GAME NOTES: Two teams on the opposite ends of the SEC standings will meet up at Tad Smith Coliseum on Saturday afternoon, as the Ole Miss Rebels play host to the South Carolina Gamecocks.
South Carolina's season as a whole has been a disappointing one, as it sits at 8-12 overall and just 1-6 in the SEC, but that league win came in its most recent contest, as it made easy work of Texas A&M at home on Wednesday night, 80-52. The Gamecocks have not had any success on the road however, losing all seven bouts away from home.
Ole Miss is fresh off a loss at Tennessee on Wednesday night, 86-70, which snapped a four-game winning streak. The Rebels are still in the midst of a solid campaign at 14-6 overall, including 8-3 at home, and they have won five of seven league tilts.
The Rebels edged out the Gamecocks in the first meeting this season on Jan. 18, 75-74, giving them a 16-15 lead in the all-time series.
In what was their most impressive all-around victory of the season, the Gamecocks shot 52.2 percent from the field and 26-of-32 at the foul line while holding Texas A&M to a mere 35.6 shooting on their way to the dominating 28- point home victory. Sindarius Thornwell and Duane Notice both poured in 19 points, with the duo combining to shoot 14-of-14 from the free-throw line. Brenton Williams drained 4-of-8 from beyond the arc for 18 points, while Laimonas Chatkevicius scored 12 points off the bench.
On the season, South Carolina produces nearly identical numbers as its opponents, as it shoots 43.4 percent from the field for 71.2 ppg, while allowing 70.7 ppg on 43.5 percent shooting. Its offensive production has gone up in the last four games (76.0 ppg), but it is just 1-3 during the span. Thornwell is in the midst of a stellar freshman campaign with 13.2 ppg. Williams (12.9 ppg) shoots an outstanding 95.5 percent from the free-throw line, but two of his three misses on the season came against Texas A&M on Wednesday. Tyrone Johnson (11.2 ppg) is out indefinitely with a fractured foot, leaving a larger role for Notice (7.3 ppg) and Michael Carrera (7.1 ppg).
The Rebels never held a lead in their 16-point loss to Tennessee earlier in the week, as they were outshot from the field, 49.2 percent to 41.3 percent, and dominated in the rebounding battle, 45-27. Marshall Henderson was not bashful from beyond the arc in the loss, shooting 8-of-19 from long distance for 26 points. Jarvis Summers scored 16 points and dished out five assists paired with only one turnover, but no one else scored more than seven points in the setback.
Ole Miss has been far from impressive with its field goal attempts this season, draining less than 43 percent of its shots overall, but it makes good on 8.1 3-pointers per game at a 37.2 percent clip, which helps it attain a strong scoring offense (77.6 ppg). It's a good thing it scores so many points, because its scoring defense (71.2 ppg) ranks 13th in the SEC. Henderson leads the way with 19.1 ppg, having drained 75 3-pointers at a 36.9 percent clip. In fact, Henderson has just 20 two-point field goals on the season. Summers (17.9 ppg) joins Henderson in the backcourt and is very efficient from the floor (.518), beyond the arc (.548) and the foul line (.790). Aaron Jones scores just 6.8 ppg but is a factor inside with 7.2 ppg and 2.6 bpg.
Although South Carolina is riding high after its first league win of the season, that feeling is sure to be short lived heading into Tad Smith Coliseum against an Ole Miss squad attempting to avenge its disappointing loss from earlier in the week.
Game Date and Time