The South Carolina men’s basketball team returned both home and to their winning form, defeating Missouri 81-72 Saturday afternoon at the Colonial Life Arena.
Junior guard Sindarius Thornwell led USC with 22 points, adding five rebounds and four assists for the Gamecocks, who entered the game ranked 19th in the nation by the Associated Press. Senior forward Mindaugas Kacinas scored 14 points, while Freshman guard P.J. Dozier added 11 and senior forward Laimonas Chatkevicius scored 10 for the Gamecocks.
Missouri junior guard Wes Clark led all scorers with 26 points, while also grabbing six rebounds and handing out eight assists for the Tigers.
USC scored the first eight points and led by as much as 13 points in the first half. While Missouri closed the gap late in the first half, pulling within one at 35-34 with 1:42, USC rallies to score the last six points and held a 41-34 halftime lead. Missouri only came as close as four points in the second half in a game where the Gamecocks never trailed.
The win came despite poor shooting from the three-point line by the Gamecocks, who only hit 3 of 21 shots from beyond the arc. Still, the Gamecocks outrebounded Missouri 41-26.
The Gamecocks were coming off their first loss of the year, a 73-50 road loss to SEC foe Alabama.
With the win, USC moves to 16-1 on the year, and 3-1 in conference play. Missouri falls to 8-9, 1-3 in the SEC.
USC travels Tuesday to Ole Miss for their next matchup. Their next home game is Jan. 26 at 7 p.m. against Mississippi State.