Men's Basketball Falls to No. 19 South Carolina

Brandon Sampson had a team-high 16 points.
Brandon Sampson had a team-high 16 points.
Steve Franz
Kent Lowe (@LSUkent)
Kent Lowe (@LSUkent)
Communications Sr. Associate

BATON ROUGE – Brandon Sampson scored 16 points and Wayde Sims had a season high of 11 rebounds to highlight LSU’s 88-63 loss to No. 19 South Carolina Wednesday night at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

The Tigers are now 9-12 overall and 1-8 in the SEC, while South Carolina remained tied with Kentucky for the top spot in the league at 8-1. The Gamecocks are now 18-4 overall.

Sampson made 6-of-10 field goals and 2-of-4 three-pointers in 26 minutes, while Skylar Mays had 11 points in 24 minutes. Sims just missed a double double with eight points to go with his 11 boards.

Four players from South Carolina were in double figures with Duane Notice and PJ Dozier each getting 17 points and Chris Silva and Sindarius Thornwell had 16 each.

South Carolina shot 49.2 percent from the field (30-of-61) with seven treys and 21-of-31 from the free throw line, while LSU was 24-of-60 (40%) with six treys and 9-of-14 from the free throw line. South Carolina had a 38-36 rebound advantage and had a big, 34-12, advantage in points off turnovers. LSU turned the ball over 22 times compared to 14 for SC.

The Gamecocks led from the outset, scoring 50 first half points against LSU, jumping quickly out to a double digit lead 4:13 in. South Carolina would lead by as much as 23 points in the first half, but a strong 8-0 run by LSU (all by Sampson) got LSU as close as 15 before the break, trailing 50-32.

In the first five minutes of the second half the Tigers were able to get the game to within 12, but South Carolina sprinted away to establish a bigger margin and come home with the win.

LSU will play Texas A&M on Saturday night at 8 p.m. at the Maravich Center. Tickets are available at LSUtix.net.
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LSU Head Coach Quotes

HEAD COACH JOHNNY JONES

Opening Statement …
“We knew coming in tonight that South Carolina would be a tough basketball team. They played exactly like we thought they would play. They are one of the top-20 teams in the country. I think they are No. 19. They are one of the top defensive basketball teams in the country. We knew it would be a very aggressive basketball game, and they certainly played that way. At the beginning, we did not play at the level that we needed to, neither offensively taking care of the basketball nor grinding against their defensive pressure. On the defensive end of the floor, we did not make it tough enough for them in the first half, allowing them to shoot 57 percent. We were not aggressive enough, not playing at the level or competing at the level that you need to against a team like this to get a victory. I thought the guys fought hard coming back out there in the second half. We had several guys who I thought played well and dug down deep. We had some other guys that I didn’t think showed up at the pace they needed to give us an opportunity to win the basketball game here tonight.”

On Brandon Eddlestone’s performance …
“I thought (Aaron Epps and Duop Reath) struggled, and I didn’t think they played well enough tonight. When (Brandon) Eddlestone got the opportunity, I thought he produced for us. He gave us everything that he had in the way that he played tonight. He’s been effective. We have been looking for him to step up. That’s one of the reasons we put him on scholarship. We know that he is capable. He’s played himself back into the shape and has done everything that he needs to. He’s had some good practices, and I thought we had an opportunity to reward him tonight. He played a bunch of positive minutes for us. He kept some balls alive that he didn’t have a chance to recover, but he kept them alive. If we can get some other guys playing that at that level and exhausting themselves, it can give us an opportunity.”
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LSU PLAYER QUOTES

SOPHOMORE GUARD BRANDON SAMPSON

On his mindset during the game…
“I was just trying to be aggressive. I could tell from shoot around today and practice the past two days that this was going to be an aggressive game. You can’t be settling for shots, so you just have to be aggressive. They’re a great defensive team.

On what they take away from a game like tonight’s…
“Keep fighting. We have to just keep going to the next game more confident than we did the last game. It’s a game of runs; you win some and you lose some. We’re just on a streak right now. We don't have any room to put our heads down right now, we just have to keep moving forward.”

On how to move forward…
“It’s very challenging. It’s just having a mindset of knowing that thinking backwards is going to just hold you back more. We just have to keep taking that step every day.”

FRESHMAN GUARD SKYLAR MAYS

On the turnovers tonight…
“They’re known for their defense, they’re a good defensive team. They put you in spots where they can make defensive plays. We fell into their traps.”

On what makes South Carolina so good on defense…
“It's a mixture of all of those things. You can tell they really care about it and as a result they’re a really good defensive team.”
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South Carolina Head Coach Quotes

HEAD COACH FRANK MARTIN

Opening Statement …
“I’m proud of our guys. Anytime you go on the road and win, you did something right. Our guys played phenomenally the last two days in practice. It was some of the best two practices we had, and we came out and had a great shoot-around today. We came out and we played that way. We were rock solid. I was a little disappointed in, not the effort or desire, but in some of the finer points of our disciplines defensively from our bench guys. Outside of that, we tried to pass the ball, we did some good things. We had some careless turnovers early in the second half that kind of stalled us, but it was good to see P.J. Dozier play with a little aggression again offensively and defensively.”

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