Talk about making things hard on yourself. After building a dominating 28-9 halftime lead, Georgia was outscored 47-32 in the second half but was still able to escape with a 60-56 win over South Carolina. Trey Thompkins narrowly missed out on a double double with 16 points and nine rebounds. Travis Leslie added 13 points for the Bulldogs.
Georgia struggled in the second half thanks to South Carolina's full court pressure that helped to wear down the Dogs. With South Carolina trailing 55-49, the Gamecock's press forced Georgia to use a time out in the back court. Georgia scored on the ensuing play when Trey Thompkins threaded the needle with a beautiful three quarter court bounce pass to a streaking Gerald Robinson Jr. for a lay up. That play didn't calm down the Bulldogs as after two South Carolina free throws Georgia turned it over once again on their next possession.
Two Sam Muldrow free throws brought the Gamecocks to within two points 57-55 with just 1:24 remaining. Georgia handled the press well which led to Jeremy Price knocking down perhaps the two biggest free throws of the game giving the Bulldogs a four point advantage with just 1:16 to go. The Bulldogs didn't help themselves on the next defensive possession as Price fouled Muldrow on a three point attempt. Luckily for the Bulldogs, Muldrow was only able to convert on but one of the three attempts and South Carolina still trailed by three.
After a near turnover and a shot clock forced long three point miss from Dustin Ware, South Carolina called time trailing by three with just eight seconds remaining in the game. Trey Thompkins came up with a huge defensive play switching out on Carolina's Bruce Ellington and getting a hand on his game tying attempt. The Gamecocks fouled Robinson who made one of two to seal the victory for the Bulldogs 60-56.
Muldrow led the Gamecocks with 13 points while Bruce Ellington scored just two points on 1-12 shooting from the field.
The second half was anything but pretty for the Bulldogs. A recipe for blowing a big lead is usually a combination of turnovers and offensive rebounds for the opposing team. Georgia turned the ball over 17 times and allowed the Gamecocks 13 offensive rebounds. They looked extremely shaky down the stretch but ultimately South Carolina dug itself just too big of a hole to climb out of.