The Gamecocks exploded out of the locker room at the start of the second half on a 21-6 run to take a 45-38 lead with under 14 minutes to play. But the lead wasn’t enough as Richmond would battle back to tie the game at 52 at the 8:03 mark.
That’s when it turned from potential nailbaiter to rout.
South Carolina turned back up the defensive heat in the game’s final eight minutes, outscoring the Spiders 24-6 to cruise to a 76-58 win at Colonial Life Arena on Wednesday night.
“Our defense sparked everything,” said freshman Ramon Galloway. “It was defense that started our run.”
Richmond shot 2 of 9 and turned the ball over four times during the stretch. Downey scored 8 of his 18 total points and Galloway and Johndre Jefferson added 11 points combined in the run to put away the Spiders.
“[Richmond] had beaten some good teams, so we knew we just had to stick together on defense,” said senior Devan Downey.
“It got double digits in a hurry. It was great to be able to make a run,” said Head Coach Darrin Horn. “You do that by making shots and getting to the glass and defensively getting some stops.”
Key Box Score
|Total FG-FGA||3 pt FG-FGA||FT-FTA||Rebs||Pts||Assts||TO||Blk||Stl||Min|
|F Johndre Jefferson||5-8||0-0||2-2||8||12||0||0||3||2||24|
The freshman finished the game with his best box score of the season, picking up career highs in points, field goals, rebounds, steals and minutes played.
“Johndre was terrific tonight. I thought he was outstanding,” said Horn. “He brought us a lot off the bench on both ends of the floor.”
“Johndre had his coming out game tonight,” said Downey.
- The Gamecocks had their lowest point output of the season in the first half (24 points), but followed that up with their highest point output of the season in a second half (52).
- South Carolina had 11 blocks, one shy of their season high. The Gamecocks recorded 12 blocks against Georgia Southern.
- The team tied their season high for rebounds in a game with 45.
- The Gamecocks outscored Richmond 24-4 in points off the bench.
“You go down our stat sheet and look at how the game went – every guy did what they could do tonight. When we do that, even with two guys out, we got a chance to play with anybody.”
-Head Coach Darrin Horn