Turnovers doom Gamecocks in loss to Paladins


South Carolina struggled with turning the ball over and couldn’t overcome a first half run by Furman as it fell 79-60 in its final game of the Shriners Children’s Charleston Classic.

The Gamecocks (2-3) turned the ball over 17 times which resulted in 23 points off of turnovers by the Paladins. The Gamecocks turned the Paladins (3-2) over 12 times, but only turned those 12 turnovers into four points.

In a press conference after the game, head coach Lamont Paris detailed his team’s turnover issues and why they struggled to turn Furman’s turnovers into points.

“Some of it is ability to pass at the end of the day,” Paris said. “Some of it is being able to throw and complete a pass to the same intended target that you had. We talked a little bit about what they do defensively. They really help to the ball. You have to play out of the backside some and throw skips. We have been talking about throwing skip passes all season and on their own, once every couple games, maybe, they will throw a single skip pass.

“In this type of game, you have to do that. They are going to load up to the ball side. They are going to bring help. You have to play out of the backside some. Those decisions have to be made quickly. If you don’t they, recover and that is what happened on a couple of times. Some other times, it is just pure sloppiness with the ball. I think if you go back through history, I don’t know how many teams would be successful turning the ball over as many times as we do.”

Furman shot the ball well against South Carolina as they would shoot 51 percent from the field and 44 percent from behind the arc on 12-of-27 shooting.

South Carolina was led by forward GG Jackson who scored 19 points and pulled six rebounds. Guard Chico Carter also turned in another strong performance as he tallied 17 points in 32 minutes of play.

In the first half, South Carolina shot the ball well in the early going and held an 18-15 lead at the under-12 media timeout. However, Furman would go on a huge run to take the lead.

The Paladins went on an 15-0 run in 5:26 to give them the 30-18 lead with 6:35 left in the first half. Meechie Johnson would end the run and scoring drought with a three pointer with 6:12 left in the first half.

The Gamecocks went on a run of their own as they would outscore the Paladins 7-0 in 1:17 to cut their deficit to five at 30-25 with 5:18 remaining in the first half. The Paladins would hold a 38-31 lead at halftime.

South Carolina shot 48 percent from the field in the first half but would turn the ball over seven times. Jackson and Carter would lead the Gamecocks with 12 points each at halftime.

In the second half, South Carolina continued to turn the ball over and Furman was turning them into points. With 7:48 left in the game, Furman held a 62-50 lead. The Paladins continued to find success on the offensive end, especially from the three-point line as they would hold a 70-57 lead with 4:06 remaining in the contest.

South Carolina couldn’t get much of anything going offensively in the last four minutes and Furman continued to slowly pull away and would hand the Gamecocks their third straight loss.

Paris detailed after the game what it will take for his team to learn how to win after a tough trip to the Charleston Classic.

“A big part of it is staying the course. I say it in a lot of different ways. Determination. Not easily discouraged. I talk about that all the time. Don’t be easily discouraged from anything. From making a catch on a wing to staying in front of the ball, don’t be easily discouraged. That is the biggest part of learning how to win, I think. Then, also real, real true belief in how what you are doing impacts it because I have seen it and I have done it. Just seeing it oftentimes isn’t enough. You have to do it and feel it and get uncomfortable with what you are doing in order to make some of these things happen.”

South Carolina will take the court again on Friday when it welcomes USC Upstate to Colonial Life Arena. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m. and will be streamed on SEC Network+.

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