Last year’s game against George Washington featured one of South Carolina’s worst shooting performances in the 2022-23 season. The Gamecocks were beaten on the road, but the return game was coming.
Friday night was that return game.
When guard Meechie Johnson scored the first 3-pointer of the night, he felt it. This return game would be nothing like last season’s loss. Instead, the Gamecocks scored 17 3-pointers en route to a 89-67 win at Colonial Life Arena over the Revolutionaries and sit at a comfortable 7-0 record.
Big time 3-pointers
After the dry spell behind the arc Tuesday night, South Carolina’s shooting was drastically better Friday. The Gamecocks had stronger off ball movement, they had more energy. It felt better.
South Carolina had eight 3-pointers by halftime. George Washington had five.
It was the best offensive half South Carolina had put together thus far. The Gamecocks were 52% in field goals, and their eight treys were the most they’d scored all season. After Johnson carried the load on Tuesday, the points were more spread out this go around.
USC had grown colder in the second half, only scoring one 3-pointer in the first 10 minutes. That didn’t last long, and with two minutes left to play, USC broke the school record for 3-pointers in a single game.
Seventeen treys, finishing 51% beyond the arc.
BJ Mack, Meechie Johnson stay hot
Johnson and Mack’s ability to score regardless of the opponent has been one of the biggest strength’s to USC’s lineup all season.
After his career-high 29 points Tuesday night, Johnson could’ve taken a step back if he wanted against George Washington. Maybe let someone else get hot. He didn’t score 29 points, but got close with 24 to lead all scorers. Forward BJ Mack, who dropped 17 Tuesday night, followed closely behind with 20 points against the Revolutionaries.
The duo have consistently played over 20 minutes per game and are averaging 16 points per game. That doesn’t include Myles Stute or Ta’Lon Cooper, who both scored double digit points Friday night.
Taking it on the road
USC has back-to-back road games ahead before a four-game homestand that closes out the nonconferene schedule. South Carolina has proven they can win at home and at neutral sites, now it’s time for this team to win a true road game.
Head coach Lamont Paris called the win over Grand Canyon two weeks ago a road win, but South Carolina faces an undefeated Clemson and a gritty Eastern Carolina in the next week. Back-to-back home wins with at least two players scoring 17 points is enough to give the Gamecocks plenty of confidence heading into their toughest stretch of the season thus far.
The high-flying energy USC had against the Revolutionaries is exactly what they need to bring to Clemson on Wednesday night.
South Carolina’s next four games
At Clemson, 8 p.m. (ACCNetwork)
At Eastern Carolina, Noon (ESPNU)
Charleston Southern, 6 p.m. (SEC Network+)
Winthrop, 7 p.m. (SEC Network+)