The South Carolina basketball rivalry game against Clemson is here, and much earlier than usual. It’s game two of the season for both the Gamecocks (1-0) and Tigers (1-0), which both had somewhat closer than expected victories against in-state opponents.
While the Gamecocks hold a 91-80 edge in the rivalry series, the results haven’t been so hot for the team in recent seasons. The Tigers have won four of the last five games, and six of the last nine. It’s been a while since South Carolina beat Clemson in the Colonial Life Arena, too, with the last victory coming on December 19, 2014.
Countdown to tipoff: Carolina vs. Clemson preview
Last season, the Gamecocks were down several top players due to Covid protocols and lost 70-56 at Littlejohn Coliseum. Tonight, the Gamecocks have two of their most important players who could at least be limited. post player Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk, who did participate in shootaround earlier today, is nursing a foot injury. Guard Meechie Johnson tweaked his ankle in the opener against SC State.
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0:27, 2H – Clemson’s Galloway misses a contested three. Gray with a board. Foul. Johnson going to the line shooting one-and-one. Miss the front end. Clemson calls timeout with 13.4 seconds remaining. Carolina 58 – Clemson 56
:42, 2H – Hall hits a layup, Brown misses one. Clemson ball with 15 seconds left on the shotclock as they call timeout. Carolina 58 – Clemson 56
1:27, 2H – Josh Gray converts a massive three-point play, but Galloway comes right back with a triple to cut the deficit back to four. Gray and Jackson combine to block a shot on the other end. Tigers ball under the basket. Carolina 58 – Clemson 54
4:28, 2H – Hayden Brown makes a threee, PJ Hall dunks, Chico Carter hits a three all in about 25 seconds. Then PJ Hall bricks a three. Meechie Johnson’s ankle is hurt. He’s not getting up during a timeout after getting bumped. He’s had a really rough second half, and I have to believe it’s in part due to injury. Carolina 55 – Clemson 49
7:28, 2H – South Carolina plays the entire segment with three freshman, a sophomore and a junior on the court, and come out even. Carolina 49 – Clemson 47
10:51, 2H – South Carolina is missing some good looks and turning the ball over. Clemson cutting into what was once a nine-point lead, which is now down to 4, now 2 on a bucket by Ball. Meechie airballs an off balance three. Gamecocks were 1-for-9 before a transition bucket by Jacobi Wright to go back up by four. Meechie with another TO that leads to an easy transition basket, and the foul. Clemson going to the line for 1 after the break. Carolina 45 – Clemson 43
15:43, 2H – Not a crisp start for the Gamecocks to start the second half. Offensive foul on Hayden Brown, triple by the Tigers and then a lazy pass by Meechie, who doesn’t get back on defense. Then Meechie turns the ball over again and Tigers get a three-point play opportunity. Meechie is still in the locker room the first 90 seconds. Lead cut down to three, but Brown doubles it hitting an uncontested three-ball. Then Carter hits one. Boom. Carolina 41 – Clemson 35
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3:59, 1H – Hall gets a couple more minutes. Meechie gets bumped pretty good with no call. Similar situation sees Hankins-Sanford called for a crowd. Clemson takes a 1-point lead, now make it three on a dunk in transition off a bad DHS shot. But Meechie ties it up with a deep three with just over 5 minutes left in the first half. There are a couple of Gamecocks playing really well, and a couple of Gamecocks really struggling. Hayden Brown is really struggling. Getting him going would be huge. … Just as I type that, Brown gets doubled and finds a wide open Jacobi Wright for a three-ball. Gamecocks on top. Carolina 27 – Clemson 24
8:21, 1H – Josh Gray is making a difference on the defensive end, rebounding and blocking and altering shots. Chico Carter Jr. knocks down a triple to tie the score again. GG Jackson hits a triple, Clemson calls timeout, GG plays to the student section. Carolina 20 – Clemson 17
11:29, 1H – Hall enters the game and makes his presence felt immediately, hitting a bucket from the paint and then a three-ball from the top of the key. Jacobi Wright knocks down a triple in the mix. Zach Davis is getting some extended minutes right now. GG Jackson knocks down a step back bucket over Hall, too. Carolina only 1-for-7 from behind the three-point line to start this game. Josh Gray getting some play, backs down his man and hits a hook shot to tie this sucker up. Score tied 14-14
15:47, 1H – Gamecocks control the opening tip, but a couple of turnovers lead to two easy baskets for the Tigers. Couple of finishes right at the rim. BBV gets the next one, though, finishing at the rim after a nice pass from Chico Carter. Jackson, Carter and Brown have all missed three-point shots in the early going as Carolina falls behind 6-2. Brown misses a bunny after doing a nice job of backing down his man. Deep three by Meechie rims out. GG Jackson follows his own miss with a dunk that brings the crowd to his feet. Offensive foul call on the Tigers, and the Gamecocks will get the ball back. Clemson 9 – Carolina 6