Men’s basketball loses on the road to South Carolina

Media Credit: File Photo by Olivia Anderson | Photo Editor

Redshirt junior guard DJ Williams makes a drive to the basket during a game against Virginia earlier this month.

An explosive first half for South Carolina proved too much for men’s basketball to handle Sunday.

The Colonials (0–5) continued their losing streak in a 90–55 rout rooted in a powerful showing from the Gamecocks (3–2) in their final game at the Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament in Uncasville, Conn.

GW especially faltered in its shooting. The team recorded its lowest field goal percentage of the season at 27.6 percent, and its lowest three-point shooting percentage at 18.5 percent.

Head coach Maurice Joseph said he is “very disappointed” with where the team stands after dropping five-straight contests to open the season.

“There’s no dancing around that we’re 0–5,” Joseph said. “We have to own that, but we have to look at the things that got us to this point at 0–5 and we need to correct them and get better.”

South Carolina senior forward Chris Silva dominated the floor through the entirety of the game, leading all players with 20 points and 10 rebounds.

Sophomore guard Terry Nolan Jr. tallied his third double-digit scoring performance of the season, leading the Colonials with 13 points. Redshirt junior guard DJ Williams was also a main contributor, adding 12 points and grabbing a team-high nine rebounds.

An athletic department spokesman declined to provide interviews with athletes postgame, citing a department policy.

The Gamecocks took early command of the contest thanks to two different 18–0 runs in the first half that allowed them to lead by as many as 40 points.

South Carolina managed 18 points before GW could get its first points on the board. After an 0-for-6 start from the field, the Colonials scored their first points from a jump shot by redshirt junior guard Armel Potter with 15 minutes left in the frame.

The Gamecocks’ hot start was aided by a 7-for-7 campaign from the three-point line in the first half. They concluded the half shooting 81.8 percent from deep on 9-for-11 shooting.

GW only made one three-point shot on the half, going 1-for-12 from the arc. The Colonials headed into the locker room facing a 56–18 deficit. No one on the squad totaled more than four points in the first 20 minutes of play.

Joseph said South Carolina’s offensive advantage was due in large part to second-chance points. The Gamecocks grabbed 13 offensive rebounds on the night, which they converted into 13 points.

“They’re not a team that’s terribly efficient in the half court, but they did a tremendous job of getting second-chance opportunities and they did that at a great rate tonight,” Joseph said.

The Colonials fared better in the second half, improving their shooting percentage to 38.7 percent and outscoring South Carolina 37–34 while adding 19 rebounds. The squad reduced its turnovers from 10 in the first half to six in the second. But despite their improved play, the Colonials were unable to pull themselves out of the 38-point first-half deficit.

“We did some much better things in the second half, we competed,” Joseph said. “Everyone that was out there scored, so we did some positive things but we got to put a full 40 minutes together.”

The team posted a solid free throw percentage, converting 18 of 25 shots from the charity stripe to points, good for 72.0 percent – well above its 64.3 percent season average.

Joseph said he wants to see his team play harder on the floor than they did in Saturday’s loss against Michigan and Sunday’s loss in an effort to earn their first win.

“We played three really, really talented teams in a row, we know that and now we have to show some grit, some toughness, some character and get better, get ready for Manhattan,” Joseph said.

The Colonials will have nearly a week of rest before they take on the Jaspers at the Smith Center Saturday at 4 p.m.

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