from the Tigers put the game away as they would go on to win 83-67.
Despite shooting under 30 percent in the first half, South Carolina managed to hit 40.4 percent (21-52) from the field for the game, but Auburn shot 52.1 percent (25-48). The Gamecocks held a 36-25 edge on the glass as Carrera recorded a season-high 13, but the Tigers had an 11-3 advantage in steals and turned it into a 22-14 edge in points off turnovers.
The Gamecocks return home on Saturday night as they host No. 17 Kentucky. Tipoff is slated for 6 p.m. ET on ESPN.
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