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Shooting Woes Hurt Auburn in loss to South Carolina

Head Coach Bruce Pearl (Photo: Auburn Athletics)

Duane Notice's career night complimented South Carolina's hot three-point shooting in the Gamecocks 98-69 win over Auburn on Tuesday night in Columbia. The first half did not bode well for the Tigers, although they showed signs of promise early. The Gamecocks got off to a hot start, by scoring nine points in just under two minutes. Auburn briefly got their offense going by cutting Carolina’s lead to as little as two, 21-19 at the 9:38 mark. That was as close as the 23rd-ranked team in the nation would allow Auburn to be in the first half, as the half ended with Carolina up 48-27. The key for Carolina in the first half was their success from beyond the arc and their ability to take advantage of Auburn’s lack of rebounding. The Gamecocks shot 10-16 from three-point territory with Duane Notice scoring a perfect 4-4. Carolina also brought down 24 rebounds, with only seven offensive boards. Auburn shot 28% (8-29) from the field, while only going 2-10 from beyond the arc in the first half. Austin Wiley and Mustapha Heron led the team in scoring with 8 a piece. Danjel Purifoy returned to the lineup for the first time since January 7 against Ole Miss. He failed to score in the game and recorded only one rebound. South Carolina continued their dominance in the second half, by shooting 50% from three-point territory, and out-shooting Auburn 51.7% to 43.3% from the field. Auburn had issues with rebounding in the first half but ended with one rebound shy of tying South Carolina, 38-37. Auburn struggled in the shooting department all game long, ending with only 21 successful shots in 59 attempts, and were 14% from beyond the three-point line, shooting 3-21. South Carolina had four players to reach double-figures. Led by Duane Notice’s career-high 27 points. Big man on campus Sindarius Thornwell scored 22, while Chris Silva and Justin McKie scored 16 and 13 respectively. Last Saturday, Wiley had the best game of his career by scoring 19 and securing 9 rebounds in the win over Alabama. Against South Carolina, Wiley recorded his first double-double of his young career, by scoring 10 and had 11 rebounds to compliment. Anfernee McLemore led the team in scoring with 18, which is a career high. He scored 18 despite reaching the four foul mark and receiving a technical foul for hanging on the rim after an unsuccessful dunk attempt. Jared Harper and Mustapha Heron each contributed 10 points in the loss. Auburn falls to 13-7, 3-5 in SEC play. Next up for the Tigers is a trip to Fort Worth, Texas to match with TCU in the SEC/Big XII challenge. Tipoff is scheduled for 5 P.M.

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