Keys to the Game: MBB vs. Furman

Key Moment

If you’re not happy with Act I, be sure to stick around for Act II.

For the second straight night at home, South Carolina turned a close halftime score into a runaway as they defeated the Furman Paladins 81-57 on Monday night. The Gamecocks led 28-26 going into the locker room.

“As crazy as this sounds, I told the guys ‘good job’ at halftime,” said guard Devan Downey. “We were guarding well – we were just a little sluggish on offense.”

Furman managed to narrow the gap to 35-34, but Carolina played with a renewed intensity on defense and surged away on a 21-5 run over the next five and a half minutes to put the game out of reach.

“We played with great effort and eventually when the shots started falling, we were able to get our confidence up and get our offense going,” said Head Coach Darrin Horn. “It was very similar to the Richmond game. I didn’t feel like we played bad defensively. We just didn’t score. But we stuck with the things we need to do to be a good basketball team.”

In that five and a half minute stretch, the Gamecocks pushed their lead out to 56-39 with ten minutes to play in the game.

While the defense created the opportunities, Ramon Galloway provided some firepower to kick start the run. The freshman hit three 3-pointers during the stretch to help stretch Carolina’s lead. Galloway finished the night 4-of-7 from behind the arc and scored a career high 15 points.

“What got the run started was our defense,” Galloway said. “Once we picked up our defense, the shots started falling.”

South Carolina forced 15 second-half turnovers (24 total) and held the Paladins to 33% shooting. The Gamecocks had a season-high 16 steals.

Key Box Score

Total FG-FGA 3 pt FG-FGA FT-FTA Rebs Pts Assts TO Blk Stl Min
G Devan Downey 7-17 0-4 2-2 3 16 8 4 0 7 30

“I think without question that was Devan’s best game of the year,” said Horn. “Tonight was a night where he really made a difference on both ends of the court. He took care of the basketball and had a two-to-one assist to turnover ratio…he took good shots and distributed the ball. He had seven steals, and a lot of those were just being on the ball, being aggressive.”

While the scoring is a positive, Downey continued to emphasize the importance of defense to the team’s future success.

“If we defend, we’re going to be in every ball game,” he said. “We just have to play for forty minutes.”

Key Stats

  • Gamecocks had four players finish in double figures – Downey, Muldrow (16), Jackson (15) and Galloway (15).
  • Three Gamecocks finished the game with career highs in points – Jackson, Galloway and Spinella (5).
  • South Carolina topped its season high for points in the second half with 53 points.
  • Gamecocks tied their season high for turnovers forced with 24 and set a season record with 16 steals.
  • Carolina outscored Furman 38-20 in the paint.
  • The Gamecock bench contributed 30 points to the win while Furman’s bench scored 16.

Key Quote

We’re still trying to find our way – when does it flow for us…offensively, how do we click best? I think that part of it will be a work in progress, but that’s why the defensive end and the effort is so important. If you continue to do that, you’re going to give yourself an opportunity even when shots aren’t going down.”

-Head Coach Darrin Horn

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