Gamecock woes continue with a loss to Ole Miss
Jan. 17, 2023

For a brief moment this January a flicker it seemed like the South Carolina men’s basketball team might’ve turned a corner. Last week, the Gamecocks’ stunning win over Kentucky in Lexington garnered national attention and gave the fan base a jolt of hope that perhaps Carolina had figured things out in Lamont Paris’ first year as head coach. Not so fast. Hosting Ole Miss on Tuesday at Colonial Life Arena, the Gamecocks lost their second straight game since defeating Kentucky, falling to the Rebels 70-58.

Jackson was 5-of-20 from the field and has struggled since SEC play started. But Meechie Johnson was just 2-of-10 from the field and the Gamecocks were outrebounded by the Rebels by a 43-31 margin.

Hayden Brown returned from missing Saturday’s game with a deep thigh bruise. The transfer from The Citadel fouled out in 21 minutes and scored nine points. Not a good formula when coach Lamont Paris said Jackson, Johnson, and Brown all need to be scoring for the Gamecocks to have success.

“When Hayden, GG and Meechie struggle to score, it ends up being a struggle for us,” Paris said.

Carter said then the offense struggles, the defense has to pick up the slack. “I feel like when you go into those droughts, we’ve got to pick it up on the defensive end,” Carter said. “We try to dial up something (offensively), if that doesn’t work, we try to turn it up on the defensive end to get some stops.”

Getting stops wasn’t working against the Rebels much either. Matthew Murrell scored 23 points and spearheaded a resurgence 3-point attack to lead the Rebels. Ole Miss came into the contest shooting 28.8% from beyond the arc but Murrell hit 5-of-11 from long-range, including back-to-back three’s when South Carolina trimmed a double deficit to eight points in the second half.

The Gamecocks (8-10, 1-4 SEC) lost to an Ole Miss (9-9, 1-5) team that lost six straight games and nine of its last 11 heading into the contest. With the loss, Carolina's win over the Wildcats looks more like an aberration. The Gamecocks have gone winless in their other conference games, including 41-plus-point losses to Tennessee and Texas A&M.