🚨 UPSET 🚨#Gamecocks beat the No. 10 Auburn Tigers 84-75@frankbooker11 leads #Carolina with 19 points, @SilvaObame with 14, and @wesmyers15 with 13#SpursUp #CocksBy90
— Armchair South Carolina (@ArmchairSCAR) February 17, 2018
We take a closer look at South Carolina’s 84-75 upset win over the Auburn Tigers:
Frank Booker is one of the best players in the SEC
.@frankbooker11 the past three games… 🔥
Guard Frank Booker proved again why he should be considered one of the best players in the SEC. Booker led the Gamecocks on Saturday with 19 points. He was 4-9 from three point range and 5-7 from the free throw line. More importantly, Booker has shown time and time again that he doesn’t need to be wide open to hit shots. He has an uncanny ability to get the basketball and make the contested shot more often than not. It’s about time people around the league take notice and include Booker in the conversation as one of the best guards in the SEC.
We now know what a perfect half of basketball from USC looks like
HALFTIME: South Carolina dominates the first half and leads No. 10 Auburn 46-25 at the break. Tigers shot 25% and are just 1-for-11 from 3.
📊➡️: Silva has 10, Booker has nine and Myers has eight. Minaya and Cudd each with six. Balanced effort offensively 💪 #Gamecocks🐔🏀 pic.twitter.com/kGayjI9kt5
— Gamecock MBB (@GamecockMBB) February 17, 2018
There is only one word to describe the first half of Saturday’s game: wow. The Gamecocks flat-out dominated arguably the best team in the SEC, holding Auburn to 25% shooting and just 1-11 from three point range. Carolina led by 26 at one point and was able to hold off a late Auburn rally to take a 21-point lead into halftime. It’s safe to say the Gamecocks played their best half of the season by making a projected No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament look extremely average. While Auburn made what was an expected push in the second half, it was amazing to see just how good South Carolina can be when clicking on all cylinders.
Defensive tenacity Carolina was missing has returned
South Carolina got back to playing great defense on Saturday and I’m sure nobody is happier about that than head coach Frank Martin. Entering in the midst of a six game losing streak, it appeared the Gamecocks had lost their edge on the defensive side of the ball. South Carolina righted the ship on Saturday, playing with high intensity throughout the entirety of the matchup. The tenacity showed on a lot of 50/50 balls and the Gamecocks’ willingness to get in the faces of Auburn shooters forced them to take tough shots. The Tigers were held to just 31.7% from the floor, well below their season average. If Carolina can build momentum from Saturday’s win and carry that defensive aggression into the rest of the season, the Gamecocks could go on a nice run to finish off the 2018 campaign.